Over the past few months I’ve come to realize there is something that sets Montreal nightlife apart from other Canadian cities. The bars are open later and it takes a little while to get used to dépanneurs and SAQs. But, the biggest thing that I’m finding about the party scene is that there is a distinct divide forming two faces of Montreal nightlife: the broke students and the successful 20-30 somethings. Here are some of the differences between the two:
1. The Students Have Pre-Drinks: At pre-drinks, you will typically find a number of people crammed into a small space using every make-shift chair that could be found in the house. There will probably be a number of drinking games played throughout the evening, beer pong, flip cup, kings, and so forth. You will most definitely find a Pabst Blue Ribbon or two... or twelve.
2. The Non-Students Attend "5 à 7": Often straight from work, these folk will head to a bar or “supper club” such as New City Gas or Soubois. At these events, you will find a number of men in suits and people "dressed to impress." They will be mingling and the night may end around midnight.
Credit: New City Gas
3. The Attire: Dresses, heels, suits, and ties pretty much sum up the non-students. The students, on the other hand, can be grouped by those wearing toques, jeans, and flannels.
4. The Drink of Choice: The students will arrive fairly late to the bar after pre-drinking and probably grab a pint or a pitcher of whatever is on special. The non-students will probably spring for a bottle whether that be wine, champagne, or Grey Goose.
5. The Bar of Choice: Typically, students can be found mingling on the Plateau, hanging around places that offer pool, foosball, or a giant skate bowl in the middle of the bar (you know what I’m talking about). Otherwise, they're downtown, and choices may include: Brutopia, Grumpy’s, etc. The non-students will likely be downtown at a place with a DJ, a guest list, and a cover charge.
Now, I do not make these distinctions to paint one in a better light than the other. Let’s be real, either way, you’ve got a drink in your hand. The things is, I am just at that awkward age where I kind of fit into both categories. Instead of picking one, I’ve slowly decided, why not do both? If you’re a student drinking a PBR or a non-student popping a bottle, more power to ya!