Nightlife in Montreal
The legal age to purchase alcohol in Québec is 18 and the Québécois are now much more rigid in enforcing this age limit. All retail alcohol sales stop at 11PM and bars and clubs stop serving at 3AM
Quality wine and liquor (but only a small selection of imported beers) can only be purchased at SAQ shops, most of which are open until 6PM Sunday to Wednesdays and 8PM or 9PM on other days; the smaller SAQ Express outlets are open daily from 11AM to 10PM. Beer and a small selection of lower-quality wine are also sold at convenience stores (dépanneurs) and grocery stores. Some supermarkets have partnered with the SAQ to offer a few selection bottles, so if you are caught outside business hours or are in a hurry, places like IGA Extra and MÉTRO generally offer a better variety of wine than the local dépanneur.
The selection of beer to be found in grocery stores and even the humble corner store have exploded in the last decade in and around greater Montreal. Two micro-breweries in particular are world-class: McAuslan(brands include St-Ambroise and Griffon) and Unibroue (Belgian-style ales such as Blanche de Chambly, Maudite, La Fin du Monde, as well as simpler, more affordable U lagers). Boréale makes a good, if unspectacular range of brews, while Rickard's and Alexander Keith's domestics are gaining popularity among locals. Most stores also sell a few major imports such as Stella Artois, Sapporo, Guinness, Leffe and of course, Heineken.
Montreal has three main strips for bar-hopping. Rue Crescent, in the western part of downtown, caters mostly to Anglophones and tourists. It tends to be trendy and expensive. On the edge of the bar-heavy Plateau, Boulevard Saint-Laurent gets extremely busy when McGill and Concordia students are back in town for a new session. Between rue Sherbrooke and avenue des Pins you'll find trendy clubs and bars with more of a Francophone clientele. Farther up St-Laurent, it's relatively downscale and linguistically mixed. Rue Saint-Denis, between rue Sherbrooke and de Maisonneuve, is the strip with the strongest Francophone feel. There are also many good bars away from the main strips, like on Avenue Mont-Royal, and even nowadays on Rue Masson et Rue Ontario in the eastern part of town. You should never have to line up to go have a drink, because there's virtually an unlimited choice. Depending on the day of the week, the best events vary. For example, on Tuesday you should go to Les Foufounes Électriques for cheap beer and a unique experience in a Montréal institution.
Dance clubs can be found all over the downtown area, with hotspots on boulevard Saint-Laurent and rue Crescent.
- Time Supper Club, 997 rue St Jacques. The first Supper Club in the city, Time Supper Club starts as a restaurant and slowly turns into a night club.
- Saphir, 3699 Boulevard Saint-Laurent. Goth and punk nights on two floors.
- La Boom, 1254 rue Stanley. One of the trendiest club in Montreal. Be well-dressed and have a well-dressed wallet.
- Cafe Campus, 57 rue Prince-Arthur est. Best known for its Tuesday night $7 pitchers, retro music, and lack of memories.
- Club Tokyo, 3709 St-Laurent. Dress to impress. Offers various rooms with comfortable couches and an outdoor terrasse. Plays a mix of club music/retro/hip hop that will keep you dancing all night long.
- Altitude 737, 1 boulevard Rene-Lévesque. Expensive lounge club and restaurant located in the penthouse of Place Ville-Marie (the skyscraper with the rotating beacon whose lights are viewable 50 km around); offers a unique view of the city's skyline. Has a large rooftop terrace.
- Muzique 3781 Boulevard Saint-Laurent. Montreal's new high-end destination, 2 rooms and a rooftop patio overlooking Mount Royal
- La Tulipe4530 Papineau Ave
After-hours clubs, for those who aren't tired out by 3AM, are openAM-10AM. Note that they do not, by law, serve alcohol at this time.
- Stereo, 858 rue Sainte-Catherine est. Mainly plays house music and occasionally trance/techno. Stereo was once voted #5 of the top 10 clubs in the world by Muzik magazine, as it has welcomed several of the top DJs from around the world. The venue is known to have one of the best sound systems in North America. The crowd is mostly gay/lesbian depending on the night, the age ranges between 20-35, and is often at full capacity. A great place to end the night if you're still not tired after 2AM.
- Circus, 915 rue Sainte-Catherine est. Electronica and hip-hop. The most recent and most luxuriously decorated after-hour in Montreal. Lots of space and hidden corners. The crowd is a bit younger (18-25), and doesn't always pack to full capacity. The venue had welcomed a number of big DJs such as Tiesto in 2005.
- Pang Pang Karaoke Bar, 1226 rue Mackay. 514-938-8886. Very comfy rooms in a range of sizes can be hired by the hour.
- K-Karaoke, 2110 Rue Crescent. 514-903-7799. Large rooms with clean decoration.
- K-100, 1231, rue Sainte-Catherine O. 514-284-4288. Many rooms. Can be hired by the hour or at a happy hour rate.
Gay and lesbian
Montreal has as many gay and lesbian bars as San Francisco and every October on Canadian Thanksgiving (Columbus Day in the U.S.) hosts the "Black and Blue" circuit party, attracting thousands to enjoy the thrill of harder dance music and hordes of pretty, shirtless men. Most popular gay bars can be found in the city's Gay Village, located on the eastern stretch of Ste-Catherine and easily accessible by the Beaudry metro, between Amherst and Papineau. Unity, Parking (now moved and named Apollon), and Sky are the dance club favourites, while Cabaret Mado offers excellent drag performances. There are also numerous pubs, male strippers, restaurants, saunas, and karaoke in the area. The four main strippers bars are Stock,Campus, Taboo, and Adonis. The most popular sauna is Oasis. A good place to start any search is with this gay owned and operated link [www] for Montreal, Quebec, Canada with gay travel info in easy-to-use listings as a directory.