Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has taken a first step towards allowing all-night drinking in the city by letting bars on Crescent and St-Denis streets stay open late on weekends.
'The metropolis is about fun,' - Denis Coderre, Montreal Mayor
The pilot project will run from June 12 to July 5.
“The metropolis is about fun. We can have fun without having necessarily excess. But the fact we're having that pilot project — at least we'll know," Coderre said.
For participating bars, it will mean having staff work until 6 a.m.
Some merchants say they are willing to give the pilot project a try.
“I think it’s a good idea ... It’s a learning curve — we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen but it’s worthwhile to try it,” said Michel Lavallée, owner of L’Île Noir Pub on St-Denis Street.
Lavallée says he kept his pub open all night on Nuit Blanche and the night was a success.
Coderre says some underground bars stay open after-hours anyway, so it makes sense for the city to try and harness some of that enthusiasm.
But some bar owners are opting out of the project.
"Staying here an extra two to three hours in the wee hours of the morning with clientele who've already been out late and drinking a lot — it's not the environment anyone would choose to be in," said Jeffrey Picard, who runs Brutopia Pub on Crescent Street.
He will continue to close his doors at 3 a.m.
Coderre says he understands some people may be worried about security, so a special committee has been set up.
"Everybody's working together — we will have an advisory board at the same time. We will collect data, we'll take care of security, make sure everything is appropriate and we'll pick it up from there."
Coderre says if the pilot project goes well it could be expanded into other areas of the city.
The bars participating in the project are:
- L'Amère à boire
- Bistro à Jojo
- Café Hookah Lounge
- En Cachette Speakeasy
- Le Saint-Bock
- L'Île Noire
- Point Bar
- Quartier Latin Pub
- Ziggy's Bar
- Burger Bar Crescent
- Electric Avenue Bar
- Bar Seven
- Winnie’s Bar
- Sir Winston Churchill Pub
- Karina Club Lounge
- Club Extreme