“We’re full every night”: Quebec’s nightlife comes to life

During the pandemic, nightlife in Quebec is reborn from the ashes, and the need to party in the capital at dawn has been so great.

“We’ve never experienced it in 45 years, it was even a little chaotic at first!” Jean Frederick Laber, owner of the emblematic Dagobert, laughs.

As soon as the ban on dancing in bars was lifted, thousands of young adults who had reached the age of majority during the pandemic and who had never really tasted it vie de Nuit Quebec invaded his office.



Photo by Steven Leblan

For several weeks, between 1:30 and 1:30 a.m. before the door opened, there were lines of 1,000 to 1,500 people accustomed to closing the bars at midnight.

“It’s not confusing, we’re full every night. 2022 will be our best year. We are feeling the revival of the popularity of nightclubs, which had been declining since the 1990s, ”says Lāberģe.


The Grande Allée is experiencing dazzling traffic this spring, as evidenced by a photograph taken a few weeks after the dance ban and returning to full capacity in the bars.



Photo by Jeremy Bernie

The Grande Allée is experiencing dazzling traffic this spring, as evidenced by a photograph taken a few weeks after the dance ban and returning to full capacity in the bars.

“[Les gens] had to escape, get out after a two-year pandemic, ”says Zac Filali, Dagobert’s manager.



Photo by Steven Leblan

The Grande Allée nightclub does not seem to be an isolated case, as the turnover of several licensed establishments has increased significantly since the beginning of the year.

This is the case of Ninkasi on Saint-Jean Street, known for its karaoke nights.

According to owner Matthew Clutier, the bar had the best weeks outside the Quebec festival in the last month.

“We see that habits have changed. The number of catering customers has decreased, but those who want to feast are stronger than ever, ”he observes.

Jonathan Ollat, co-owner of Bistro L’Atelier, also mentions recipes that are “definitely” superior to 2019.

Customers have returned, and some are hesitant to arrive more often when they have limited their spending during a pandemic.

Enthusiasm is also evident at the opening of the official terraces from 9 to 12 June at the Grande Allée, he said.

“So we wanted to have an event for four days instead of opening the terraces, as we did for just over a day,” says the man, who also co-owns the restaurant Ophelia.

All indications are that this enthusiasm will continue in the summer, says Normand Goselin, general manager of the La Boite de Nuit nightclub, which opened a month ago.

“It rolls on the floor,” he says. Since its opening, to be honest, it’s full. We currently have reservations until July. The world is ripping benches! We are really lucky. ”

“We lost regular visitors during the pandemic. However, the total traffic is undoubtedly higher than before the health crisis.

– Mattier Clutier, owner of Ninkasi Bar & Bistro

“It simply came to our notice then. We managed to create a … reset create new habits with customers and improve security “

– Jean-Frederick Laberz, owner of Dagobert

“Friday, when the masks fell at midnight […] it was full to the cap, and the outside was the same. […] The bar cannot accommodate 1,000 people, but if we had room for 1,000 people, we would have filled it.

– Normands Goselins, General Manager of La Boite de Nuit

“People are hungry to go out and share […] It is clear that we are seeing a rebirth vie de Nuit and that we are really looking forward to an extraordinary summer.

– Jonathan Ollat, co-owner of L’Atelier and Ophelia

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Georgie Collins

"Falls down a lot. Writer. Passionate alcohol maven. Future teen idol. Hardcore music practitioner. Food fanatic. Devoted travel fan."

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