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Olympic Medallist Alexandre Despatie Is Opening an Old Montreal Bar With Vintage Vibes

It’ll be the second establishment for the former Breakfast Television host

Alexandre Despatie at the 2010 Commonwealth Games
Getty Images

Montreal-born Olympic medallist and former Breakfast Television host Alexandre Despatie is set to open a bar in Old Montreal this spring.

Via Le Journal de Montréal, Despatie and partners are setting up shop on the western edge of the neighbourhood, adjacent to Italian restaurant Da Emma on de la Commune West.

Named Marine (to reflect the nearby port), it should have a warm, vintage vibe to it — describing it as a space with “soul”, Despatie told Le Journal that it’ll have Victorian-era touches to it with natural, woody textures, chandeliers, and large, comfortable sofas, spread across two main rooms.

Cocktails and wine appear to be the focus, with numerous natural wines set to be on the menu. Marine will also have a kitchen serving small bites and open-faced sandwiches, among other options.

For a 34-year-old, Despatie has had a rather busy life — he won two silver medals for diving across the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, plus numerous other medals in competitions like the Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games. After retiring in 2013, he became the host for the Montreal edition of CityTV’s morning show Breakfast Television for two years.

It now seems that the hospitality business could be Despatie’s calling — he also co-owns a successful Italian coffee shop on Queen Street, Marinelli Brothers, which opened in 2018 about 100 metres away from Marine’s location. it’s also been something of a family vocation: Despatie’s father, George, was behind franchise restaurants Giorgio et Le Steak Frites St-Paul, although he has since retired.

Expect Marine to open in early April.

Bar Marine

759 Rue de la Commune O, Montreal, QC H3C 1X7 Visit Website