The Bulletin: Do SAQ employees actually know anything about wine? Bagels in South Korea? Can Montreal reduce its construction sites? [Issue #5]

The Main

The Main

December 15, 2022- Read time: 7 min
The Bulletin: Do SAQ employees actually know anything about wine? Bagels in South Korea? Can Montreal reduce its construction sites? [Issue #5]Photo: Neo Tokyo Ramen Bar

Bonjour-hi and bienvenue-welcome back to the Montreal Bulletin, The Main’s weekly collection of what’s happening, what you might have missed, and what’s to come in Montreal.

This week’s edition before we hit snooze for the holidays is all about Quebec gastronomy, DJ and VJ performances in hotshot and underground venues, and maybe—just maybe—a way to alleviate the eyesore we call construction.

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Upcoming Events You Won’t Want to Miss

Click into each tab below to find out what's what this weekend in Montreal.


  • There’s a holiday market going down at Crew Collective & Cafe where 20 local brands and artisans will sell their goods from 11am to 6pm as the on-site kitchen gets cooking.
  • Get your holiday beers here! Place orders for special limited editions from the Lachine Canal’s go-to brewery for weird and wild suds, the one and only Messorem Bracitorium and their 12 Days of Dead Christmas.
  • Discover handmade products by local artists, from pottery and body care to gourmet treats and home accessories, at the last weekend for Puces POP Édition Hivernale 2022.
  • The festive holiday outdoor gatherings of Noël dans le Parc continue with a live performance from Valence on the Fourth Day of Christmas.


  • Over at the Musée-des-Beaux-Arts, discussions continue on the works of Basquiat and the various cultural issues addressed in the exhibition like the quest for success, need for recognition and importance of celebrating our heroes.
  • There are few better ways to work up a sweat during these colder months than attending dance parties at Bar Le Ritz PDB; luckily, there’s one going down this Saturday.
  • Shake off the ice with AFROTONIK, the last dance party of the year at la SAT before their NYE party; there’ll be over a half-dozen VJs and DJs performing, ending the year on high note “with a fire lineup.”
  • Come early and stay late: Deeplomatic will be playing a selection around Deep House and its influences at the undercover spot Barbossa alongside a LOT of VJs.
  • Get shopping during the last weekend of one of the city’s longest running craft fairs, the Salon des Métiers d’Arts, featuring over 350 exhibitors at the Montréal Olympic Stadium.


  • Griffintown's Mano Cornuto is throwing an outdoor winter wonderland market on their back terrasse; accompanied by regular lunch service.
  • Get a look at either Last minute, an immersive installation around the concept of a single minute stretched out in time, the new listening room Habitat Sonore, or the award-winning VR works of Horizons VR over at the Phi Centre.
  • Relive a piece of Montreal Christmas history by checking out the 70-year-old mechanical displays of Ogilvy’s department store window for free outside the McCord Stewart Museum.
  • Downtown Montreal’s biggest Christmas market, Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal, is still just as holly, jolly, and open to explore on weekends as it’s always been. Catch some holiday feels.

Montreal News: What You Need to Know

A weekly round-up of the latest local news, from food and entertainment to current affairs.

Wait, do SAQ employees actually know what they’re talking about when they give advice?

Shots fired: Journalists decided to look into whether or not the impromptu sommeliers that make up the SAQ’s employees actually knew their wines. It’s not exactly a scathing review, but it does shed some light on the amount of training they receive before they put that Chianti in your hands. (Métro)

Les employés de la SAQ s’y connaissent-ils vraiment en vin?
Le rôle de la SAQ est de gérer le commerce des boissons alcoolisées partout dans la province. Le vin, c’est donc son affaire (littéralement!), mais quand vient le moment de choisir une bouteille, est-ce que ses employé.e.s sont vraiment de bon conseil?

Alberta man opens Montreal-style bagel shop in South Korea

After training and learning the craft in Montreal, Wayne Kim brought our city’s world-famous food to Calgary under the name of Wayne’s Bagels before opening up in Seoul’s affluent Gangnam neighbourhood. Turns out it’s not just locals who love it, but expats from Canada as well. (Maclean’s)

This Alberta man brought the Montreal bagel craze to Korea
Wayne Kim fell in love with Montreal’s signature food from three time zones away. He brought it halfway across the world.

Montreal’s no man’s land approach to construction zones could see makeovers

One of our city’s greatest exports isn’t only food, but photos of disastrous construction site scenery, where undetermined paths run through seas of orange pylons and precarious wooden bridges are placed over sidewalk gaps. Montreal, however, plans to find new ways to tackle these eyesores.  (La Presse)

Multiplication des cônes orange | Montréal veut changer ses pratiques
Rues difficilement navigables, arrêts de bus déplacés, commerces inaccessibles : la multiplication des balises de signalisation continue de rendre la vie de nombreux Montréalais difficile. Consciente des désagréments, l’administration Plante planche sur une série de mesures pour réduire l’impact des…

How French and English literati have explored their hometown Montreal

There’s a rich underlying tapestry of works paying tribute to the city and its landscapes from some of the city’s greatest writers, and this post is a good way to start diving into them, seeing the streets and sights from angles you may not have discovered before.

A Walker’s Notebook in Montreal: Daily Splendour of the City
For this first literary post, find the book "Carnet d’un promeneur à Montréal" by our policy director Dinu Bumbaru.

Stronger, bigger, faster, greener

The city will expand Mount Royal Park by three hectares thanks to a transfer of land on the site of the former Royal Victoria Hospital. Roughly 290 parking spaces located around the Smith House will also be removed and greened. (Le Devoir)

Le parc du Mont-Royal sera agrandi
Quelque 40% des places de stationnement situées sur la montagne, soit environ 290, seront retirées et verdies.

Gritty, cyberpunk genre meets futuristic Japanese noodle bar in Old Montreal

A new cyberpunk-inspired noodle bar, Neo Tokyo, finally opened its doors inside the same building that houses Google’s new office address of 425 Viger. A meal there is meant to conjure the famous noodle bar scene from Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner on the streets of a technologically advanced Los Angeles. (Eater Montreal)

Old Montreal Just Got a ‘Blade Runner’ Remake in Cyberpunk Ramen Bar Neo Tokyo
Gritty science fiction meets reality at this long-awaited, futuristic Japanese noodle bar

Could downtown’s towers of offices be converted into homes?

With the sheer amount of vacancies in Montreal’s downtown core, the city is starting to look at the adaptive retrofit of its building to additionally address the housing crisis. They’re still only at the strategy phase, but the worst part is that they’re staunchly against turning buildings like Place Ville Marie into apartments. Bummer. (La Presse)

Montreal participant on Netflix’s Drink Masters recreates the experience in his hometown

Tao Zrafi, one of the finalists on Netflix’s Iron Chef-esque mixology show Drink Masters is currently creatively directing the beverage program at a new Little Burgundy bar called Baby, and it’s a cocktail tasting menu that’s… a little more than interesting. (MTL Blog)

A Beaconsfield café is the perfect spot to, well, talk about death

It’s called a Death Café, where monthly gatherings at a library are conversation opportunities to discuss the oft-uncomfortable topic of death. It’s not necessarily a grief counseling session, however; it’s just to talk about death as a topic of interest and getting different people’s perspectives on it. (CBC Montreal)

Violence is rampant among youth in Montréal-Nord—so what do we do about it?

A lot of intervention plans are underway in the northern borough of the city where violent crimes have been rising, but the question remains about whether or not it’s going to have a considerable impact on the rates. It needs funding anyhow from various levels of government including the ​​city, province and at the federal echelon. (Journal Métro)

Esplanade Tranquille levels up this winter with projection mapping at free skating rink

Finally, not only is downtown’s Au Bord du lac Tranquille a bonafide spot for people to get on the ice this season, they’re also doing some cool projection mapping art this winter that responds to how you glide on the ice.

Au bord du lac Tranquille de Mirari et Normal Studio, dans le cadre de Luminothérapie © Ulysse Lemerise / OSA

And with this edition, we’re wrapping things up for 2022, but we’ll be back with more curiosities, locals’ stories, and moments to discover in January 2023.

Stay tuned, and happy new year Montreal!

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