Balconville Pub Gourmand
By Chris Riddell

Hanging Out On the Balcony

In Montreal’s Verdun borough, there are many places to eat and drink, just like everywhere else in this world-class city, but not many of them are open late. That’s why owner Jean François Pigeon decided to open Balconville in June 2014. He wanted to address a need in the neighbourhood where he has lived for most of his life.

It’s a small establishment with a terrace in the back and an open kitchen in the front. People walking by can look through the window and see the cook and bartender hard at work. The name, Balconville, is a direct reference to the neighbourhood.

“When you walk down the avenues and the smaller streets, there are always people chilling on their balconies and talking to one another from across the street drinking their beers,” says Pigeon. “When you’re on the terrace here, there are balconies all around, so it’s like instead of chilling on your balcony, come chill on ours!”

When you walk down the avenues of the smaller streets, there's always people chilling on their balconies and talking to one another from across the street drinking their beers … instead of chilling on your balcony, come chill on ours! - Jean François Pigeon, owner

Everything is Homemade

The great thing about Balconville is that everything on the menu is homemade. The mustard and ketchup in the hamburgers are made in-house, and even the beef patties are ground fresh and the bacon is homemade, too. The half-pound burgers are one of the most popular items on the menu. The calamari and fish tacos are also big sellers.

When it comes to drinks, the eatery serves a selection of imported wines, local beers, and popular liquors. A number of classic cocktails are also available. Pigeon says they have their own eponymous cocktail, le Balconville, which is made with bourbon, homemade tonic and an apple twist. You can have it with gin instead of bourbon, if you like.

Hamburgers, beer, wine, tacos, calamari, cocktails, liquor

Fun for Everyone

Pigeon takes great pride in his staff and the work they do. As soon as you walk in you can see that everyone is enjoying themselves and having fun. This enthusiasm is infectious and creates an atmosphere that draws people of all ages to Balconville.

“We have lots of young people, like students. We have lots of young professionals too,” says Pigeon. “At certain times we get the grey hairs, the 60 year olds. It's pretty diverse.

It's more of a restaurant/diner atmosphere, but as soon as 8 or 9 o’clock comes, we change the mood with the lighting and the crowd gets younger. At the same time, there are always older people that still want to feel young and hip, so they like it here,” he says.

In the summertime, Pigeon plans to have a terrace on the front sidewalk, which will expand the seating capacity a little more. Don’t be stranger, come hang out on the balcony!

Hamburgers, beer, wine, tacos, calamari, cocktails, liquor
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