Bar Palco: Beautiful, tasty and fresh in Verdun

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Bar Palco opened its doors on December 19, 2016, on Wellington Street in Verdun. Opened by the determined young team of Marc-Antoine Coulombe, Isabelle Corriveau, Michael Domingue and Valérie Doucet, the neighbourhood bar quickly became a success. While Marc-Antoine and Isabelle left to focus on other projects, the current owners are still Michael and Valérie, with Charles-Étienne Bégin and Jhol Albert Lefort onboard – the same team behind the great ton-quartier project.

The name Palco comes in part from the carnival – hence the festive little bulbs that remind us of these events of attractions and rides. Palco is also a balcony, hence the ramp on the 2nd floor of the bar, and “we see the address as a stage, as much for its artistic performances as for describing the scenes of everyday life”. And so, Bar Palco is a neighbourhood bar, a meeting space and a performance stage for emerging artists.

Why did you choose Verdun to establish Bar Palco? First, because the owners were looking for a space on the outskirts of downtown and the Plateau, “that was for sure”. Secondly, the two young entrepreneurs were to finalize their business plan at the same time as the democratization of bar permits in Verdun: “it could not have come at a better time, we jumped on the opportunity.” And what a good decision! Palco is designed in the image of the neighbourhood in which it is located: “A place of exchange and celebration with a cushioned decor.

With few bars, Wellington Street has benefited from the arrival of Palco. It’s a breath of fresh air and youth on the street, and we really like it. Marc-Antoine, who studied environmental design, came up with the decor, both welcoming and cozy, with an open space and a large bar that takes up most of the space. The bar has a capacity of 175 people, with 50 on the back terrace and another 25 on the terrace on Wellington Street. That being said, the atmosphere here quickly becomes festive – note that they invite DJ’s to play on Fridays and Saturdays. At Bar Palco, they also have games, including a foosball table. “In thinking about the space, we asked ourselves what a neighbourhood bar needed to be as fun as possible. From there came the idea for the games, music stage, etc.” The bar is also on our list of places in Montreal where you can book a private room. In fact, its magnificent mezzanine can accommodate up to 30 guests for your celebrations!

Bar Palco’s clientele is quite eclectic, but one can feel a shared interest in having a drink or two and a good bite to eat.

Good food, because even if Palco remains a bar, the chef Valérie Doucet (ex Auberge Saint Gabriel), in collaboration with the company L’art des vivres, prepares a concise and enjoyable menu. There is something for everyone’s taste: several vegan and vegetarian options, meat options like the tasty beef and smoked cheddar burger, and several indulgent options to curb alcohol consumption, like their nachos or homemade roasted potato poutine. As for cocktails, Tony Thémiot is in charge of the menu here. His concoctions are undeniably among the best in town. For the wine list, it is Isabelle who takes care of it. Some private imports, some natural and organic wines, some cider options, all at fairly reasonable prices. The establishment also has a good selection of whiskies and gins, and promotes products from Quebec as much as possible.

Our favourite thing about Bar Palco is the relaxed atmosphere and the festive ambiance that prevails. The beer is good, the food well done, and the prices reasonable. If you are in Verdun or in the area, stop in for a drink. Thanks for the invitation!

Following the success of Palco, the owners have opened Bar Renard in the village. Palco is definitely a fun bar, the best indication being the throngs of people choosing it as their destination to have a good time.

Photography by L'hibou

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