Copacabana in Montreal
Montreal is full of bars. It’s full of great bars. Anyone who has ever visited the city is likely familiar with the Crescent St. liquor factories, has ordered cheap pitchers at a Peel Pub or has checked out the beautiful people lining up for a trendy place on St. Laurent.
When you spend 4 of your prime drinking years in Montreal like I did, you got through a type of evolution of bars. At the beginning, it is impossible not to be lured in by the siren song of the ‘All you Can Drink’ establishments that seem to have a 400:1 patron to bartender ratio. The next step (after stopping by at least 2 Peel Pubs to collect your free Birthday pitcher) is to check one of the countless bars on St. Laurent. There is something for everyone here – from pick up joints to mosh pits. When it comes down to serious drinking and laughs – you need a place with plenty of seating, cheap drinks and dim lighting to keep the amateurs at bay.
For me, as well as my nearest and dearest friends back then, that place was the Copacabana (which could not have more of an anti-Rio vibe if it tried). If you’ve seen the Oscar-winning short “Ryan”, you may recognize this place. It’s next door to the more popular Café Frappe and underneath the more (in)famous Double Deuce (where they seemed play the original version of ‘Jane Says’ every night). The Copa was the place to go when you’d had enough of the pseudo-hipster scene. As a added bonus, it was only a short 3 block walk back to my apartment on St. Urbain.
A few years ago, I was in Montreal for a conference along with one of my old McGill roommates. We decided to duck out of an afternoon session to walk around and soak up a little Montreal. Not less than a half hour later, we found ourselves sharing a pitcher at the Copa, as happy as pigs in shit. There are some things in life that just feel ‘right’.