STREET PROFILE: CRESCENT

Posted on November 3rd, 2010 by .

To date, the Montreal Street Profile series has strolled up Bleury and Parc, across Maisonneuve, Saint-Paul and Saint-Zotique. Up next, we take a walk down Crescent, a downtown street I haven’t spent much time on since being an undergrad… When completing my undergraduate degree at Concordia, I spent many afternoon “group study sessions” on this street. Even then I generally avoided the wildness of Crescent Street at night. It’s just not my thing. But, based on how packed it is (despite being the shortest street we’ve profiled), I’m willing to concede that it is clearly many other people’s thing. Writing about a street you haven’t visited in a while is daunting, so thank goodness that my new colleague Patricia Gajo was on hand to hip me to the fact that, while the old faithfuls remain, there have been some new developments on the street named for the shape it was in 1860…

SHOPS, COFEES AND SUCH

Alessi: The only Alessi shop in Canada features the full range of the company’s high-end designer household wares. If you have to ask if a $200 kettle is necessary, you’ve probably never seen one of theirs. Rouge Nail Bar: Ok, it’s pretty clear that Gajo may have helped me on this one… Matis Beauty Bar: Ditto. La Pendulerie: I’ll give this to Crescent- it does boast one of (if not the only) combination clock and chocolate shop this side of Switzerland. Because of this, they could totally half-ass it, but instead they have the best of both. Go get their chocolate milkshake and chat with the shop’s incredibly personable owner. Nespresso: The shops devoted to the coffee that their namesake machines produce are huge in other parts of the world but are still viewed fairly snobbily over here. And I’m not touching a coffee debate with a 10-foot pole.

FOOD

Boustan: This may not be the most aesthetically pleasing spot I’ll ever recommend but it makes up for it by having what is probably the best schwarma and shish taouk in the city- everyone from the late Pierre Trudeau to LL Cool J agree. Another bonus: open super late. Newtown: Definitely the high-end food stop on Crescent, this spot has recently hired a new well-known executive chef, Daren Bergeron. Soupe Soup: The Crescent street location of this small chain of soup spots consistently produces some of the best soup in the city.

BARS

A quick note here- sure there are some slightly more high-end spots like Newtown and Camp, but come on, if you’re going to go to Crescent, might as well just pick the place that seems the busiest and go for it. But honestly, I’d just like to make one final plea to out-of-town party-seekers: do check out the rest of our Street Profile series before going down to Crescent again… Hurley’s is a great Irish pub that I have actually revisited in my post-collegiate years. Very good Irish-influenced pub food with all sorts of different rooms and tons of darkened nooks and crannies. Mad Hatters: The food and beer isn’t as good here as at Hurley’s, but because of that it’s cheaper and maybe that’s what you had in mind. Sir Winston Churchill Pub Complex: This is basically the centre of all Crescent street activity and it’s packed every night and most afternoons. The best way to explain the vibe is to visit the website and realize that what you have is a pub named after Winston Churchill that boasts an un-Pub-like a soundtrack as one could come up with. Thursday’s: It is important to note that this busy place is not just open on Thursday. That’s all I’ve got.

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