Once in a while, I have the desire to sit outside in a not-too-loud patio environment on a warm day and drink a pitcher of sangria/eat a chicken poutine, without the sounds and smells of traffic, and with all of my good friends. Surprisingly, this sort of venue can be difficult to find in Montreal, where busy, tightly-packed street-side patios (ahem, Crescent street) tend to dominate the scene.
And so, I now turn to a multi-storey Victorian mansion on St-Denis – that everyone must become familiar with as the summer weather approaches – for my patio-fix: Saint-Sulpice. This building’s sparse façade inadvertently disguises the big – nay, ginormous – piece of patio-heaven located at the building’s rear: a terrace roughly the size of a city block, replete with fountains, beer tent-esque canvas roofs, trees and flowerbeds, multiple outdoor bars, cheap pub food and lovely/well-priced pitchers of sangria. You’re welcome.
Not only is this a fantastic spot to aggregate as a group for after-work drinks, but the atmosphere also lends itself to dates and intimate conversation, as the dozens of tables and chairs are appropriately spread out and navigable, unlike the sardine-patio-sitting we are all unfortunately accustomed to in this city. In addition, Saint-Sulpice has a second rooftop terrace/dance floor that ensures you need not leave the premise should you and your friends seek a 2:30am beer-induced dance-off!
Interestingly, Saint-Sulpice houses several indoor bar spaces, each with a separate ‘vibe’, including a basement lounge (that features weekly karaoke) and an upper-floor dining room. Local live music is also a common occurrence on the back terrace during the summer months.
Thus, next time you are pining for cheap Quebec beer and good company on a warm evening, very literally grab all of your friends, avoid the downtown strip altogether and head east to what is arguably one of the biggest and best spaces for patio-hangs in the entire city!
~ Tyler Yank @Tyler_The_Girl