While there are a million and one spots to enjoy a 5 à 7 in the city, not everywhere does happy hour quite like this Montreal restaurant in the Village.
Resto Keela serves $6 drinks from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., including house draft beer, house red or white wine, and speed rail mixed drinks, which is a choice of vodka, rye, rum, or gin — a pretty hard drink deal to beat.
As for food, you can go every week and try a different $6 dish at happy hour. "The $6 bites change from week to week but we always offer 3-5 options," owners Kristin Murphy and Johnny Hamilton told MTL Blog.
I went on September 10 and got to try green beans with a cashew romesco sauce and feta crumble, chorizo sausage, chicken Kaarage with kimchi cucumbers, and organic cherry tomato salad with blue cheese. And I kid you not when I say these dishes all take your taste buds on a culinary trip to heaven.
Keela's full menu is also filled with tons of unique dishes for you to try. The celery root carpaccio is hands down my favourite.
Every Friday night, you can hear the sweet voice of Bud Rice sing live at the restaurant.
Co-owner Willson Luu told MTL Blog about the reasons for the decision, which, according to the restaurant's social media announcement, "was not an easy decision to make."
Luu started by clarifying that he is fully vaccinated, though he emphasized that he had a choice in the matter.
"Everyone has their right to choose whether they wanted to get vaccinated or not like they have their rights to their own opinion," Luu wrote in an email.
"Our job is feeding people with our delicious food and that makes people happy."
Luu said the onus should not be on business owners to check vaccine passports but rather on the government.
"I believe that the vaccine passport is segregating people. We are not enforcers. We are private citizens just trying to make a living to support ourselves and our families." he said.
"If they want to enforce a rule [...] [or] law then they should hire enforcers to do their job for them instead of making our industry do it for them. Our job as a citizen is to wear a mask, keep our distance from one another and to keep safe."
As Luu explained it, the best way for him to maintain a "safe environment for [...] staff and clients" — continuing to serve food without becoming enforcers of the vaccine passport — is to only offer pickup, takeout and delivery right now.
But he also said he doesn't expect other businesses to follow suit.
"The pandemic is hard enough for all small business owners as it is already. [...] A lot of businesses depend on their clients to walk through their door whether it is to dine in, go to the gym or go see a movie," he said.
In Quebec, a vaccine passport is required to access many businesses and activities deemed non-essential, including restaurants and bars.
According to Officer Julien Lévesque, a spokesperson for the SPVM, police were called in to assist the city's fire department with a fire at the corner of Rue Saint-Jean and Rue Notre-Dame O. at approximately 5:55 a.m.