Mayor Valérie Plante often uses social media to showcase the Montreal businesses and institutions she visits, both as part of her duties as the city's chief executive and, occasionally, in her personal life, as just another Montrealer seeking a good time in the buzzing metropolis.
On May 21, she took to the city's Sud-Ouest borough for an apparent date night, "playing tourist," in her words, as she zipped between some of the area's trendiest drinkeries — with some time for architecture gazing along the way.
Her Sunday night excursion amounted to a tour of the restaurants and bars belonging to the Barroco Group, a self-described hospitality enterprise known as a conductor of cool late-night spectacle.
An Instagram story post by Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante from the inside of Pointe-Saint-Charles bar Milky Way.@val_plante | Instagram
She began with a stop at the electric Milky Way bar, a rustic-grotto-turned-Space-Age-inspired-Earthship, Cocktail Spirited Awards finalist and top 10 winner of Canada's 50 Best Bars, hidden behind Fugazzi Pizza on rue du Centre.
On her way across the Lachine Canal to Saint-Henri, the mayor stopped to admire some of the daring architecture and urban planning innovation tucked in the courtyards and alleys of Pointe-Saint-Charles, a once largely working-class neighbourhood now filling out with pricey condos as it succumbs to the pressure of gentrification.
An Instagram story post by Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante showing an alleyway in Pointe-Saint-Charles.@val_plante | Instagram
An Instagram story post by Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante showing a courtyard in Pointe-Saint-Charles.@val_plante | Instagram
Plante eventually made her way to Foiegwa, a chic take on the classic Quebec diner at the corner of rue Notre-Dame O. and avenue Atwater.
An Instagram story post by Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante from the inside of the Atwater Cocktail Club speakeasy.@val_plante | Instagram
Behind it, marked only by a painted door at the end of a dark, trash can-lined alley is the Atwater Cocktail Club, a moody, glitzy speakeasy (and another Cocktail Spirit Awards contender and 50 Best Bars entry) with an extensive menu of flamboyant cocktails.
An Instagram story post by Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante from the inside of the Hôtel Monville.@val_plante | Instagram
The mayor's evening ended with a mini staycation and skyline view at the Hôtel Monville.