As you head down the Saint-Laurent, it is nearly impossible to miss Chez Serge. The first thing you will notice is the diamond shaped “Welcome to Las Vegas” style sign – flashing red bulbs included – hanging above the fire engine red front door. Once passed the entrance way, you will Â quickly notice the belle Ã©poque crystal chandeliers, giving off a dark pink glow, suspended above table tops dedicated to the pop icons of the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
To the right, there is floor to ceiling field turf covering an entire wall. To the left, a bar equipped with stripper poles, being watched over by a mounted moose head whose antlers are ornate with brassieres supposedly donated by some of the establishment’s more liberal patrons.
The bar’s large flat screen TVs feature the likes of Clint Eastwood and John Wayne on a nightly basis, demonstrating a rather strange fascination with Westerns.
Finally, the piÃ¨ce de rÃ©sistance is a fully functional mechanical bull at the back of the bar, which for some reason tends to move a little slower for those who are easy on the eyes.
The scene at Chez Serge resembles something more fitting of a surrealist painting than a watering hole on the Main. Despite looking like it came from the warped mind of a designer on hallucinogenics, something about the decor just works. It is one of those places that looks interesting enough to make you feel like you are somewhere trendy but not so cool that it makes you feel uncomfortable.
The decor itself is well worth a visit. Luckily, this place is plenty more than simply aesthetics and should keep you coming back. The crowd is young, but not enough to be considered jailbait. The DJs play a variety of 80s and 90s rock, while the bartenders inexplicably get up on the bar throughout the night and throw down Coyote Ugly style.
It should also be mentioned that this place serves their booze by the bucket. This means that for under $20, you can get a plastic beach pail filled with your favorite cocktail or one of the house specialties. Each bucket has roughly five to six ounces of liquor and is usually enough to put you in your happy place. The Mr. Freeze is especially worth a try if you are in need of a sugar rush. The beer is served in chilled glasses, the bar is well stocked and the prices are fairly reasonable.
If you are the type to get the munchies, fear not since Chez Serge has free popcorn. And when the waitress gets annoyed with bringing you refills, Fairmount Bagel is just a couple of blocks away and is open all night.
Of course, like most of the best bars in the city, the secret has gotten out and this once hidden gem has become a hot spot. The place is jam packed on Fridays, Saturdays and game nights.
Chez Serge is located in the Mile End at 5301 St-Laurent Blvd. at the corner of Maguire.