With Berlin-based electronic musician Apparat gently thumping in the background, I scan the room and see two different types of people; the business suits with salt and pepper beards and trench coats accompanied by stilettos — and the plaid shirts, skinny jeans, sneakers and Johnny Cash haircuts. Some were elegantly seated at high dining tables with small appetizers and wine glasses, and others were standing around the bar with a beer. Their faces lit by warm candlelight revealed hints of a smile, laughter, and engaging conversation. Welcome to Furco.
Originally home to the Canadian Fur Company, Furco’s location is filled with history, keeping many of its original features like the open piping, high ceilings, and concrete beams that make the bones. A huge copper bar shaped as a “P” can be found in the middle as a focal point, with shades of grey, white, brown, and dark blue bringing it all together.
“We wanted to give it an industrial and roughed up look,” said Jean-Francois Gladu one of the co-owners, “very Berlin.” Whatever city Furco reminds you of, one thing is certain, it feels as if you travelled elsewhere.
Sitting down you quickly notice people walking around at opposite ends of the room, inspecting the ceiling. You too, out of curiosity, look up and try to figure out what there is to see. A couple of seconds in, it clicks. If you want to eat, you’ll have to get up and do the same thing. Why? Because the menu is not brought to the table, instead, it’s found on yellow cardboard attached to clothes lines along the walls. Are you in love yet?
Chef Joelle Trottier changes the menu every couple of days according to what’s in season or in the market; always keeping it interesting, always giving you a reason to walk around and stare upwards at the walls.
I went to Furco on two separate occasions. The service Monday was exceptional, but on Friday, it took awhile to be served. The bar was hectic and the staff looked a little lost. It was difficult to be anything else but understanding, because when the waitress finally got to our table she, with a genuine and slightly embarrassed smile, apologized for the delay. These minor imperfections, however, for co-owner Gladu, do not go unnoticed. As he explained to me, Furco is still taking shape.
“We were doing renovations up until a couple of hours before the opening,” he said, “It’s a little overwhelming, we were not expecting it to take off that fast. There are still many things left to do but overall, we’re happy.”
Finished or not, there’s no denying the food was fantastic. I ordered a risotto with herbs and scallops, and fries that were beautifully browned and salted to perfection. I also tried the salmon and bison tartare, which were refined, tasty, and light.
As for drinks, Furco has an impressive wine menu. Chosen by Michel Bergeron, president and founder of Les Vins Bergeron, the wine list is a mix of wines found at the SAQ and private importations. In the next couple of months, the resto-bar is aiming at providing clients with an exclusive wine list. There is no cocktail menu so simply inquire about it and the bartender will try to satisfy whatever craving you may have.
All in all, Furco is definitely a fixer upper and rough around the edges. Many things still need to be worked out and developed, but in my opinion, imperfections are what make this eclectic new resto-bar charming and oh-so pleasant.
Furco is located on 425 Mayor St.