Restaurant Icône recently rolled out the red carpet for guests in celebration of their grand opening. An eclectic mix of people from across the city came together (as Montreal does best) for the big night as we officially welcomed the restaurant to the Main.

ICO2The chic crowd collected and chatted around the massive oval shaped bar which reaches almost all the way to the back of the restaurant. Formerly Factory and a slew of other names, Icône is the latest restaurant to occupy the coveted spot near the northeast corner of St. Laurent and Sherbrooke. Tons of tasty food was passed around while we sipped on beer, wine and bubbly throughout the evening. The bar staff kept their cool throughout the night as more and more people waltzed off the red carpet and piled into the rather interestingly decorated space.

The vibe evoked at Icône is retro cool; think 1930s nightclub with a 1980s flair. At first glance I felt like I had been transported onto the Miami location of a Billy Ocean music video shoot and the more I think about it the more I like it. The walls are adorned with some beautiful and unique artwork that adds depth to the space.

The scene is somewhat different than anything I’ve recently seen in the city while the atmosphere was mature yet fun (it’s a refreshing step away from chalkboard bistro chic or all too reliably boring chocolate, beige and blah). With all the choice that St. Laurent has to offer, time will tell if Icône will catch on with hungry Montrealers. Its prime location will certainly help draw in the crowds.

St. Laurent is a tough battle ground for new restaurants and bars and the turnover is higher than the skirts that saunter up the Main on any given night. Despite the flashy décor and the m’as-tu-vue mentality of the area, it’s the quality and inventiveness of the food and service that will prove if this place will be deserving of its lofty name.