The Bulletin: Mafia patrons shut down a local brasserie, a Mile End landmark retrofit, a research school beach party, Montreal’s new Holocaust museum, and other oddities [Issue #10]

The Main

The Main

February 2, 2023- Read time: 8 min
The Bulletin: Mafia patrons shut down a local brasserie, a Mile End landmark retrofit, a research school beach party,  Montreal’s new Holocaust museum, and other oddities [Issue #10]

From a pizzaghetti party and a fight club inside a swimming pool to local media seeing shutdowns and cutbacks and a Montreal-themed restaurant opening in Washington, D.C., this edition of The Main’s Montreal Bulletin—a collection of what's happened, what’s happening, and what’s to come in and around Montreal—is going to be a weird one.

And not that we mean to sound like your parents, but try to stay warm during this weekend’s cold snap.  Those of you heading out can check this out for inspo:


#montreal #quebec #canada #ski #canada_life🇨🇦

♬ son original - Ammi Amine

Weekend events you don’t want to miss

Friends or family visiting from out of town? Or just looking for a good time? We've got you covered.


  • The Lachine Canal’s got a new winter festival by the name of Montréal Boréal: Le Jam du Nord, where over a dozen artists—plus axe throwing—is happening for free in Saint-Henri. (A giant heated dome has been set up to keep everyone nice and toasty.)
  • Martha Wainwright’s performance venue Ursa is hosting an evening of jazz records all night long, from hard-bop, fusion, soul-jazz, jazz-funk, acid jazz to broken beat and modern jazz.
  • An immersive performance at Society for Arts and Technology (SAT), CLOUD BODIES, will combine dance and tech to explore the body as landscape and with virtual spaces.
  • Led by conductor Francis Choinière, the FILMharmonic Orchestra returns for a 3rd installment of the spectacular concert Music at the Movies featuring soundtracks from a lot of classic films.
  • Have your mind blown during the final weekend for the International Digital Art Biennial (BIAN) and two dozen international artists’ at Arsenal Contemporary Art Museum.


  • There may be blood over at Bain Mathieu as they host the Caged Ape Fight Club, where 14 fights between influential stars will step into the ring against one another for one wild and weird night.
  • Whatever’s got you down, dance it off as famed American riddim and dubstep DJ and producer Adam Puleo, better known by his alias Wooli, will be performing at MTelus.
  • Catch a free swing jazz show inside the Anglican church-turned-performance venue of Centre St Jax when Jeff Moseley & The Django Messengers take to the stage.
  • Sparks will fly as you pay a free visit to the local blacksmith shop—no fooling—of the Forges de Montréal, where you’ll tour and get to attend a workshop to create an object at the forge.
  • After sold out screenings in Montreal, NYC and Toronto in the fall of 2022, you’ve got a chance to catch the award-winning documentary Big Fight in Little Chinatown in theatres this weekend.


  • Drink up $5 martinis and take a caviar bump or two over at the swish restaurant and bar Kabinet, where the décor’s styled after turn-of-the-century European bistros.
  • Take an immersive two-hour sound bath in Saint-Henri where you’ll reach states of deep relaxation, get in touch with inner peace, and nourish mind, body and spirit.
  • La Poutine Week is back for another year until February 7th, and there are more than 91 of them to choose from across the city. Pick one, pick three—whatever you want to carb load.
  • Over at the Montreal Art Center and Museum, they’ll be screening the big hopeful for the 95th Academy Awards, Everything Everywhere All at Once (and the ticket includes wine).
  • This one makes for good comfort food: Reservations are going quick for Elena’s 5th anniversary pizzaghetti party featuring Marc-Olivier Frappier of Mon Lapin presiding over the kitchen.

What you need to know

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

Big cuts coming to one of the city’s biggest newspapers

Postmedia announced that it would cut 11% of its Canadian editorial staff, but when it comes to the Montreal Gazette, that amounts to as much as 10 full-time writers—a 25% reduction of the newspaper’s workforce. The upside is a predicted rise in community newspapers in the city. (CBC Montreal)

Editors say cuts at Montreal Gazette are bad for English news but local coverage can be done differently | CBC News
Editors and publishers of other English newspapers decry cuts at The Montreal Gazette. Investing in quality local news coverage, they say, is the path forward for print media.

An iconic Mile End landmark’s up for a total transformation

Mile End’s peculiarly shaped Van Horne warehouse—topped with its iconic water tower that’s been a symbol of the area’s indie scene—is on designers’ chopping blocks for a retrofit. Among the ideas are keeping its brick shell while drilling in windows and adding a front terrasse and rooftop garden. (La Presse)

Nouvelle vocation pour un entrepôt emblématique du Mile End
L’iconique entrepôt Van Horne, dans le Mile End, changera de vocation pour accueillir un hôtel, des bureaux et des commerces, selon un projet soumis à l’arrondissement du Plateau-Mont-Royal, sur lequel les citoyens sont appelés à se prononcer par sondage, une procédure inhabituelle.

The last meal for Eater Montreal

Following serious cuts to their workforce, Vox Media—the American media company which runs Eater—has decided to shut down their Montreal chapter after a decade of reporting on restaurants and bars in the city. This article on Portuguese chicken is its last update... for now. (Eater Montreal)

Where to Go for Spicy, Succulent Portuguese Chicken in Montreal
A collection of essential spots for piri-piri-brushed bird

The design of downtown Montreal’s new Holocaust museum

It’s been less than week since International Holocaust Remembrance Day. With that in mind, take a moment to admire the design of the incoming new Holocaust museum scheduled to be completed downtown in 2025. From the look of the renderings, it’s going to be a bold new space of learning and action. (e-architect)

Montreal Holocaust Museum Downtown Building - e-architect
Montreal Holocaust Museum Downtown building unveiled after international architectural competition for Saint-Laurent Boulevard project design

Mafia patrons and cocaine in pockets shuts down a local restaurant

Downtown French restaurant, bar and cigar lounge Alexandre et fils has been shut down for 30 days following organized criminals, unmasked individuals after hours during the pandemic and cocaine in staff’s pockets found in the restaurant. Sounds like a lot of places we know in town, though? (Le Devoir)

Infractions et crime organisé, le restaurant Alexandre sur la sellette encore une fois
Les permis d’alcool du restaurant et bar seront suspendus pendant 30 jours a déclaré le RACJ.

A public research university’s infamous beach party

Unless you’ve studied there, you might not know that Polytechnique Montréal hosted an annual beach party. Following a pandemic-imposed hiatus, their legendary night of water slides, rooms filled with sand, and lots of EDM-fuelled dancing is back, big, and beachy. (Urbania)

Incursion au Beach party de Polytechnique Montréal - GDU
Le légendaire Beach Party de Polytechnique Montréal a fait son grand retour cette année après une pause imposée par la pandémie. On a eu la chance d’aller...

The Montreal book man cometh

Those passionate about used bookshops have probably run into Adrian King-Edwards, the owner of The Word Bookstore. This is the story of his path from an underground shop that was raided by police to the Chinese laundry-turned-shop we know and love today that serves needy poets. (McGill Tribune)

Local Stories: The Montreal book man - The McGill Tribune
When Adrian King-Edwards, the owner of The Word Bookstore, started selling second-hand books from his living room in 1973, carefree hippies would occasionally arrive barefoot. The scores of thronging students also caught the attention of local police. Adrian, who had recently graduated from McGill…

How to build a foie-gras covered piece of Montreal in Washington, D.C.

A “Montreal-themed restaurant” with a menu inspired by Patati Patata has opened its neon, disco doors in the States. Sound weird? It kind of is: Serving dishes like poutine with foie gras and duck confit in a setting best described as one tourist’s wild weekend in the city, it’s a strange cultural export. (MTL Blog)

A Montreal-Themed Restaurant Just Opened In Washington, D.C. — Here’s How They’re Repping Our City
“D.C. was in dire need of some poutine.”

A 43-year-old institution of drunken student revelry calls it quits

The Latin Quarter’s seeing a big change in its clientele. Nightlife in the area is reportedly dropping off, leaving the longstanding temple of cheap beer and underage drinkers to guzzle it, Le Saint-Sulpice, to close up shop. Its heritage building, however, is now up for grabs. (Le Devoir)

Le propriétaire du Saint-Sulpice explique les raisons de la fermeture du bar
Il compte présenter un plan de construction de résidences pour étudiants.

How one 69-year-old trans woman is living—and what it means for other trans seniors

Last fall, Vanessa Frey had to find a new place to live and turned to social workers for help, but they struggled to find her a place to live as they had no experience working with trans women, and every place turned her down. Her story shows how seniors’ residences have a long way to go. (CBC Montreal)

This trans senior is living her best life in Montreal and wants the same for others | CBC News
Vanessa Frey had a hard time finding housing a trans senior, and she says she wants everyone to have the peace of mind she found. Advocates say LGBT people are often more at risk of homelessness and discrimination.

And there you have it, folks. We’ll be back with more curiosities, local stories, and events to discover next week. Stay tuned!

If ever you catch something we should know, reach out to us on Instagram.

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