You can’t keep this classic Montreal bar down.
by Taylor Berry
Two years ago, L’Barouf (4171 rue St. Denis) was caught up in a block fire along with Le Continental Bistro and closed its doors for two years. The adorable French bar was a pile of rubble when it was forced to close, but it has been beautifully rebuilt and renovated and hear you me, it’s lovelier than ever.
The interior design reminds me of cafes I went to in Paris, with wicker chairs, leather booths, a gorgeous bar and a grand piano in the center of the room. Downstairs, there is a glassed-in wine cellar and upstairs, you ascend a modern-looking staircase with sky-high ceilings and gorgeous woodwork to a second floor of seating. The whole thing is done with sustainable, fire-resistant wood by a company in Northern Quebec–the owners aren’t gonna let this bar go down twice.
Fine decor is all well and good, but it does not a good bar make. On to what counts: draft beers and sexy bartenders. There are a ton of beers on tap, including imports (several from Belgium), Canadian favourites like Keiths and local Quebecois beer–I ordered the delicious cassis Ephmere. You can also order one of those fantastic towers of beer with a spout on the bottom if you’re feeling fancy. There’s a great wine list and apparently a fantastic selection of scotch, if that’s your poison. The handsome, tattooed bartender serving us made us want to keep ordering. Also, the free nuts. Salty.
L’Barouf is nicely apart from both the McGill and Concordia student bar scenes, so you won’t see girls in thigh-highs barfing into their hair outside or obnoxious frat boys chanting. L’Barouf is classy but not too classy, very French but English-speaking if you need, and central but just out-of-the-way enough. Come here for an aperitif before visiting a St. Denis BYOW restaurant, or if you just feel like a big ole tower of strong Quebec beer.