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BYOB . . .


September 1, 2006
By Pulp & Paper Canada

One of the nicest little surprises about Montral — especially if you’re a “foodie” — is that the city abounds in restaurants that encourage you to “Apportez Votre Vin.” That is to say “Bring Your O…

One of the nicest little surprises about Montral — especially if you’re a “foodie” — is that the city abounds in restaurants that encourage you to “Apportez Votre Vin.” That is to say “Bring Your Own Wine.” Now, while “brown bagging it” may remind some people of their student days or of pot-luck suppers, you can be sure that in Montral — as always — things are a little bit different! Here BYOB has taken on a gourmet ring!

The idea of bringing a bottle of wine to a dinner out is not a new one. Long popular in Australia, BYOB eateries first appeared in Montral in the late 1970s. A loophole in Qubec’s liquor law was exploited successfully by a group of downtown restaurateurs, and in 1987, regulations were officially amended, creating a category of “serving permits” alongside regular bar licenses.

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Recently, some of Montral’s most creative chefs have taken up residence in BYOB establishments — to the delight of frequent diner-outers. After all, it’s long been recognized that the total cost of a licensed restaurant meal is often half for the food and half for the drinks. So… bringing your own wine has obvious advantages!

But what about the restaurateurs? Why would they seemingly want to reduce their take — and presumably their profits? Well, getting a liquor serving license can be a hassle, to put it mildly. Maintaining a wine cellar is expensive and takes up a lot of time and space. And some of today’s chef-owners simply want to concentrate on what they love — the food.

Montral has excellent restaurants for every taste and budget, including “bring-your-own-wine” restaurants — they usually have a sign in the window to identify them. These are primarily located in the Plateau area on Prince-Arthur and Duluth Streets. You can pick up beer and wine at convenience (dpanneurs in French) and grocery stores until 11 pm, but for a greater selection of wine, stop by a Socit des Alcools du Qubec (SAQ).

Bars and restaurants serve alcohol from 11 am to 3 am, with the exception of beer halls (brasseries in French) which serve liquor from 8 am to 1 am. The legal drinking age in Qubec is 18 years old.

Effective May 31, 2006, all restaurants and bars in Qubec are designated non-smoking.

Excerpts from: Tourisme Montral


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