Mammoth Griffintown nightclub and event venue New City Gas has been remade into Bazart, a multipurpose space featuring indoor and outdoor art galleries, a new Mediterranean restaurant, and a boutique selling artisanal goods.
Bazart’s restaurant component comes courtesy of a collaboration between chefs Massimo Piedimonte (formerly of Le Mousso), chef Athiraj Pharsavath (previously at now-defunct Old Montreal restaurant Mercuri), and Guillaume Daly (chef and partner of downtown supper club Soubois), with a menu featuring charcoal-grilled meats, fish, and veggies; mezze-style dips (including muhammara, labneh, and one with almond, tahini, peas, and mint), and plenty of raw fish.
The restaurant is meant to be transportive, conjuring the beachy food spots that dot “boho” travel havens, specifically Ibiza, Mykonos, and Tulum, according to a press release shared with Eater regarding last week’s opening. A space decked in woven wicker pendant lanterns and sand-coloured flooring help convey the seaside vibes.
The historic building that houses New City Gas — built in 1863 as a place where coal would get converted into gas — is now open as an “NFT gallery” curated by 0x Society and billed on its website as the “first of its kind in Canada.” Digital artworks encrypted with an NFT, or non-fungible token, can be bought and sold since the blockchain access to the asset — a digital asset that could otherwise be copied ad infinitum online — is completely unique to the owner. Five of the twelve NFT artworks on display at Bazart have already been sold, the least expensive of which went for $8,000, Silo 57 reports.
Meanwhile, a new outdoor gallery displays visual art of a more traditional variety (i.e., murals and framed pieces from Galerie S16 in Old Montreal), while a boutique inside sells everything from jewelry and clothes to plants and perfumes.
With dancing still banned in Quebec nightclubs as a coronavirus precaution, and bars — to their chagrin — still forced to stop selling alcohol at midnight, the Bazart revamp is a promising move for the sprawling Griffintown nightclub. While a member of Bazart’s PR team tells Eater that the art installations are intended as a temporary summertime-only affair, they say New City Gas is “looking at how they can integrate the concept in a more permanent way.” As for the restaurant? They say it’s here to stay.
Bazart is open from 5 p.m. to midnight Wednesday through Sunday at 969 Wellington Street.