Every single person I know seems to have a birthday in September or October. There must have been something extra cold about winters in the late-eighties that spurred our parents into getting so busy (ew). Anyway, the result is that I’ve been attending an overabundance of birthday parties lately. Is yours coming up? Need some party venue ideas? We’ve got ya covered, gang.

L’Academie @ 2100 Crescent, or 4051 St-Denis

L’Academie is a great Montreal restaurant that can accommodate huge parties (upwards of 25 people). FYI: their location on Crescent is much roomier and more intimate than their St-Denis flagship where you would literally be blowing out candles into the next table. Where possible, try to celebrate between Sunday and Wednesday nights, as all L’Academie’s mussels n’ fries plates (try the Madagascar mussels!) and their delicious pasta dishes (try the Fettuccine Primavera!) are only $11.95. They’ll also bring out the prerequisite slice of chocolate mousse cake ($6) topped with a giant sparkler for the birthday girl/boy. No need for your friends to break the bank to celebrate your new year!

Basement of Brutopia @ 1215 Crescent

This well-known downtown brew pub (also on Crescent – perhaps you can wander over after dinner) is typically hoppin’ every night of the week. However, while their main floor is often crammed with students and hockey-lovers and live music – there is an entirely different vibe downstairs. The bar is much quieter (quicker service) and there is a DJ (less noisy). Get there early and score your party a whole corner of the basement (replete with arm chairs and sofas and a big screen TV) to yourselves!

Montenegro Beach @ 3831 St-Laurent

For anyone who has lived in Montreal longer than three years, you likely refer to this semi-dive bar as ‘the old Miami’. Fine, maybe it’s not the most glorious feature of St-Laurent street, but sometimes the lesser known, emptier bars are the best venues for parties. Montenegro contains pool tables, tons of seating, a back terrace and friendly bar-staff. If you get there before midnight, even on a Saturday, your party could probably take over the entire side room. What’s more, if restlessness sets in, you are a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from tons of popular dancing locales.

If birthday conversation isn’t particularly your thing, and you are ready to dance/drink/rage, a few notable clubs/dance-bars that (somehow) come to mind when I think ‘messy and debaucherous birthday’ are as follows: La Rockette @ 4479 St-Denis, Tokyo @ 3709 St-Laurent, Korova (if you are 22 and under) @ 3908 St-Laurent, and Salon Officiel (if you are 23 and above) @ 351 Roy. Happy Birthday!

~ Tyler Yank