A few nightlife recommendations for lost students
For new Concordia students, especially those living in Montreal for the first time, navigating the city’s extensive nightlife scene can seem like a daunting, nearly impossible task. For many non-local first-year students, getting sucked into a night full of hopping from overpriced bar to sleazy nightclub around the downtown campus/Crescent Street area is almost a rite of passage. But, I don’t think it has to be. With a metro pass and a willingness to explore, you can escape the leering old men and shady promoters waving flyers on street corners for a much better experience.
Rockette Bar has what Café Campus Retro Tuesdays wishes it had. Located near Mont-Royal metro station, this bar and nightclub spins a mix of rock, funk, punk, and leans heavily into new wave. The bar has a back section of long tables as well as a space to play pool, and a dancefloor (well, pre-COVID at least). If you’re sick of hearing the same music every time you go out, whether it’s top 40 or the same tired “throwback” songs, this is the place to be. In my experience, Rockette plays the sort of music that will actually make you want to dance — but we’ll leave that for when it’s allowed again, I guess. For now, it’s still a great atmosphere.
For a more chill night out, Café Résonance, located in the Mile End, is always a good choice. Not only do they have great inexpensive vegan food, but they recently brought back their live music. During the day, Résonance is a cafe that’s easy to bunker down and study in, especially because their drip coffee has free refills. But at night, the cafe turns into a live music venue with moderately priced beer, wine, and cocktails. They continue their food service in the night though, so you can enjoy some jazz and some vegan nachos at the same time.
Bar le Ritz PDB
Bar le Ritz is pretty well known by Concordia students, and for good reason. This Little Italy bar/venue puts on some of the most fun dance nights in town. In the past, they’ve thrown parties in honour of certain pop divas, like nights dedicated to Britney Spears or Céline Dion, but they’ve also thrown ones centering around a certain genre or era like their “World of Post-Punk” or “2009-2019” dance parties. Once regulations ease up, they have a “Dark Eighties” party in the works.
Bar de Courcelle
This Saint-Henri bar has been connecting with its patrons in creative ways throughout the pandemic. On top of indoor seating and a terrace, since the summer, Bar de Courcelle has been hosting outdoor concerts in Sir George-Étienne Cartier Square every Sunday evening. So, there’s something for every COVID comfort level. Bar de Courcelle has a neighbourly, inviting vibe, as is evident from even just their meme-filled Facebook page. With reasonably priced drinks and a decent-sized bar snack list, this spot, whether indoor or outdoor, is a solid bet.
Feature graphic by James Fay