The Secret Mastermind Behind Montreal's Hottest Bars - MTL Blog

The Secret Mastermind Behind Montreal's Hottest Bars

And if you don't know, now you know.

Meet Toby Gauley from Gauleybrothers. You may or may not be familiar with this name, but you have 100% heard about his collaborative projects: Notorious Barbershop, Velvet Speakeasy as well as some touches inside École Privée under the lead designer Vince Tsang from DIME and so many others. Keep your eyes out for Toby Gauley, because this visionary never stops.

Toby grew up in the Laurentians along with his brother Taylor, where he acquired his taste for design and concept. I have always wanted to pick a creative person's brain and, today, my curiosity has finally been satisfied.


Where do you draw inspiration from?

Hard to say… depends on when you ask me lol.

I mean, we all have access to the same stuff. I see all the same pretty pictures as you, sometimes I'm even late to the party when I post them on Instagram. But I grew up in construction, so my reflex is always to wonder how to build these things that we see and make them better, or my own. It seems so complicated to make generic stuff.

So I'm writing this right now remembering things I've altered over time and thinking that making it my own is what inspires me. That's it, making simple, real shit.


What do you think makes your business stand out from others?

Like i said, I speak construction and I constantly wanna make shit better.

But everything my brother Taylor and I do is for the project. We grew up building somewhat luxury homes with our father and his crew. We were too young to have learned the business when he passed away, all we really knew was how to build things right and that we wanted to push design. So we started a business doing that. It's only later on that we understood how to respect a budget…


How does your creative process work? Do you first get an idea and then create it, or things are born while you’re working on them sometimes?

It changes all the time. But generally it's the restrictions that exponentiates creativity (not unlimited budgets). You can be confident and happy about your design, you have the whole thing planed out, but one missing or extra part changes everything.

If you're creating art for yourself, then that's where that comes from. If you're creating something for a client, then you have to learn about them, what they like & dislike,  what they do, how they do it and how you can make it better for them.


What are you currently working on?

Right now I’m in the South-West.

The Barroco boys and I are opening Foiegwa & The Atwater Cocktail Club in the old Belle Province at the corner of Atwater & Notre-Dame W. We’re keeping the original diner vibe and making it fresh & French.

I’m also designing a space for Kim Lallouz (Resto Bar Monsieur, Miss Prêt à Manger) in Griffintown. It’s a farm fresh fried chicken joint. It also, is gonna be good.

Both places have great natural light so that's exciting.


What was your favourite past project and why?

That's a toss up. There's the first house that Taylor and I built together alone, and Notorious. Notorious was our first real design/build work in the city, at that point we were still up in the Laurentians building lakeside.


Do you think one can study and then work in design business or it’s something that you’re born with?

I don't  know… People can learn some crazy stuff. You can learn all the rules. I haven't read enough on creativity yet to understand how that works. You can practice and train it like a muscle, I'm just curious to know what handicaps it. It's obviously both but I don't know if the greatest fashion stylists ever did school.


Tell us about the Notable Awards. Was it your first award ceremony? What does it represent to you?

It was. The party in Toronto was great. I didn't win Canada but it was fun thing to be a part of. It certainly gave my mom something to do. She printed the voting link on pieces of paper to pass out to the people she knew. #babyboomers


Where would you take your friend from out of town to showcase our city?

I’d use them as an excuse to do all the things I don't do enough… So museums and whatever festivals that are going on that always blow my mind but still never go to.

Actually… I'm still waiting for a friend to showcase this city, I lived most of my life up north.


What’s your favourite Montreal neighbourhood and why?

I ended up in the South-West because of Notorious. I spent a lot of time there and really liked the neighbourhood. It’s young business, it's cool. Saint-Henri is pretty much Sesame Street.


How do you cheer yourself up when Montreal weather is not at its best?

lol I generally stay indoors.


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