Saturday, March 17, 2012

Finally Drinks in Verdun ? ( Yea Like that was always a problem)-lol More Like "Careful What You Wish For"

I don't know where they get this only since 1965,because Verdun was always a (tongue in cheek) Dry Town,....even my oldman voted against allowing bars in Verdun (like he never had a drink- lol) ..on one of my trips back to visit ,I sat at an outdoor patio & had a beer (maybe more) with no food order,besides it was a hot summer night,that place was on Verdun Avenue ,I'm gonna guess and say around west of Egan ??? I think ( well it's not like i was doing a geographic study.. lol) and even back in the early 70's ,anyone could sit in the back 'dining' room of the 5th av restaurant on Wellington,and have a few wobbly pops,without cluttering the table with food stuff.....hahahaha  However they now feel they have broken some  barrier, I think the term "Careful What You Wish For" applies here.....I do think though that a well run neighborhood pub,could do well,and allow locals to venture out for a walk & have a couple beverages of choice,with no need to drive,since you can walk almost anywhere in Verdun in short order. Cheers ! HF&RV - Les                         What does a Verdun resident have to do to get a drink? Come May, the answer will be, "not much."

The owners of Benelux, a lower Plateau craft brew pub, will open Verdun's first watering hole, also called Benelux, on Wellington St. near de l'Église St. before the summer.

"Finally, after more than 50 years, it will be possible to have a drink without having a (meal) at the same time," says Verdun local development commissioner Alain Laroche.

A 1965 ban on bars, and temperance laws before that, kept Verdun a partially dry neighbourhood for nearly a century until last July, when zoning bylaws were revised to permit one microbrewery each for Verdun and Nuns' Island. Benelux's owners were the first to apply for the exclusive spot on Wellington St.

"We had studied the possibility of setting up in one of the neighbouring areas for several years, so we didn't hesitate to respond to the call, especially since Verdun was specifically looking to offer this chance to a microbrewery," says Benelux coowner and brewer Benoit Mercier.

The zoning change permitting brew pubs, or establishments that brew beer on premises, is owed to Montreal's 2010 master plan, which underlined the need to commercially develop Wellington St. in response to Verdun's recent and dramatic demographic shifts.

"The majority of our new clientele (since 2005) is people between 25 and 35 years old, mainly from the Plateau Mont Royal. People who are moving to Verdun, people who are buying condos," Laroche says. "If it's possible to have a drink closer to home, I think they'd appreciate it."

The introduction of a brew pub to Wellington St. is a good step forward, says Société de développement commercial Wellington director Billy Walsh. It fills a long-standing demand for a place to drink in Verdun - over 30 years, says Laroche - and according to Walsh, helps diversify the services Verdun's main commercial artery has to offer.

What Walsh and Laroche don't want, though, is for Wellington St. to turn into a nightlife destination like nearby Notre Dame St. W. in Little Burgundy. According to a Verdun's urban-planning department employee, the amended zoning bylaw stipulates microbreweries must be at least 1,500 metres apart.

Benelux will remain mainland Verdun's sole purveyor of beer for at least the next few years; the borough wants to wait and see if, and how, having a brew pub will change Verdun. Until then, Benelux's Mercier says they'll be pleased to offer its "quality craft beers, brewed on site, to people of the southwest in a place that promises to meet the highest expectations."

Benelux will boast its beers March 24, 25, 31 and April 1 at Wellington St.'s urban sugar shack. Visit prom for details.


Les F said...

Kristian Gravenor got it right I think ( at least I agree with his blog) on Coolopolis
check it out ,it's an interesting blog.
Here is what he had to say................ the media got it so wrong
It was widely-reported this week that Verdun overturned a 47-year-old bar ban. That news had me scratching my head as Verdun has always been dry.
I suspect researchers got that date from Wikipedia's Verdun page which has a link to a City of Montreal page stating that Verdun banned bars in a bylaw passed November 24, 1965.
But in fact, quite the opposite happened that day. Verdun held a vote in which a majority of 319 voters favoured allowing liquor sales in restaurants, much to the consternation of Mayor George O'Reilly, who wanted a continued ban. The vote went 4,739 in favour of he wets and 4,720 for the drys. It was thought that it would be good for the development of the motel industry in Nuns Island but apparently nothing really happened in spite of the referendum.
So how long has Verdun actually been dry? Approximately forever but in actual fact since 1919.
There might have been sporadic tolerances for booze sales at certain social events, such as at the Legion, but even they were busted occasionally. And at one much-vilified party in 1958 91 teens were fined $35 for drinking.
Mayor George O'Reilly said that the ban stems from the brief and sporadic Montreal postwar prohibition. Verdun participated in a local referendum on the subject and went dry and the mayor felt those rules still applied.
Specifically he was referring to a vote on Jan. 30, 1919, in that referendum 2,168 people voted and made Verdun dry at a rate of about two-to-one.
(Here's an excellent, enthusiastic overview from the New York Times about Montreal's various approaches to liquor control after WWI.)
This article from 1964 claims that cancelling prohibition in Verdun would cost $1-million a year to the city. And here's an article describing Verdun as a "dry city"... from 1913.
So Verdun was pretty much always without real bars.
That was a selling point for its development as it lured residents from the Point whose wives wanted their husbands to stay out of the bars, thus moving them one neighbourhood to the west. There were, as a result, lots of bars just outside of Verdun's borders, such as over the aqueduct in Cote St. Paul and along Wellington.
Whether it's a good idea to put them there now is another question. It's a pretty normal thing to do and there are a lot of good people down there but there are also a lot of mental cases with major drug problems, sad to say.
Checkout Kristian site..:
want to know a Verdun Connection of Kristian's ....his oldman bought & sold Nun's Island that's a Verdun Connection anyway you look at it...
Cheers ! HF&RV - Les

Suzanne Olsten said...

when I was a kid my father just phoned the grocery store on the corner of 4th and bannantyne and ordered a dozen beer and a kid would deliver it on a bike ,I wonder what hapen to those days back in the 1940 's those were the days and they would sit on the balcony and drink his beer S.Niding

Les F said...

Yes they did, not only that but the local grocery store would put a case on your wagon for you to take home to the oldman if need be. HF&RV -Les