City Changing Name Of Richmond Street In Point – 21 Bars

The City of Montreal recently announced it is changing  the name of Richmond street in The Point to rue de la Sucrerie. This will not affect the Little Burgundy stretch of Richmond street. Too bad because the name Richmond does pop up in countless stories involving The Point and this is just another example of  “place-name gentrification” that wipes out all that was before, at least in terms of oral histories. Besides that, the preservation of the Redpath sugarhouses into condos and the silos still standing  is surely a strong enough signal  for sugar and it’s production in Point Saint Charles.

Lots of stories and here is mine.

My dad worked at The Northern in The Point for 36 years. The building in the picture is at the corner of Richmond and Wellington and was home to the Sports Tavern in the 1960′s and my dad told me more than few stories of  the goings on in this completely original place. The owner was a Ukrainian man named Ambrose (not sure how to spell the last name but it began with a “K” ) who lived with his mother on the second floor. Ambrose and his mother used to cook the Ukranian specialties that were usually available on the menu and received rave views.  Hard to believe today, perhaps, but women were not allowed in taverns until the early 70′s I believe it was.

My dad and his friends on the night shift used to walk along Richmond just after 7 am and Ambrose would unlock the doors so guys from the Northern and the CNR did not have to wait until 8 to get a beer. Richmond is the first street if you are heading east along Centre street that does not  get cut off in any way by the railroad.  You can see the former Shearer Street Building (known as Le Nordelec today) of  The Northern on the left side of the picture. Ambrose was one of those old timey bar owners who was one of the gang, heck, you ate his mother’s cooking!

Ambrose decided to open an ice cream stand  around ’62 or ’63. It was a simple booth protruding from the building (red X in picture) but it sold the most awesome ice creme cones in all of Montreal! The soft ice creme cones were about a foot high or basically about as high as you could neatly pile it. We would stop by and have ice creams in the car while dad went in to “use the toilet”. It was incredible. But 25 cents for those huge cones was a lot of money for many kids in those days and, Ambrose, a man with a heart of gold, couldn’t turn back any kid who had no money, especially after seeing how much happiness it brought  to their faces. Needless to say the word got out and before long Ambrose had to shut it down – he was losing his shirt.

Ambrose got married a few years later, the mother moved out, wife moved in, and a few years after that,with new twin daughters, he sold it all.  In the 70′s it was called The Palamino which had a nasty reputation as a biker/country & western kind of bar. And there was a suspicious fire in the building not long after Ambrose sold it of which I wish I could remember more.

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I am slowing working on a project concerning the 21 bars that were in The Point in the 50′s and 60′s. My dad  used to play a game called 21 bars which was basically naming all the bars in The Point. It was always surprising how many people who were from The Point couldn’t name them all, and, in fact, I seem to have forgotten a few myself.

If anyone has any stories to tell about bars in The Point, their names and precise locations, you can write me at neathatturcot (at) yahoo (dot) ca. I will be all too happy to respond.

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12 responses to “City Changing Name Of Richmond Street In Point – 21 Bars

  1. Hard to believe that there were once that many drinking establishments in the Pointe.

    Do you know what was on the corner of Laprairie and Chateauguay? It used to be Restaurant Jean-Guy Epicerie and is now a Chinese restaurant. I’d be interested to know since I live practically next door. In fact, I’m be very interested in the 21 Bars project in general.

    There’s not much left of the old days but the Pointe easily could have been in the Quartiers Disparus exbhibit at the Montreal History Museum if these had gone differently.

  2. When talking bars, do you mean strictly bars, or do you also include those good old taverns, that seemed so popular in my youth (late 80s).

    I do remember the one Matt & Julia mentioned, where I would see them run episodes of Hong Kong Fooey on their projector, while going home from school (Charles LeMoyne) for lunch. Wish I could help and remember its name.

    I do remember the “Bar Do Drop In” in Wellington, somewhere just passed the tracks on the southern side of the pointe.

  3. Brilliant post, great project. Y’know there was the Westlake Tavern, I guess it was called deep on St. Madeleine, that stayed open until around ’98, there was whatever the Do Drop Inn was called before it was what it was.. there was something called The Bucket of Blood in the 1930s, don’t know how long that lasted… Goldy’s? I won’t rest until you get ‘em all. Check out Lovells, it should get you there.

  4. It’s a shame to touch any of the names in the Point – a place of history and all the many people that helped make The Point and Montreal a good place. My Dad worked at Westlake’s – as did my brother when he grew old enough. Course Dad also worked in other bars over his years…with the Irish that was one of the jobs. I remember Mum giving me a hot casserole dish to take to the back door of the Tavern for Dad for his supper.

  5. Westlake Tavern was right on the corner of Favard and Congregation. Perfect local when everyone got out of the train yards after work – right across the street was a corner store where I would go in as a young girl with a note from Mum for items she wanted, they would bag it up and the owner would right in a book how much it was. At the end of each week, Mum would go in and pay the bill – they also gave us stamps that Mum put into a booklet and we’d get things such as casserole dishes etc for free after so many stamps.

  6. Westlake was on the corner of Favard and Congregation. Perfect for when the guys from the CNR got out of work. Across from there was a corner store that gave stamps you put into a booklet for free casserole dishes etc. I would as a young girl take a note from Mum, the owner would fill a bag from the list, mark the amount in a book and at the end of each week, Mum would pay her bill.

  7. There’s a song by a band called A Dream I had, “The Clicker Goes Pow” that was about the Palomino, and written by Paddy Walsh

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