Very few bars montrealers known for their dance tracks continue to open their doors a week after the ban to sell alcohol after midnight.
For the majority of them, this new condition prompted them to close for a temporary period, which could become permanent depending on the duration of the pandemic.
“We tried to open earlier, but there’s not a person who shows up. We tried, it invites earlier, but they arrive when even at 21: 30 or 22h, and at midnight, one loses their “fun”,” said Friday the co-owner of the Gift B Comber, on the boulevard Saint-Laurent, Jeff Blanchette.
The week-end following the announcement of the public health, François Boitard, co-owner of the Red Bar and the Gift B Comber, attempted a opening similar, to no avail.
“I spent$ 10,000 in stools for a week after, they announce that we’re going to have to close at midnight”, he told.
“It looks like they know where they’re going, but do not want to take the decision [to close us completely] to not go after them”, he added.
In A5 Hospitality, a group of 17 restaurants and nightclubs in the greater Montreal area, all the establishments that had a dance floor and have preferred to close.
Nick Urli, owner of five institutions from among those of the collective, supported the remarks of Mr. Boitard.
“We get updates, we invest money in our systems. Two weeks after, they close. This is the midnight to 3 who is paying. Before that, it’s no use.”
Hard to reinvent itself
Mr Urli, to reinvent the concept of bars is not a child’s play. “Yes, we can create products that are a little more lounge where people can come up until midnight or 1am. Is it that the client’s behavior going to change?”, he asked.
“It is evolving so fast. Let’s suppose that we decide to adjust and creating habits of consumption, and that, in two weeks, they tell us that we can re-open fully, we will have done all that for nothing. Like what was just done recently, investing of as and energy in formulas”, he added.
Mr Urli takes the example of his “supperclub” Flyjin in the Old Port, where the chef known Antonio Park has concocted the menu. It carries out its activities in an intimate setting with dimmed lights to the maximum. “Don’t you’re not in a basement as the Flyjin, at 16h, there summary. It doesn’t work.”
In the coming weeks, Mr Urli and his team will transform the Flyjin in “restaurant festive”, where reign an atmosphere such as that of a lounge. The guests will be seated at all times. The goal is to make the place a festive place, without that it falls in a nightclub, ” he says.
The Soubois, restaurant and nightclub on the boulevard de Maisonneuve, a similar experience is taking shape. At the present time, only the restaurant is accessible to all.