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

Where to go out this fall

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

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.

Resonance Café

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

Student Life

Bars, ghost hunters and small towns: Revisiting family roots

When you’re a kid, you hear the tales as you sit around the campfire; when you’re hiding in an attic during a game of hide and seek; as you lay in your friend’s bed in the middle of the night. Tales of ghosts, spirits, otherworldly creatures who exist seemingly only in fables… Or do they?

A few weeks ago, I spent the afternoon in the small town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, where I lived out my high school years. Or, as I like to call it, PTSD-ville. It’s a tiny place, everyone knows each other (if you could see me right now, I would be air-vomiting). My family owns half of the businesses on the main street in the old part of town. Unsurprising, then, that each and every time I swing by, I bump into someone I know. Think Stars Hollow, but French and obsessed with craft beer.

On this particular day, I was showing my lover around town with my cousin and her boyfriend. Over lunch, she casually mentioned how there were “ghost hunters” coming to hunt the ghosts at one of our family’s businesses: a bar in a three-storey building that used to be a bank–the basement full of old vaults and stairways to nowhere. The third floor, where half of the furniture I inherited is stored, looks, smells and feels like something out of a Saw movie.


This isn’t the first time something utterly ridiculous was taking place at one of our bars without my knowledge–once, Patrick Dempsey was there to film a scene from The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair. Yes, you read that correctly. Dr. McDreamy himself.

I was fuming. But at least this time, I happened to be in town. Ghosts definitely aren’t as cool as McDreamy, but I’ll take what I can get.

When the ghost hunters arrived, I made my way over to the bar. They were in the basement in one of the vaults when I got there. They had knickknacks and doodads and whatsits galore–your standard flashlights, a few blinky things that are supposed to light up when a spirit presents itself, a machine that was, I think, supposed to shriek in the event of detecting energy, and a radio.

My boyfriend and I stared as they asked the spirit they were talking to–supposedly, a woman who kept the bank back in the 1930s–if she wanted us to leave the basement. The flashlight flicked on. We swiftly packed up and went upstairs.

We moved from floor to floor. The flashlights lit up most consistently. When they did, the hunters would ask the ghosts to step away from the light–to follow their voices to turn it back off. They hesitated sometimes, but seemingly always did. Other times, we managed to pick up a voice, or two, or three on the radio. The hunters wanted them to answer what I thought were pretty elaborate questions for the dead, such as “Did you work in the first bank that was here, or the bank that was here after that, or the bar?” Unfortunately, interdimensional signal was not superb, so it was hard to tell what they were saying, but there did seem to be voices.

My uncle, who works at the bar several nights per week, organized this whole affair. Given his personality, none of us were surprised. His wife died on Christmas Day back when my cousins and I were little kids, and his sister–my mom–died on Christmas Eve when we were all teenagers. Both of them spent a lot of time at the bars during their time on earth, which is probably what drew me to this whole ghost-hunting affair, outside of how cool it sounded.

Retrospectively, I have no idea what I was thinking in those moments, as the flashlights flickered on and off seemingly in response to questions the hunters asked. Surely, a quick Google search could debunk all of this bologna.

But whatever part of me believes in spirits hoped that if my mom were around, she’d let it be known. This was especially true when the hunters set up shop on the third floor–all of the knickknacks during that “session,” if you will, sat on her old furniture that I have yet to collect.

But of course she didn’t give me a sign.

I don’t know what I heard that night. I don’t know what I saw that night. I don’t even really know what I felt that night. All I know is for someone who can’t sleep after watching ghost movies, I wasn’t freaked out… and that my mom sure as heck was not in the building.

If spirits on earth are real and my mom is around, that bar is the last place I think she’d be spending her version of time. Well, maybe not the last place, but definitely not the first. My best guess is her cottage–a little shack in the woods in the mountains that my brother and I inherited but failed miserably to maintain. The perfect hangout for a cool mom angel.

But I’m definitely not judging where the dead choose to hang out, and if any ghosts are reading this, I REALLY LIKE YOUR OUTFIT.


Graphics by @sundaeghost

Student Life

Bartender Banter: The scoop on gin

The director of Montreal’s only gin pub gives the rundown on what’s good

This week, we are talking gin. I could talk about my love of gin for hours. Its bitterness, its versatility, its oomph. As a bartender, I have a lot of fun creating and mixing with gin. Anything that vodka can do, gin can do better, in my opinion.

When I found out a gin bar existed in Montreal a few years ago, I quickly became a frequent visitor.

Inside of Le Pourvoyeur. Photo by Danielle Gasher

Le Pourvoyeur, located at 184 Jean Talon St. East, in the Jean Talon market, offers over 125 different kinds of gin to drink on the rocks or in your favourite cocktail.

Stéphane Bernard is the associate director of the gin pub, which opened six years ago. Bernard and I talked cocktails and favourite gins. But before I give you all the scoop, let’s go through some basics.

What is gin?

Gin is a spirit derived primarily from juniper berries. Gins usually include other botanicals, such as coriander, lemon peel, orange peel, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg. The difference in flavour from one kind of gin to another largely depends on the balance between botanicals.

How is it made?

Gin, funnily enough, is technically flavoured vodka. Gin is made from the distillation of a neutral grain alcohol, the botanicals mentioned added after. Vodka is just made from distilled grain like wheat, rye or potatoes. In other words, gin is way more awesome. Technically speaking, gin has a more complex flavour.

Some recommendations

As with any drink, people have their favourites. For gin lovers who prefer coarser, more bitter gins, Bernard recommends the Filliers Dry Gin 28, a Belgian gin barrel-aged in a bourbon barrel for added depth and intensity. The gin takes its name from the 28 botanicals used to distill the alcohol, including Belgian hops, angelica root, allspice and fresh oranges. Le Pourvoyeur uses this gin to make one of Bernard’s favourite cocktails: the gin old-fashioned. The drink is made the same way as the classic old-fashioned, but with gin instead of bourbon.

Alternatively, Bernard recommends Juniper Green gin. This London gin is organic, and has a dominating pine flavour.

The pub has more than 100 options of gin to choose from. Photo by Danielle Gasher

For the lover of softer, more subtle-tasting gins, Bernard recommends Brockmans gin. It is subtly bitter with light floral notes. Bernard says it’s the perfect gin to drink on its own, over ice.

Bernard also says to take advantage of all the awesome Quebec gins available at the SAQ, and at his pub, of course. These include Ungava, Saint-Laurent, Piger Henricus, Romeo’s gin and Neige.

Mixing it up

The pub’s cocktail menu includes all the classics, from a Negroni to a Pimm’s Cup. But it also has some funkier, delicious options to try, such as the Earl Grey G&T or the cocktail of the month, the Gold n’ Ginger. This special drink is a mix of Botanivore gin, cognac, ginger syrup, thyme, an egg white and fresh lemon. One of Bernard’s favourites is the Piger Bloody Caesar. The classic bloody is made with a Quebec gin, the Piger Henricus, instead of plain ol’ vodka. The gin flavour really elevates the clamato flavour and the spiciness of the drink.

Student Life

The name behind your Montreal nights out

Zach Macklovitch talks Saintwoods and his rise up the nightlife ladder

If you live in Montreal and enjoy all the city’s nightlife scene has to offer, the name Zach Macklovitch undoubtedly rings a bell. At 27, he and his partner, Nathan Gannage, have successfully made St-Laurent Street the go-to place for the best parties.

Their promotional brand, Saintwoods, takes on an array of roles including event curation, artist management, design and branding for bars and clubs around the city.

The duo also co-owns Suwu, Apt. 200 and École Privée, all hot-spot bars in the Plateau.

Walking into the interview, I expected to meet a young, successful guy with a big ego and the words “big shot” written across his forehead. To the contrary, I was faced with an extremely gracious entrepreneur.

“I’m blessed,” Macklovitch said. “I don’t think about my failures or successes very often because until you’re at your peak, it doesn’t make a difference.” This humble tone carried throughout the interview, perhaps one of the crucial reasons for his rapid success.

Photo by Philip Tabah

“I started working in clubs at around 16 years old. Montreal was different back then—it was easy to get into trouble and I did,” he said.  Despite his “bad boy” side, Macklovitch is also a self-proclaimed nerd—a participant of Model UN— an academic competition where students learn about diplomacy and international relations—and a graduate from Concordia University on the honour roll with a BA in political science and philosophy.

“I got to university thinking I didn’t want to be a club promoter forever. Fast-forward, and I have ended up in the same industry. But I like to think I took the critical thinking I learned and applied it to what I do,” Macklovitch said.

By 21, the entrepreneur held the title of marketing director at TIME nightclub, and had just met Gannage, who started the Saintwoods brand straight out of McGill University.

Over the next few years, the venues grew and evolved.  “We [organized] deep house shows at Velvet, and rap concerts at TELUS Theatre and Belmont,” Macklovitch said.

Their names were now on club promoters’ radars. The popular dance club New City Gas approached the team with the following task: to get Anglophones under 27 excited about the venue. Thanks to their promotional abilities and entrepreneurial mindset, they succeeded.

By 23, Macklovitch had already opened Suwu, and was onto his next venture: Apt. 200.

Today, both bars are known for their unique atmosphere. Macklovitch said he pulls inspiration from the places he’s travelled, such as New York, parts of Europe and Toronto, for the look and vibe of his bars.

Macklovitch said Suwu aims to create a friendly neighbourhood vibe for the lower Plateau. Apt. 200, on the other hand, focuses on a house party vibe.

“People wanted a higher-energy place but they didn’t want to be at a nightclub,” Macklovitch said.

Success often comes with challenges. But for Macklovitch, these challenges only fuel him. Initially, École Privée drew inspiration from the underground scene Macklovitch experienced in Berlin and Paris. He wanted to bring this scene’s vibe to the mainstream.

“I think we understood our level of success when we started getting international attention,” he said. Macklovitch attributes a great deal of his accomplishments to his tight-knit team. Part of that circle includes Alex Mactavish, Saintwoods’ director of operations. Mactavish attributes Macklovitch’s rise to success to both his work ethic and personality.

“He’s always working, even when it looks like he’s not. That kind of hustle always pays off in the long-run,” Mactavish said.

But the nightlife industry isn’t easy.  While a club might be all the rage one day, it is likely to be beaten out the next. Trends change and people follow—begging the question: will the brand Zach has created be able to survive?

Mactavish said it’s all about “staying ahead of the curve.” He believes Saintwoods’ “ability to identify and react to cultural trends is crucial.”

Macklovitch confirmed Saintwoods is always looking to expand. With a lifestyle merchandise brand recently released and an upcoming branded vodka, it is clear Macklovitch is planning for the future.

Perhaps he has found the key to longevity in this fast-moving industry—going against traditional business structures and reinventing Montreal nightlife.

Student Life

Bar Brutus doesn’t bring home the bacon

New specialty bacon restaurant on Beaubien Street is better in theory than in practice

Ah, bacon: the food that transcends simple culinary appreciation. Bacon has become an internet and cultural phenomenon, with bacon bookmarks, bacon t-shirts and – at long last – bacon bars.

In theory, Bar Brutus’s local beer, good cocktails and bacon as far as the eye can see sound like a dream come true. Decorated as it is with a vibe devoted to old barber shops, and having  a monopoly over Quebec’s bacon vodka supply, you’d think it would be hard to dislike Brutus.

But somehow, they managed to make it possible.

Walking in, the bar is absolutely beautiful. The ceiling is covered in stylized tin tiles, with exposed brick along one wall, hardwood floors and beautiful antique lamps hanging from the ceiling. The exposed vents give a touch of that modern, industrial look. Topped off with warm lighting and purple accents, Bar Brutus is a gorgeous establishment.

Unfortunately, that is where my appreciation ended.

If the first thing you notice is the stunning décor, then the second is the noise. I’m no amateur when it comes to bars, but last time I checked, blaring music was typically reserved for clubs. I don’t think I would have been so bothered if the music  fit the bar’s gentlemanly vibe  – Classical? Jazz? 1960s crooners? – but what I got instead was pop and club music. After we were seated, my companion and I each had to lean halfway over the thin table to hear each other – and even then, it was touch and go.

Know what made it even worse? Screaming. Apparently, Bar Brutus has private rooms in the back. I don’t know what was happening back there, but every couple of minutes  a chorus of women would start to holler. Imagine what a drunken bachelorette party must sound like, and you have a reasonable approximation. In a small bar like that, the sound was impossible to escape. Why the management didn’t ask them to be quiet, I will never know.

Still, with bacon waiting for us, we were not to be  deterred.  We ordered three main courses for the two of us: the KD balls, the bacon sushi and their famous Jaegermeister poutine.

Unfortunately, I felt that all three could be summed up in a single word: average. The KD balls (made of deep fried macaroni and cheese) was simply what was advertised. The quality of the mac ‘n cheese wasn’t great, and made me wish they had used actual Kraft Dinner.

The bacon sushi was the dish I was particularly excited for, but I was disappointed to find the bacon was pink and nearly raw. In addition, none of the ingredients inside the sushi had been changed to complement the bacon: shockingly, raw bacon and traditional Japanese ingredients don’t go well together.

As for the poutine – well, I can think of many places in Montreal where you can get a better one. The sauce tasted a little too strongly of Jaegermeister for me, and the cheese curds were too sparse. I couldn’t even taste the bacon that was supposedly inside.

Each main course was $10, tax included, and the drinks were affordable (although a Coke will run you $5). With the exception of my waitress, the wait staff seemed extremely competent, and I often relied on them, flagging them down to take my order. I only met my waitress when she brought me the bill, and then she was surly and rude.

All in all, I was happy to stumble back outside onto Beaubien. I don’t think I will ever return to Bar Brutus – they, simply put, did not bring home the bacon.

Bar Brutus is located at 1290 Rue Beaubien E.

Student Life

Hats off to the master brewer

When walking along the streets of St. Laurent Blvd., one can easily find a place to dine, shop or party. However, every so often a spot stands out amongst all the flashy lights, restaurants and dive bars.

Next time you’re walking North on St. Laurent, try something new; take a right onto Duluth and step into Le Reservoir, a bar that stands out for its excellent house-brewed beers and its irresistible snack bar.

The two story bar offers a pub setting and ambiance that would easily fit in the trendy hipster neighbourhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Both floors are equipped with their very own bar, as well as an L-shaped, non-smoking terrace which wraps around the second floor. The interior design of the place is retro with just the right amount of lighting to set the perfect mood over a pint of any one of their fine beers.

Upon being seated, my girlfriend and I ordered off their chalk-written menu hanging above the bar. I ordered their white India Pale Ale, and my girlfriend ordered the cherry beer. Both came rather fast as they were skillfully poured before our eyes.

Through the glass wall behind the bar, the clientele can easily see the room where the giant metal containers called “worts” are kept. These massive containers house the delicious beer as it ferments in all its glory.

I have been yearning to go to Le Reservoir and try their beers crafted by their master brewer Nathan McNutt—beers that I can now happily say exceeded my expectations.

“The most rewarding part of my job is seeing people enjoy my work while at the same time fulfilling my passion for creation,” says McNutt. “Combining my skills, creativity, and toil with raw ingredients and machinery to make a delicious product that many people enjoy; I just don’t get tired of that.”

By the end the evening I had tried four of his beers and as a result, must encourage anybody who appreciates a well-rounded beer to head over there next time they want a quality pint.

I may not be a beer expert, but I can say that their white IPA was a refreshing pint filled with taste and character, and their Irish-inspired black beer was a full-bodied pint with a perfect coffee flavour finish. Even my girlfriend’s cherry beer was not just a simple, pretty coloured beer. It is fermented twice with polished cherries, resulting in a savoury beer worthy of being served along the other outstanding choices.

“Reservoir up until recently focused solely on classic styles of beer as opposed to the more fashionable aggressively hopped beers or strong exotically flavoured beers found in other brewpubs,” says McNutt.

While their beers may be filling and satisfying on their own, craving food after a few drinks is expected. Thankfully, Le Reservoir has a kitchen.

The place is well known for its weekend brunch which is supposedly superb. However, I went on a weeknight and so I got a chance to indulge in their snack menu.

I ordered the calamari platter and my girlfriend the Gruyere grilled cheese, toasted to perfection with marinated onions and apple butter. Both plates held decent portions and were creatively served. The grilled cheese was placed on a wood platter and the calamari served in a mason jar. Turns out we chose wisely as the food perfectly complimented the beer.

Overall, the place provided an ambiance and vibe that is different from many bars in Montreal. It is original and versatile in the sense that it is a cool place for a late night drink, yet perfect for an afternoon snack or weekend brunch. They offer a fine selection of beers and spirits at reasonable prices, and their food menu changes daily for a fresh and impressive experience. I love this place and I highly suggest you head on over and try it for yourself!

Student Life

Settle in at Comme Chez Soi

Image from Flickr.

Though there’s no lack of great bars in this university city, it was only a matter of time before Montreal would welcome a speakeasy to the Mile End neighborhood. With the 1920s re-emerging in fashion and cinema, like Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, there couldn’t have been a better time to give people a little sense of rebellion.

Le Comme Chez Soi – its inviting name urging clients to act as they would at home – is a luminous cave enriched with mahogany and statement pieces that were either inherited or bought at an estate sale.

The bar is filled with a variety of round and square wooden tables, accommodating any party size. The room is long and narrow with bright antique lamps. An eye-catching upright piano is centered along a stonewall decorated with black and white photos of strangers of the past. If you decide to visit on the weekend, you won’t be surprised to hear a few bluesy tunes that are great company to a good conversation.

The bar is filled with a variety of beers and whiskies. While I appreciate a good scotch on the rocks, it’s hard to order anything else aside from their bloody caesars. It’s fresh with just the right amount of spice and it’s always served with at least three big olives and an onion – the best I’ve had in Montreal!

While the bar may be what you’re looking for, I would suggest giving a glance at the menu and going for the burger. Made with bison meat and dressed with Roquefort cheese and bacon, Le Comme Chez Soi has earned a reputation for having one of the best burgers in the Mile End.

Aside from adding a terrace, this bar could also use an improvement in their service. Considering the room is quite intimate, it was sometimes difficult to get the attention of the waiters chilling by the bar.

Le Comme Chez Soi is nicely lit, has a wonderful ambiance and is filled with people in deep in conversation. It’s the perfect place to take a break from the rowdiness and dancing, and get a feeling of what it must have been like in 1920s!

Le Comme Chez Soi
5386 St Laurent
Montréal, QC H2T 1A5
(514) 277-0100



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