Mile End has a new bar with a slightly questionable name: Lucky Ho has opened on St-Laurent at the corner of Maguire.
The bar takes over the very prime location that used to be cowboy-ish hockey spot Chez Serge. That bar moved to a location further south on St-Laurent in 2018 (but still on the Plateau), taking its mechanical bull with it.
Lucky Ho seems to be taking on a similar approach of being a themed yet casual neighbourhood bar. It’s dropped the rather sporty approach and is instead running with a theme “inspired by travel in Asia”.
That brings us to the name: while “ho” is obviously a derogatory term sometimes directed at women (and it seems unlikely that this word choice was unintentional), the bar is attempting to sidestep that accusation by stylizing its name as Lucky Hồ (with the accent),
referencing Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh. with Ho being the owner’s last name. So there’s plausible deniability, even if “Lucky Ho” is definitely in a grey zone for taste, and it seems unlikely that the alternate meaning for “ho” was not considered here. (Eater has confirmed that the owner was aware of the connotations of the name prior to opening, but chose to keep it.)
But at least there’s no cultural appropriation (the owner is of Vietnamese descent), and despite the name, it’s a regular bar, not a “sexy” bar with tabletop dancing, etcetera, as Chez Serge sometimes featured.
Anyhow, the bar is decked out with colourful lighting and plenty of east and south-east Asian kitsch; cocktails and beer are the main alcohol offerings, with the bar running a 4 à 8 deal every day. There’s also pinball, foosball, and pool tables on site.
Correction (Aug 2): This piece was updated to clarify that Ho refers to the owner’s last name.
STATUS — Lucky Ho is open at 5301 St-Laurent.
- Lucky Ho [Facebook]