Hidden Hotspot #4: Laïka

Posted on June 25th, 2009 by .

Whether I want to work all day long, chain-drinking cafés au lait and eavesdrop on other regulars talking about Tokyo and Berlin, or simply spend an evening sharing a bottle of white Bordeaux with a friend while listening to some of the world’s best DJs, Laïka is a favourite venue in the Plateau area.
I live so close to Laïka that it has become a second home. My friend and I usually meet there at least once a week to share a traditional bottle of white Bordeaux and get a series of delicious tapas and small appetizers (which should be ordered before 9pm for best selection). The staff is now used to seeing me come in, just as I’m used to seeing other regulars ordering a drink or two. They’re mostly musicians, artists and graphic designers from Montréal’s alternative art scene.
During the day, and especially on morning weekends, Laïka is a great place to have a café au lait and work on your laptop using their free Internet access (and incidentally, that’s what I’m doing right now). At night, Laïka transforms itself. Since its inception, ten years ago, Laïka has welcomed some of the best DJs in the world, who still come here between gigs in Berlin and Tokyo. This bar is international; you’ll hear a lot of conversations about people travelling to the latest fashion shows in Paris, Milan and London, or bartenders planning their next escape to Thailand, India or the Philippines. Laïka is a wacky, crazy friend who’s been travelling around the world and comes back once in a while, before leaving again for new adventures. It’s also a favourite spot for Montréal’s experimental festivals, whether it’s Elektra or the Jazz Fest — this is also where MUTEK was originally created.

Sometimes, I think I’ve found the meaning of happiness. It’s not about perfection; it’s not about success or fame. I think happiness is when you find a place where you feel at home and safe. A place where you go outside just to get some fresh air around midnight, and happen to see the owner, like Bruno Ricciardi-Rigault, smiling at you in silence.

Make friends with Laïka Montréal on Facebook to get the latest about the Montréal art scene. You can also follow the live sets of guest DJs online, by clicking here.

4040 Saint-Laurent Blvd.

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