Le Système: Dine, drink and dance on the Plaza

Le Système has opened at the corner of St-Hubert and Jean-Talon, and has instantly enchanted Montrealers looking for a new place to gather and have a good time. Le Système has two spaces, with two different atmospheres. In the front, a buvette area to eat and drink, and in the back, a dancefloor.

Upon entering, there’s a large central bar, which also hides a small kitchen. The decor is refined and thoughtful. Immediately, our eyes are drawn to the light fixture that hangs above the bar, inspired by the light columns of the legendary Studio 54 and designed by Ted Stafford. One of the bar’s co-owners, Sebastian Cowan (Arbutus Records, n10.as and Sounds Of Beaubien Ouest) had the idea while watching a documentary on the legendary New York club.

On the bar, vinyls, natural wines and small candles complete the scene. The atmosphere, while subdued at the beginning of the evening, gradually intensifies as the night goes on. The party moves to the back room, where an intimate dancefloor with an impressive sound system comes to life. Given that we love a good story, we wanted to note in passing that the sound equipment comes from an old mobile disco called Disco Lamontagne. If only the speakers could talk, they would have stories to tell!

Basically, it’s understood that music is serious business at Le Système. Julien De Grosbois (general manager), formerly of the timeless Bar Philemon, is in charge of the programming. Every night, guest DJs take to the turntables to rock the dance floor.

Le Système snack bar

In the kitchen is Joshua Lauridsen, ex-Club Chasse et Pêche, Le Filet, Garde Manger and Il Miglio, at Time Out Market. He offers a simple menu with tasty, unpretentious dishes at affordable prices. A real neighbourhood spot.

We love the potato pancake (which looks like a mille-feuille) served with homemade ketchup and mascarpone, the chimichurri shishito with Pollastrini di Anzo vintage sardines, the Arctic char rillettes with lemon cream and gnocco fritto, the smash burger with caramelized onions and aioli giardiniera… In the end, we loved pretty much everything. Well done, Josh!

A natural wine list designed by the Fleurs & Cadeaux team offers some great discoveries. We continue in the same vein as in the kitchen: a small, varied and inexpensive menu. The same goes for the cocktails. We enjoy drinks with a bitter base, and we travel to the Mediterranean with well-executed classics.

Finally, working closely with Julien on the floor, Simon St-Louis (La Buvette chez Simone) brings his signature touch to complete the team. The staff is friendly, the service is relaxed and the atmosphere is hip—just like the clientele.

Stay tuned…

Le Système will continue to evolve. In the coming weeks, they will open a terrace on the Plaza. Facing west, it promises breathtaking sunsets. In addition, the n10.as web radio station will soon set up its studios in a glass room on the first floor with a view of the room. Julien whispers that at times it will be the live radio that plays.

We love Le Système’s multidisciplinary character and are very curious to follow the evolution of this new neighbourhood hub.

You can be sure we’ll be back to Le Système, systematically!

Open Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Thursday to Saturday from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.

7119 St-Hubert Street in Montreal, H2S 2N1

Photography by Alison Slattery

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