Buvette Beaubien: A natural evolution of Soda Épicerie

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Opened in the midst of the pandemic, Soda Épicerie quickly became a favourite spot for locals. Originally an épicerie-canteen, the address has gradually become a lovely little neighbourhood buvette. To mark this transformation, the owners decided to change the name to Buvette Beaubien.

While the name may have changed, the soul of the place remains intact. As soon as you enter, you feel like you’re at home.

The vision of the owners, Dominique Goupil and Martin Lamirande, was to create a neighbourhood address where everyone would feel welcome. And it seems as though they’ve succeeded: during our visit, every customer who walked through the door was greeted with their first name.

A gradual transformation

The concept of the address evolved gradually to reflect current trends and the requests of their loyal clientele. The transformation was smooth, without disrupting regulars. Their new concept has dropped the épicerie component, kept the canteen, and added the buvette, as well as a lovely patio on Beaubien Street.

This new outdoor space can accommodate twenty-five people, in addition to the forty or so seats in the dining room. Expansion projects are also underway: the kitchen will be enlarged and a second dining room will be opened at the back of the building. Dominique hopes to be able to accommodate groups in this second room, which will have a view of the kitchen.

For the time being, reservations can be made for groups in the main dining room for birthdays, wine tastings or other occasions. Everyone is welcome!

The buvette

The new buvette menu lends itself very well to groups. There is a selection of sharing platters—charcuterie, cheeses and spreads—to be enjoyed with a glass of wine in hand. The menu is simple and accessible. The same philosophy guides the choice of wines. The short and affordable wine list offers about twenty wines, ten of which are offered by the glass. “There’s no question of having a wine list with prices starting at $14 a glass!” says Dominique Goupil. “Here, we drink and eat without breaking the bank.”

In fact, the buvette proudly displays a selection of wines at very good prices, to enjoy on site or to bring home.

The canteen side

For those who love Soda Épicerie’s delectable sandwiches, rest assured that your favourites are still on the menu!

By day, the place welcomes customers to sip coffee (from ZAB roasters) with a pastry (including the famous kouign-amann from Café Hélico) or to pick up a roasted cauliflower sandwich. If time permits, you can also grab a table to eat and enjoy a local craft beer.

The art of the table

In another life, Dominique was a painter. She decided to go into the restaurant industry out of love for the art of the table, despite the pandemic. She is passionate and you can feel it. La Buvette Beaubien is a small, unpretentious restaurant with big plans. The future looks promising, and we can’t wait to follow the evolution of this beautiful address, which contributes to the charm and vitality of Beaubien Street East.

Photography by Alison Slattery — 

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