Snowbird Tiki Bar review

“Get here fast. Take it slow.”

Walking up St. Hubert Street, you wouldn’t expect to come across this bar. In comparison to the grey cold winter we are currently experiencing, it really stands out. 

The whole entrance is made out of long stalks of bamboo, and upon walking into the bar you are transported into this island-themed paradise right here in Montreal.


When my group arrived at the bar, there was already a long lineup. Fortunately one of the people running the bar said they were about to open the flamingo room so we didn’t have to wait much longer.

The main area of the bar is all island themed, with bartenders dressed in Hawaiian shirts. The decor is the best part, it really makes you ask yourself, “Where did they get all this stuff?” From the fish decorations hanging from the ceiling to Elvis playing throughout the bar, Snowbird definitely passed the vibe check.

Once we finally got seated, I was so mesmerized by all the decorations and the seating itself. We got a booth but there was also a swing seat that my friend Giulia happily took. 


For the first round of drinks, I ordered the Pink Flamingo. My boyfriend Anthony ordered the Cobra’s Fang and my friend Giulia ordered a Piña Colada.

Something that’s super interesting when you first order the drinks is the alcohol levels indicated at the top of the menu, from one to four. The drink that I ordered had an alcohol level of three, and it said I’ll be “texting my ex” with that level. 

Anthony’s drink was a level four, and it said at that level he’d be “losing his phone.” For my friend Giulia, she got the Piña Colada. I think we all know Piña Coladas are pretty tame and it was a level two on the alcohol scale, and said at that level she’d be “calling in sick.”

Not only were the drinks amazing but they were so fun to look at. Giulia’s Piña Colada was served in a coconut water can that you’d see walking down your grocery aisle. Anthony’s Cobra’s Fang was served in a tall glass with leaves bent over to mimic a cobra’s fangs. Finally, my Pink Flamingo was served in a mason jar glass with a pineapple as garnish. 

Once we finished the first round of drinks, we really wanted to try one of the shareable punches. From the three options on the menu, we went with the Garden Party. 

The Garden Party punch was served in a rock bowl and was garnished with flowers and a shot of gin in the actual drink. It was so much fun to share this drink, the blue colour of the punch really transports you to the island vibe that Snowbird touts.


I feel in a nutshell, Snowbird Tiki Bar is one of the most creative themed bars I’ve ever seen. However, it’s not exactly cheap. 

For the first round of drinks, the price range was in between $15-17 for each one. The shareable punch was $40, but split between three people it isn’t that bad. 

If you want to try something different for a celebration, I’d definitely recommend this bar. You’ll be whisked away from the snow and into some good vibes.

Photographs by Dalia Nardolillo/THE CONCORDIAN

Student Life

Czechvar and mounted ostrich heads

Photo by Nathalie Laflamme

Tucked between a frozen yogurt shop and a driving school on Mount Royal Avenue in the heart of the Plateau area sits Bily Kun. No, this is not the name of an exotic European city, but the name of one of Montreal’s best taverns.

Walking in you are enveloped by the warmth of the bar: the space is dimly lit by individual table candles and sparse lamps hanging from the noticeably high ceilings. Often described as ‘tavern-chic’, the decor is simple yet swanky; brick walls painted white with wood paneling, artwork that was more or less limited to a large painting of a willow tree and several mounted ostrich heads scattered about the walls.

After inevitably losing a staring contest to one of the birds, I realized that each had a distinguishing quirk: some wore hats, but all had names. I took my seat below Charles, a dapper little bird unfortunately losing the feathers on the crown of his head.

“So, why the ostrich heads?” I asked my waitress.

“Well, Bily Kun is kind of hard to pronounce, so the decorator wanted to add something that would make people talk about the bar and remember the place,” she said.

Fair enough.

Photo by Nathalie Laflamme

Adding to the tavern’s atmosphere was the live music. On this particular Tuesday night jazz collective Trio Jerôme Beaulieu acted as a duo, playing the cello and the piano from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m..

When the jazz players ended their set for the evening, an eclectic playlist ranging from  alternative indie to instrumental hip hop took their place. The music was chilled out, keeping in tune with the bar’s poised, yet laid-back ambiance and catering to the nearly full crowd of 20 somethings to early 30 somethings.

While physical menus were available, I was overwhelmed by the dozens of different beer, cocktail and wine options listed, so I scanned the chalkboard menus above the bar instead, hoping the house specialties would narrow my option pool. Realizing I recognized the names of about five per cent of the drinks on the menu, I figured I should just ask my waitress what she recommended.

Drinks ranged anywhere from seven dollars to $14 depending, with cocktails at the steeper end.

At a 70 per cent alcohol level, Absinthe was the first on the list of specialty drinks. Although coming highly recommended for being surprisingly “not as strong-tasting as you’d think,” I decided I wasn’t feeling very adventurous and opted for a Czechvar beer, the recommended house beer. Czechvar is a blonde, hoppy lager with a smooth yet slightly bitter taste.

According to the waitress, Bily Kun is the largest carrier of Czechvar beer in Canada. Apparently Czech beer is extremely hard to import, which is why the majority of the beer listed on the menu are from different breweries around Quebec, like the St-Ambroise Apricot.

Food is also offered on the menu, but instead of your regular old french fries and onion rings, Bily Kun offers things like hummus and pita combinations and beef (or vegetarian) empanadas. Overwhelmed by options once again, I froze, fumbled and ultimately ordered nachos; I should definitely never be shown more than two options for anything.

Despite this unoriginal decision, I figured you could never really go wrong with beer and nachos, especially when it’s imported Czech beer and nachos with homemade salsa.

With cinq à sept far behind us, an electronic musician was gearing up for his set, as is the case most week nights after 10 p.m. Two Czechvars later, I was feeling full and deeply satisfied and called it a night. Nodding goodbye to Charles the ostrich, I made my way to St-Denis Street and into the early springtime chill.

Student Life

Apartment 200 brings the house party to the bar

Photo by Marie-Philippe Saltiel

On frigid winter nights, no one really feels like stepping outside to head to the Main, home to many clubs and bars that may have you waiting in long lines. However, Apartment 200’s modern and warm barcade theme, designed to look just like an apartment, leaves you feeling like you never left home.

The bar is the backdrop to a fully furnished loft where you’ll find everything from coffee tables and comfy couches to a bedroom. You’ll also find plants scattered throughout the bar adding to the homey touch. Its rustic vibe melts the bar atmosphere away and has you believing that you’re at a friend’s house party.

As all house parties go, music is key. Apartment 200 is known for spitting out old and new hip hop, rap and R&B tunes by artists such as Blackstreet, Jay-Z, Kanye West and 2 Chainz to name a few.

Bars can be notorious for blaring music where the only way to have a conversation is if you’re standing two millimeters away from a friend, but Apartment 200 gives you the privilege of not having to bust a vocal chord. It’s definitely a great place to socialize, and maybe even bring a date to.

Other than it’s homey feel, what makes this bar stand out from other bars is that it comes complete with vintage arcade games. Scattered around the apartment are games such as Pac-man, Time Crisis 2, NFL Blitz 2001, pool tables, a dome hockey table, racing arcade games, and arcade basketball hoops. All of which will take you for a trip down memory lane and make for a great entertaining night.

This laid-back bar has the added bonus of laid-back prices. Arcade games only cost 50 cents, except for Sundays which are free, and pints are priced at $8.

Apartment 200’s home away from home concept works and makes it a great dive for winter nights.

Apartment 200 is located on 3643 Saint Laurent Blvd.

Student Life

SuWu bar in the heart of The Main brings out the soul in you

Urban bar SuWu is an idyllic hipster hideaway, one that is bringing the concept of “soul food” back to the St. Laurent strip.

Press photo

Flanked on both sides by glitzy, high-profile bars and nightclubs that are signature to The Main, SuWu is almost imperceptible to pedestrians.

Its interior, while significantly more relaxed than its bass-pumping counterparts, is no less remarkable. Mason jar lights hang from the ceiling, repurposed barn wood and shelves of flea market antiques line the walls, and the bar even boasts the head of a carousel horse. The eye doesn’t know where to settle since every glance reveals something new. When the place is in full-swing, the stereo pumps out mellow hip-hop beats into the warmly-lit venue, giving it a Brooklyn feel in a central 514 location.

The love child of young entrepreneurs, it boasts a painstakingly compiled menu and wine list. SuWu’s plates are served up tapas-style: small servings at reasonable prices, so that groups of friends can sample many of the decadent offerings at once. Some all-stars include their truffle oil popcorn, buttermilk fried chicken (interestingly served with french toast and blueberry coulis) salmon tartare, and mini lobster rolls. Their main draw, however, is the grilled mac ‘n’ cheese.

The idea sounds completely gluttonous and “all American,” but no words can really capture how savoury their creamy, herbed mac ‘n’ cheese is when grilled between two buttery slices of country bread and served with a spicy marinara sauce for dipping. The idea is not new, but it is a risky dish that Montrealers haven’t quite seen since the creation of poutine.

With chefs constantly experimenting behind the scenes, the menu changes from time to time, but the new additions are always exciting. Paired with a “signature” drink like the “Big Booty Ho” — a mixture of pineapple juice and banana liqueur — or a draft beer, the selection is always satisfying, and never overwhelming.

SuWu is also open for brunch on the weekends, and offers mimosas as a side.

The overall atmosphere is welcoming and laid back. The emphasis on quality food and quality service is refreshing in a neighbourhood of “bottle service only” and music so loud that conversation becomes obsolete. At SuWu, it feels as though you are in a place that’s been standing since the turn of the century, among the oldest of friends.

Which is a resoundingly good feeling, since friends will not judge you for ordering seconds. Bar is located at 3581 St. Laurent, corner Prince Arthur.


Student Life

Montreal’s Randolph Pub offers an alternative night out

The pub sets up a game of Looping Louis. Photo by Leah Balass.

On the crowded St. Denis street filled with students and young party-goers, a unique pub that feels more like your childhood living room has made its mark amongst the busy bars, clubs and coffee shops of the area. And it’s the first of its kind in the city of Montreal.

At Randolph Pub Ludique customers are invited to enjoy an entertaining evening of board gaming, with professional staff known as gaming animators, who act as counselors to help customers select, learn and play one of the 1,000 games available.

“Nothing has been made like this before [in Montreal],” said Justin Bazoge, one of the four passionate co-owners of the pub,“There were establishments that had board games or board game libraries – in restaurants, in bars, [and] in bistros – but there was never animation.”

The pub, which opened its doors last July, caters to all demographics and group sizes – from couples, to friends and families, and even solo players looking to be paired up with others.  Bazoge says he has met customers as old as 70, though his client base is generally a student crowd, as it is situated close to universities and CEGEPs.

Among the pub’s diverse customer base, board game enthusiasts Jake Alper and Sandy Ruffin from Boston, chose to visit Montreal for their honeymoon after hearing about Randolph from some friends.

“We love board games so much that [Randolph] was the inspiration for coming to Montreal,” said Alper.

Staff teaches a group the rules of the game. Photo by Leah Balass.

Prior to opening the pub, co-owner Joël Gagnon hosted frequent gaming nights for Montreal’s vibrant board gaming community. Over the years, he has established a following of over 300 people, many of whom became Randolph’s most loyal customers.

“We’ve been animating, entertaining people with board games for over four, five years now, so it just made sense to open a place of our own,” said Bazoge.

For experienced gamers like Jean-Francois Beauchemin, Randolph is a great place to meet new people and get to know other passionate players in the city.

“It allows me to play with a lot of people that I haven’t played with before,” said Beauchemin.

Though none of the owners had prior experience in opening a pub or a bar, their combined passion for board gaming was strong enough to overcome the challenges involved in setting up their new business.

With over 850 board games of their own, the four owners had only a few more purchases to make in order to reach their goal of having 1,000 games to fill the shelves of their pub.

Bazoge and his three co-owners say they are glad to see customers enjoying the atmosphere and the concept of Randolph.

“People are happy, so we become happy,” said Bazoge. “I like the environment here because people don’t come to drink and get drunk, they come here to play games and have fun.”

Randolph Pub Ludique is located at 2041 Saint-Denis. It’s open everyday from 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., and until 2:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Student Life

The speakeasy behind the red door

Big in Japan is located on 4175 St-Laurent Blvd. (Photo Sophia Loffreda)

Step behind the inconspicuous industrial red door and you will find yourself in an intimate, candlelit lair. Big in Japan, the speakeasy sister of the Japanese restaurant down the street, is one of Montreal’s best local gems.

In authentic speakeasy fashion, if you aren’t privy to the knowledge that Big in Japan lies nestled away next to Patati Patata, you would walk right past it.

Once inside, patrons are greeted with a rush of the prohibition era. Tea candles provide the only lighting, giving the room a dim and warm glow. Overhead, Japanese whiskey bottles hang from the ceiling, occasionally plucked one by one by the staff to serve anticipating mouths.

Seating is provided by barstools at the long glass tables that sit along the periphery of the room, so that when full, the bar becomes a sort of communal dining—aka drinking—room. The setting is intimate and you will seldom find the place empty. In fact, it is often busiest on weeknights.

Patrons range from nonchalant hipsters in plaid to the after-work, suit-clad crowd. Ambient music is just quiet enough to sit and read a book while sipping on your umeshu or Chu-Hi (Japanese plum liqueur and Japanese grapefruit yuzu, respectively.)

On a Friday during happy hour, the place was at quarter-capacity and my friend and I were able to actually have a conversation at an appropriate decibel level, though towards 7 p.m. people started to flock in in groups of two and threes.

The menu, having been recently revamped, features about a dozen signature cocktails, as well as perhaps the city’s most expansive list of Japanese wines, beers and whiskeys.

For groups, the punch bowl gets you quite a lot of bang for your buck. Changing the recipe every season, the punch bowl serves 22 saucers of alcohol for $65. The recipe of the moment is a concoction of gin, Pimm’s, mint, lemon and pomegranate. The fruit and mint merge together to disguise the taste of alcohol, to the point where I didn’t realize I was tipsy until I inevitably stood up and couldn’t feel my feet. The old menu used to include a half-size punch bowl for $35, which was ideal for two people to share. Just one fan’s opinion: bring that back!

The Yorkshire Lemonade, another new menu item, has been introduced to much acclaim. Made with gin, lemon, strawberry and cucumber, it is remarkably smooth and refreshing.

The Jamaican Mule is a medley of rum, mint, ginger syrup, tonic soda and lime. The drink tasted like summertime with a zesty ginger kick. The Abbé was definitely tequila-heavy, with a nuance of the other ingredients, being Benedictine, rhubarb and lemon.

The bar, which sits behind a glass semi-partition, also mixes up all the regular crowd-pleasers like whiskey sours and gin and tonic, although with such an interesting cocktail list, it would be foolish to get something so pedestrian.

Big in Japan offers some of the same Japanese snacks as the restaurant does, though it’s infinitely more wallet-friendly to satiate your hunger at one of the burger joints next door.

Cocktails range in price from $10 to $14 and the whiskeys and wines are available at just about every price point, to suit both the students and high-rollers who drink at this trendy watering hole.


Big in Japan is located on 4175 St-Laurent Blvd.



Student Life

L’Escalier to heaven

Looking to escape off campus for a while for some food, live music, beer, tea, chess and possibly a nap? There’s only one place in Montreal that can fulfill this impossible combination, and that’s L’Escalier.

Named for its characteristic hidden staircase smack in the middle of the Presse International building, L’Escalier can be easy to miss. Those who manage to find its seemingly mythical entrance will be transported into an equally magical cultural corner of Montreal.

Inside is a sprawl of different rooms. To the right is a café area where eclectic tables and chairs are set under dim, low-hanging lights in front of a stage that is rarely empty during the day. Their website has a schedule of the musicians (or slam poets) who will be performing. To the left is a shamble of well-loved couches and long dining tables, which are good for large groups. Beyond that is a room with

Named for its characteristic hidden staircase smack in the middle of the Presse International building, L’Escalier can be easy to miss. Photo by Maddie Hajek

second-hand games, books on a take-one-leave-one basis, hanging ivy and high-backed chairs. By far the best room, though also the most difficult to snag, would be dead centre at the far back, which is strewn with pillows, and wherein shoes are optional.

Orders are made at the bar, which is conveniently at the entrance, and the always-smiling staff will bring your food or drinks to wherever you settle. It’s cash only though and there is no ATM, so take out some green beforehand.

Everything is vegetarian, but do not fret just yet carnivores! L’Escalier does not need meat to satisfy. Prices are very fair for what you get. The sandwich and soup or salad combo is highly recommended, which comes to just under $9, $8 if you show your student card.

There are inventive varieties that range from pesto-feta to veggie pâté, but the best are arguably the goat cheese and apple cheddar. Each has an excellent balance between sweet and salty, and the freshness of cucumber, tomato and alfalfa nicely accompanies the stronger tastes of the cheeses.

It is served on multigrain bread with a tuft of alfalfa, some slices of vegetables drizzled with sticky balsamic vinegar and a choice of soup or salad.

For those looking for a snack there are plenty of options like nachos, salads, samosas, hummus and even some gourmet pizzas for the more hungry. These range between $2.50 and $9, which makes them perfect to share between a couple of friends.

In terms of drinks there is coffee, tea, cocktails, beer, wine and occasionally an interesting homemade juice blend, all ranging between $1.75 to $23.50.

What makes this place special though is the atmosphere itself. There are always travelers and interesting characters waiting to be encountered.


L’Escalier is located on 552 Ste-Catherine St.

Student Life

Fine dining with a touch of jazz

Strolling along St-Denis St., you begin to hear a whisper of tenor saxophone, gently guiding you down a narrow set of steps. As you pass through the door, you’re immediately engulfed by the rich tunes of Diese Onze, a cozy basement jazz club that is part bar, part French restaurant.

Diese Onze is located on 4115 St-Denis St. Photo by Maddy Hajek

Intimate dining tables are nestled around a small stage, so close that the diners feel almost on-stage with the players as they sway with the rhythm. The best view, however, is at the bar, which is directly in front of the stage. At the far end of the club, diners are provided with a flat screen feed from the stage, ensuring that no one misses the show.

The food offered at Diese Onze is deliciously exquisite, and the menu is changed regularly. The friendly waitress is always ready to give recommendations and wine suggestions. Main courses are between $15 and $22 and include dishes such as the jarret d’agneau and morue à la provençale, and an interesting variety of tapas such as the salmon tartare, and a sumptuous foie gras, ranging from $7 to $12. This is certainly not a restaurant for students on a budget, and the delicate serving sizes, while beautifully presented, might leave you hungry by the end of the night. However, fans of fine dining will appreciate the rich flavours and skillful execution of these dishes. I recommend ordering one or two tapas to share for a sophisticated yet affordable date night, or simply skip the food, and enjoy a pint at the bar for $7.

The main attraction, of course, is the live music. Each night, Diese Onze features two bands, the first playing at 6 p.m., and the second at 8:30 p.m.. Their calendar changes regularly, providing a variety of jazz styles throughout the week. Conveniently, you can read a detailed schedule on their website.

The earlier bands are usually lively swing players with a bit of funk in their rhythm. You’ll definitely be bobbing in your seat. By the end of the evening, the music mellows out to a much smoother and mature, sensual sound. This is when the club gets really crowded, and conversation is drowned out by the music. Service also becomes much slower as the wait staff struggles to serve all of the clients. Evening shows incur an $8 cover charge, which isn’t ideal for students. The earlier show is recommended as there is no cover charge, not to mention the music is a lot more fun and the atmosphere is more casual.

“I liked the first band better,” said Kara Crabb, a creative writing student at Concordia University. “The second one was kind of flat. It sounds like hotel lobby music to me.”

Diese Onze is a sharp and intimate jazz club. A place to appreciate the music, and if you can afford it, the food. It’s the perfect setting for a fancy date or anniversary night. It may hurt your wallet, but the experience is worth it!


Diese Onze is located on 4115 St-Denis St.

Student Life

Experience midnight in Berlin

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.

Student Life

Drinking from a mason jar is the only way to go

Photo by Leslie Schacter

La Distillerie, with its dark, intimate atmosphere and seemingly endless list of cocktails served up in mason jars, is every bit as unpretentious as it is trendy.

Of the three locations, I opted to quench my thirst at the original one.  With a capacity of approximately 56 people the vibe was cozy yet cool, with a spattering of tall wooden bars and low round tables to congregate at. The bar glittered with bottles of every type of alcohol conceivable and blackboards on each wall offered suggested drinks.

In the corner near the door, one of these such blackboards had Distillerie’s golden rules, from encouraging patrons to pose questions to the barman to discouraging hopeful underage drinkers (but kindly inviting them back to celebrate their 18th birthday.)

Known for its original drinks, the Distillerie menu features everything from your classic mojito, to their twist on a tequila sunrise renamed as the Yariba Yariba, to the old fashioned affectionately dubbed, the Mad Man. The bartenders, or mixologists, can fix you up pretty much anything your heart desires, if somehow you can’t find something to your taste on their extensive menu.

My heart was won, however, when several seconds after taking my seat the server set down a mason jar filled with goldfish crackers in front of me and kept them coming all night.

Distillerie publishes its own magazine, L’Alambic, featuring seasonal specialty drinks as well as their standard cocktail menu. Each season, L’Alambic focuses around a theme, and for this fall it’s burlesque. The stars of the show were concoctions based on Chartreuse, Amarula and whiskey.

Photo by Leslie Schacter

I decided to sample the seasonal Winter High Heels, made with Chartreuse, vodka, mint leaves, cranberry juice and apple cider. It was a perfect blend of herbal and sweet, and maybe went down a little too smoothly. For Distillerie’s mixologists bartending is a craft, and they don’t hold back on filling those mason jars with hefty doses of booze.

The service was attentive and it didn’t take long for our drinks to appear after ordering. With that being said, trying to flag down the server for our bill proved to be a little more difficult.

Even at 5 p.m. on a weekday, the place was pleasantly crowded with fellow student-types reaping the benefits of happy hour. Every evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Distillerie gives its patrons one more reason to slurp back a few of their cocktails: the larger 14oz mason jars are $3 cheaper. Normally the large size jars range from $17 to $19, while the smaller versions are between $8.50 and $10.

Bar-goers gave off an easy-going vibe, with small groups immersed in conversation throughout the modestly sized room. The music, an eclectic mix of early 2000s pop, was just loud enough to drown out the voices of those around you, but not too loud as to inhibit conversation around one’s own table.

The sartorial favorite of Distillerie’s patrons seemed to be plaid shirts and jeans, with the occasional appearance of ripped tights or a floral dress. It’s definitely a casual place, so if you’re looking to get dolled up and wear your most back-breaking heels, go elsewhere. However the atmosphere oozes trendiness, making it a haven for hip twenty-somethings.

La Distillerie is located on 300 Ontario St. E., 2047 Mont-Royal Ave., and 2656 Masson St.

Student Life

CEO KTV Lounge: a hidden karaoke gem

CEO Karaoke Lounge – By Andrea Sun

If you love to karaoke your heart out but haven’t consumed enough alcohol to keep your knees from knocking on stage, have no fear! CEO KTV Lounge offers a fine selection of private party rooms for groups of any size.

Located in one of the more well-hidden nooks of Chinatown, CEO is below the famous Ruby Rouge restaurant, in a basement veritably riddled with karaoke caves. It might be easy to miss, but if you’re in the know of where to look, then you’re in for a treat.

Descending into the open lounge, a fine selection of liquor catches the eye, as do the multiple wall-sized projections of karaoke videos to get newcomers in the singing mood. The couches are arranged in a square, intimate and comfortable, and are excellent for those who just want to drop in spontaneously when out with a couple of friends.

Where CEO KTV really hits their stride, however, is with their private rooms. While the small ones are cozy and can squeeze in six to ten people, the largest can easily accommodate more than thirty, if not forty.

After talking to the staff about what makes a night here particularly memorable, they answered that hands down, it’s the friendly atmosphere.

“Customers always come here and feel they know the rest of the rooms by the night,” said one employee with enthusiasm, explaining how the parties seem to always end up merging together. So for those who are social butterflies, this is the place to meet strangers and enjoy a quality glass of wine, whisky, or sake!

Except for soft drinks and beer, which are fairly standard prices, drinks are sold by the bottle. Wine ranges from $45 to $65, while hard liquor can range between $120 to $180. Renting rooms goes according to how much the final tab comes to. The small rooms are free if over $100 is spent on alcohol. The bigger rooms can go as high as $500. Although, keep in mind this is the total cost divided among possibly over thirty people.

Hope is not lost though. Students get a happy hour discount between 6 p.m. and midnight on weekdays and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends, which is the very decent cover charge of $10 including a drink. The staff advises big groups to make reservations on weekends, but welcomes spur-of-the-moment drop-ins during the week.

The kitchen offers a very basic selection of instant noodles, pork dumplings, dried squid, and chips. It’s recommended to eat beforehand, particularly if over $100 will be spent on drinks that night. With that said, Chinatown is literally on the doorstep, so it’s easy to run out for a midnight snack.

The song listings themselves are displayed on impressively new touch screen computers and are easiest to search through by artists. There are selections in English, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Vietnamese.

Check out their Halloween spirit this week for their seasonal decorations and costumes!


CEO KTV Lounge is located on 1008 Clark St.

Student Life

Pang Pang hits all the right notes

Photo by writer.

Pang Pang is two steps away from campus, making it convenient for after-class meetups. It may look small from the outside, but inside you’ll find it new and beautifully furnished, and who can ignore the immense mural in the entranceway? I’m talking golden Grecians frolicking. Once you’ve felt the touch of Bacchus, you’ll gleefully join the chorus.

Pang Pang has an impressive number of private booths available, from a cozy smaller rooms to spaces large enough to accommodate up to 22 people. Each room has its own flat-screen television, leather couches or benches, and in the larger rooms, your own coin-operated peanut dispenser. No matter what size, the rooms are comfortable enough you could easily kick back for a few hours.

“I like it because it’s intimate,” says Rosi Lutchman, a third year John Molson School of Business student and frequent Pang Pang customer. Lutchman says she likes “being in a room with friends as opposed to singing in front of a crowd full of strangers.”

Once seated, you never need to leave the room. if you want to place an order, simply press the button on the wall and a waitress will come to you. However, if you’re shy of the mic, I highly recommend a stroll down the hallway. The drunken howling of other guests will always cheer you up!

Drinks are nothing fancy, but reasonably priced at $4 to $6 for beer, $4.50 a shot, and $6.50 for mixed drinks. There are two types of rental rates, room rates and Happy Hour. The cheapest rate depends on how many people you are and the time of day. Small rooms of one to four people are rented for $25 and hour, large rooms of five to 12 people go for $30 an hour, and V.I.P. rooms of 13 to 22 people are $50 an hour. Fridays and Saturdays are $15 an hour per person.

The karaoke system can be somewhat difficult because the controller’s keys are all in Korean, but with help from the staff, you’ll get the hang of it. Most impressive was the range of songs available, with 25,000 to choose from in English alone. It isn’t all Queen and Shania Twain either. Songs are as new as PSY’s “Gangnam Style”. Although reading the lyrics is another story. Add to that a plethora of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese songs, and you’re set.

Snack offerings include chips, nachos, and fried dumplings, but with the amount of restaurants on campus, it’s more satisfying to eat elsewhere. That being said, Pang Pang is cozy, clean, and conveniently placed. Whether it’s a casual get-together or a birthday event, you’ll have a good time!


Pang Pang is located on 1226 MacKay St.


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