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 enadewellington.com for details.