Sharply dressed women in teeteringly high heels, and plenty of men - some in Zegna suits, some in plaid T-shirts - make up the well calibrated crowd at Philemon, a bar championed by many Montrealer's since its inception in 2010. Perched on Rue St. Paul right across from the Hotel Nelligan, this place has a teasingly quirky, almost 1980's feel, with shots of blue and red on the walls, worn yellow on the floors, and a decor heavily infused with industrial materials that give it an overall masculine feel.
My favourite time to come to Philemon is when it is near-empty, for a casual Wednesday or Thursday night Martini at the bar or on the banquette, catching up with friends. You can also grab a small bite here; their charcuterie is my go-to plate if I'm being held over before dinner. On Friday and Saturday nights, the place becomes busy, saturated with a cool crowd of thirty somethings who access the interior through the side alley. Come early or be prepared to wait in line, as Philemon's popularity has yet to dwindle, and it continues to enjoy a steady stream of loyal clientele, especially on the weekends.
Philemon Bar | 111 Rue Saint Paul Ouest | Montreal, QC H2Y 1Z5 | (514) 289-3777