Dominion Square Tavern: 93 years young

Braised beef, homemade sausages, duck ham, salmon, pork rillettes, roast chicken...

The building that houses the Dominion Square Tavern opened as a hotel/restaurant in 1927, at the height of the roaring twenties. Roaring for some, but devastating for others. Soon after, a disastrous fire broke out at the Laurier Palace, a movie theatre on Sainte-Catherine Street, not far from the tavern, which took the lives of 78 children. This was in January, shortly before the opening of what would become the tavern. The Great Depression arrived two years after that, followed by World War II and, later still, a blaze that destroyed much of the hotel.

Nevertheless, the Dominion Square Hotel stayed the course and was able to weather those dark times. In the 1970s,the tavern became one of Montreal’s first gay bars. The city wasn’t yet known for its inclusiveness, and clients had to enter the bar through the service entrance in a discreet back alley.

Finally, in 2009, the establishment reverted to its primary vocation when it was bought by Nicole Lemelin, Alexandre Wolosianski and Alexandre Baldwin and reborn as the Dominion Square Tavern. Its original chandeliers, wall sconces, ceramic walls and terrazzo flooring take us on a time-warp back to an era of old world elegance and charm. The long stool-lined bar and the small square or rectangular tables also help evoke its brasserie roots.

The food also has a generous and comforting yesteryear feel: braised beef, homemade sausages, duck ham, salmon, pork rillettes, roast chicken. For patrons with a sweet tooth, the nutmeg donuts, stout floaters or homemade ice cream round out this refined vintage flashback!

1243 Metcalfe Street

tavernedominion.com