Hurricane Irene blew through Montreal last night with winds of upwards 90 km/h (55 mph) and the city emerged relatively unscathed.
There were some trees that came tumbling down onto cars parked in the wrong spot and on Monday morning there were still close to 166,000 households with no electricity due to downed power lines. But, considering the strength of the hurricane, Montrealers are feeling lucky having escaped with some minor inconveniences.
So, today with the sun shining and just tiniest hint of autumn in the air, it’s time to head out to the terrasse and enjoy a cold brew. Here’s a list of six great pubs to celebrate surviving Irene.
The neighborhood of NDG (Notre Dame de Grace) was the first to lose electricity during the hurricane. That hasn’t stopped Ye Olde Orchard Pub from opening. This favorite Celtic watering hole offers great pub grub and imported and local brewed beer served on a terrace where you can watch all the action along Monkland Avenue.
L’Amere a Boire on rue St Denis has a mini-terrace in front to watch the world pass by near the Latin Quarter. The pub serves 14 types of ales and lagers with tongue-twisting names like Boucanier, Vollbier, Kozak, and Maibock. Pub grub comes in the form of small plates – burgers, cheeses, and tapas.
Further up the street is the gorgeous Bières et Compagnie in a refurbished 1872 bank with mirrors, candles, high ceilings, muted lighting and plush booths with an selection of Belgian imports and local microbrews. A great place to soak up some of the famous Montreal ambience and check out the award winning architecture.
Located in the heart of downtown, along Ste Catherine Street, Alexandre et Fils is an institution in the city not only for its excellent French food but also for Alexandre’s, the cafe-bistro side of the business. Mingle with the locals and enjoy 13 imported beers on tap.
It’s not a visit to Montreal unless you check out the action along Crescent Street—a.k.a party central. The street’s most famous watering hole is Sir Winston Churchill Pub which has been serving up a whole lineup of great beers and food for more than 30 years. This is a lively place, always full and the terrace is a great place to see and be seen. It’s main claim to fame: it has never closed early no matter what the weather!
Five minutes away on Bishop Street is McKibbin’s Irish Pub. A much loved spot for students and professors from Concordia University (about five minutes away from the pub). Crowds come for the great, inexpensive food as well as the Irish sports on TV and the 18 imported beers served on the terrace or in the lounge with a fireplace. Wednesdays, ladies drink for free and Sunday offers traditional Irish music.
Be sure to ask the locals how the survived Hurricane Irene!