Barraca Rhumerie & Tapas
By David Kynan

From World Travels to Neighbourhood Hot Spot

If you like rum and tapas, you'll love Barraca Rhumerie & Tapas. While sipping cocktails down south, François Forest and Danny Pyton began their love affair with southern-made rum. François had also travelled throughout Spain, sampling the local cuisine and discovering the centuries-old traditions of Spanish fare. Soon enough, an idea began to brew.

Back home in Montreal, they noticed that there weren't many places with a large selection of rum and were soon convinced that the area would welcome a comfortable place that served up southern cocktails and Spanish dishes. "We wanted to combine aspects of Spanish cuisine and tradition with the relaxed feeling of vacation cocktails," says François.

François and Danny were joined by friends Mathieu Aubin and Étienne Brabant, who ran successful bars in the city, and in July 2002, they opened Barraca Rhumerie & Tapas. Day one was a launch party for friends of the owners, and the rest is history. This lounge-style bar was an instant hit with young crowds looking for the ideal place for a drink, a date or a night out with friends.

We wanted to combine aspects of Spanish cuisine and tradition with the relaxed feeling of vacation cocktails. - François Forest, co-owner
Barraca Rhumerie & Tapas, Tapas, cocktails, local and imported beer, Spanish wines, sherry

Southern Cocktails and Spanish Bites

Crowds flock to Barraca Rhumerie & Tapas for the rustic ambience, delicious tapas and drinks from around the world. It might be one of the only places in Montreal that’s full of life seven nights a week. Take your pick of 60 rums — some as old as 28 years — from 20 different countries. There are local and imported beers, a selection of Spanish wines, several types of sherry and cocktails for those who prefer to stick with the tried and true.

The menu is filled with Latin-inspired tapas, perfect to munch on alone over a drink or share with friends on a night out. Try the bacon-wrapped and chorizo-stuffed dates that, when taken off the menu once, left customers enraged. Now they're back for good. The Montaditos are a Spanish favourite, and every Thursday and Friday from 5 to 10 p.m., Barraca Rhumerie & Tapas is the place to be with its Montaditos bar. While classic items remain, the menu changes with the seasons, letting patrons cool down in the summer and warm up in the winter.

Barraca Rhumerie & Tapas, Tapas, cocktails, local and imported beer, Spanish wines, sherry

A Local Lounge with a Friendly Feel

From 5 to 7 p.m., Latin beats and reggae set the mood. Most nights after 10 p.m., a live DJ plays everything from funk and electro to hip-hop. In the back is a lovely open-air terrace with room for 30 people. And rumour has it that Barraca is a destination of choice for a first date, so make sure you arrive early to get a spot.

One of Barraca’s secrets to instant success is its friendly feel. "When I come in, it’s like home to me,” says Pascale Albert, a co-owner and manager. "We want clients to feel like they're part of the family." And if you are among those who believe that everything’s better with rum, Barraca is the place for you.

Barraca Rhumerie & Tapas, Tapas, cocktails, local and imported beer, Spanish wines, sherry
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