I always had this dream of opening up a small, neighbourhood pub. There wouldn't be too many seats but one wall would be lined from floor to ceiling, complete with a rolling stepladder, with used books you could buy. And its name would have been Books 'n Booze. But alas that dream has yet to come true.
But while there may be no booze at the just opened Café Eclair, and the books are new rather than used, it's still this amazing hybrid project where book and coffee lovers can meet.
Éclair first opened as more of a pop-up micro-library but once it found its home on Maguire it grew to include coffees too. You won't find Tie-Dyed Frappucinnos or Stephen King's latest best-seller here.
It is a room more than a café. It's minimalist with clean lines and everything from books to coffees are curated more so than stocked.
The selection of books range in styles and languages. You'll find poetry next to children's books next to novels and zines in both French and English. The book collections are ever-changing each season and will focus on a specific theme.
They only use select coffee from Bows and Arrows of Victoria, BC, and The Barn from Berlin, Germany.
The long central bar (that you can completely move around, as can the barista) makes you feel more like you're in a friend's kitchen (albeit an enviable and immaculate one) than a café.
There are a few comfy couches to sit on, but not a ton of space, so if you want to sit, it's best to get there during non-peak times. They also serve some of Montreal's best pastries, so make sure to try a croissant.
Cafe Eclair Micro-library
WHEN: Monday to Sunday: 8 AM - 6 PM
WHERE: 12 Rue Maguire