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Montreal’s Metro Car Café and Bar Will Open This Month

This new space will be totally open to the public — and in two years, it’ll morph into a building comprising eight disused metro cars.

MR-63/Facebook

A bar and coffee shop made partially of former Montreal metro cars should open in Griffintown later in July.

The project is named MR-63 (for the model of the now-disused metro cars), and will be fully open to the public, whether or not they’re customers of the on-site amenities like the bar or café. (Think of other public spaces like Jardins Gamelin by Berri-UQAM or the Village Au Pied-du-Courant in the Centre-Sud.)

It will comprise two iconic blue metro carriages, and will be on the corner of Peel and Ottawa streets. Beyond the coffee shop and bar on the premises, MR-63 will also have a large terrasse and family play area, and one of the metro wagons will be converted into a gourmet épicerie showcasing products from Quebec. That wagon will also sell Quebec craft brews, juices, coffee, and host a barbecue.

The second carriage will focus on cultural events — the whole space will also be able to host events such as screenings, exhibitions, conferences, and workshops.

A rendering of the MR-63 space for summer 2019
Rayside Labossière/MR-63

MR-63 is a seasonal affair for the moment — it will open from July 19 until September 15. But it will return in future in a bigger, bolder form — the two-carriage set-up for this summer is just the first phase. Étienne and Frédéric Morin-Bordeleau, who are spearheading the project, have a total of eight carriages in their possession. By late 2021, the corner location should morph into a full three-level building that incorporates the metro cars, turning it into a full-scale cultural hub (and the bar and coffee shop will remain, too).

This isn’t the first use that the Morin-Bordeleau brothers have got out of the metro cars — last summer, they operated a similar public space, Station FMR, a few blocks away by the Lachine Canal. However, that installation was a one-off (as the name implies — FMR, or éphémère); the space at Peel and Ottawa is to be a permanent home for the former metro carriages.

STATUS — MR-63 will open July 19 on the corner of Peel and Ottawa. Hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

MR-63

Rue Peel & Rue Ottawa, Montreal, QC H3C 2G7 Visit Website

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