Last Thursday evening we attended the launch of Terrasses Bonsecours summer event program, 100 Days/100 Nights, that will surely draw crowds all season long. Here’s our take on how the night went down.
Terrasses Bonsecours is a unique venue in Montreal with a bistro, a club, VIP booths and bottle service for thirsty Montrealers and world travellers alike. The site offers one of the most splendid views of Montreal while the swift moving current of the St. Lawerence River keeps the temperature from getting to crazy during the summer months. The structure has a Mediterranean feel with plenty of seating and lots of standing room to people watch. The view alone is worth the short trek from Old Montreal.
All signs point to the fact that I should like Terrasses Bonsecours but the reality is that the crowd is pushy, off putting and a little too flashy. I like flash as much as the next guy but the m’as tu vu attitude is too much, even for me. We can’t fault a place for the crowd it draws but there are a lot of fun terrasses in Montreal that cater to a more interesting audience. There’s also a staffing issue at Terrasses Bonsecours that hasn’t been rectified since the last time I was there and the Montrealers I spoke with mostly feel much the same way. The bar is understaffed and there are not enough waiters and waitresses working the floor. It took over 20 minutes at the bar to get a drink as the volume of people demanding service overwhelmed the three bartenders.
When we managed to get served we took our drinks to the front of the terrasse where I overheard a table of guys get angry because they had been waiting for an hour for food and only one of them had been served. Over the course of the time we were there I noticed a lot of people looking around for someone to take their orders and some actually did leave. The event itself seemed like a disorganized mess that the staff wasn’t prepared for.
At the end of the day Montreal is filled to the brim with great outdoor bars, wonderful restaurants and busy terrasses that understand Montrealer’s desire for good, sunny service. Terrasses Bonsecours might be worth a look for the view but with so much to do in Montreal, I wouldn’t waste too much time there.
Photo credit: Terrasses Bonsecours