Last week, my colleague Daniel Baylis introduced you to MEET A MONTREALER, an exciting new feature of this blog that allows you to meet some of Montreal’s coolest individuals.
Today, I bring you party host extraordinaire: the one and only, Paulo Branco.
Paulo is the fabulously creative owner of Gogo Lounge (Montreal’s grooviest institution: 3682 St Laurent), Chez Serge (Montreal’s baddest sports bar: 5301 Saint-Laurent), and Candibar (Soon-to-be Montreal’s sweetest cocktail lounge!) which is meant to open very shortly at 1148 Mont-Royal Avenue. According to Paulo, it will involve a twisted doll-house decor and slushie cocktails rimmed with colorful sugars and candies. I will, of course, keep you posted with a delicious blog post as soon as it opens.
In 1998, Paulo pawned all his belongings and set in motion his first bar: Tokyo ( 3709 St-Laurent). The rest is history.
Paulo loves his dogs and his girlfriend Crystal. When he travels, he tells everyone he lives in the best city of the world.
Who are you? I’m a libra, but I secretely wish I was a ninja.
What do you do? Every night I try to bring out smiles, laughter, silliness and sweet dance moves out of every person who comes to my venues.
Why do you choose Montréal? My father had to choose between Boston and Montreal. After visiting both cities he fell in love with Old Montreal since it reminded him of Lisbon. On April 7th 1976, he moved my mom and I to this great city. Thank God or I would have never seen my home team win a Stanley Cup (Bruins won their last Cup in 1972). Editor’s note: Bruins? Yuk.
Where in Montréal might someone find you? Every Saturday in the summer, from 10pm to 11pm, you can find me at La Ronde for the fireworks. In the winter months, I’m watching every single hockey game at Serge, or, if I get tickets, I’m at the Bell Center…Love the Montreal Canadiens!
Café: I love la Croissanterie Figaro on Fairmount and Hutchison for its terrace in the summer. (5200 Hutchison Street)
Restaurant: My coup de coeur is Dominion Square Tavern. You can find me there 2- 3 times a week. Alex, the owner, is a super guy.
Boutique/Store: I have a fetish for eyewear and my favorite spot to get them is Au bar à Lunettes, a corner away from the Saint Paul Hotel. (401 McGill Street)
Bar/Lounge: J’adore the Gogo Lounge. So much so that the first time I went there, I decided to buy into the place. Ten years later, my partner Carlos and I still run the world’s biggest small bar! (3682 St-Laurent)
Street: I love the St-Laurent Boulevard (also called the Main). I start by an early 3D movie at the Montreal Science Center in Old Port, followed by a stop in Chinatown at Pho Bang (1001 St-Laurent) for a small Tonkinoise soup, slowing down my pace to people-watch on the Main’s trendy area between Sherbrooke and Prince Arthur. I’ll then stop to have a chicken sandwich from Coco Rico in Little Portugal (3907 St Laurent), a little mechanical bull riding at Chez Serge in the Mile End (5301 Saint-Laurent). Finally, I’ll have a couple cannolis at Cornetteria in Little Italy (6528 St Laurent) and I’d finish it off with a lap dance at Solid Gold ( just kidding Crystal).
Park: I walk on the walkways of the Lachine Canal 365 days a years, 3 times a day, with my two wheaton Terriers and my new toy Yorkshire. They love the green grass and I enjoy all the surroudings.
Band: Creature (Kim Ho is awesome. I love that guy but not in a sexual way)
Place to spot an attractive local: If you are single and looking for attractive people, Ikea is the place to meet them. I have a really complex theory on it, but you’ll have to read my book: ¨How to BUILD a long lasting relationship at IKEA”, or take me out for dinner. Editor’s note: for the “take me out for dinner” part, find Paulo on Twitter @paulobranco
In our previous Meet A Montrealer piece, we asked Arjun Basu to write a tweet to a famous Montréaler (alive or dead, real or fictional, on twitter or not). He chose William Shatner. Please write a tweet to William Shatner.
I re-arranged the letters of your name and I got “Animal Whistler”. Just thaught I’d let you know Mr. Shatner.
Craziest costume you ever wore at Gogos was? (a picture or it never happened)
The craziest is probably my birthday suit, but I hope there aren’t pictures of that out there. I do wear the gorilla and bunny costume from time to time.
Editor’s note: Staff of Gogo Lounge like to get costumed every Thursday for theme night.
What’s the background image on your desktop?
A picture of my amazing girlfriend Crystal and myself taken by my father.
Finally, what can’t you live without?
I’d have a pretty hard time without my iPhone. I’m as addicted to it as smokers are to cigarettes, except I wont get emphysema from it. Just carpal tunnel syndrome.