Crescent Street

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Crescent Street
Rue Crescent
Montreal - Rue Crescent.jpg
Crescent Street looking northward.
Length 0.6 km (0.4 mi)
Location Between Sherbrooke Street and René Lévesque Boulevard
Coordinates 45°29′52″N 73°34′36″W / 45.497640°N 73.576646°W / 45.497640; -73.576646
Construction
Construction start 1860s

Crescent Street (French: rue Crescent) is a southbound street located in downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Running perpendicular to Saint Catherine Street, Crescent Street descends from Sherbrooke Street south to René Lévesque Boulevard.

Crescent Street is a popular attraction for both tourists and locals alike. North of De Maisonneuve Boulevard, one can find many luxury boutiques and art galleries in a Victorian architectural setting. To the south of de Maisonneuve the concentration of nightclubs, bars and restaurants makes Crescent Street one Montreal's most well-known nightlife strips.

History[edit]

The street which opened around 1860, was originally in the form of a crescent, and was located just north of Dorchester Boulevard.

The first bar on Crescent Street opened in 1967.[1] Prior to that year, the street was home mainly to professional offices. The first bar was the Sir Winston Churchill Pub,[1][2] a pub partly owned by Johnny Vago a Hungarian immigrant who once participated in the Cuban Revolution. Vago's discotheque, originally known as the Don Juan, was first located on nearby Stanley Street. It relocated as a basement pub (sans the dance floor) on Crescent after the Stanley street building's basement had to be re-engineered, as parts of the Don Juan's dance floor had begun to fall into the Montreal Metro tunnel then being dug right beside it.

A few months later, the basement of the adjoining Crescent street building was opened up as the "Boiler Room", a somewhat noisier pub, replete with large "quart" (22 oz.) bottles of beer, cheaper meals, a dance floor, and with its jukebox, catering more to the local students and bohemian crowd, leaving the original Winston Churchill as a quieter pub for the older crowd. The two bars were served by a common kitchen.

A few years later (c1975), the Boiler Room was closed and redone by Vago as an extension to the Winston Churchill, but keeping the Boiler Room's dance floor. From there, still a few years later, the Winston Churchill expanded upstairs to the first and then the 2nd floors of the building, and eventually became a very large restaurant and bar complex, occupying the whole building.

Vago eventually ended up owning many bars on the block, although has since sold his businesses.[3]

Given the success of the first establishment, other restaurants and bars would settle in the mid-1970s.

Crescent Street merchants formed the Crescent Street Merchants Association in 1998 to promote the street's businesses.[4]

Beginning in the early 2000s, the Crescent Street Merchants Association have organized activities related to the city's sports and entertainment events. The most popular event is the Grand Prix Festival, which takes place each year at the time of the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix in June.

Features[edit]

Looking northward on Crescent from south of Saint Catherine Street.

Crescent Street is home mostly to pubs and restaurants. One such business is the popular Lebanese restaurant Boustan, located north of De Maisonneuve Boulevard.[5] Crescent Street was also home to the famous Russian restaurant The Troika which closed in April 2012 and has now replaced by the restaurant L'Avalanche Bistro Lounge.

Grand Prix Festival[edit]

Crescent street merchants hold an annual street fair, known as the Grand Prix Festival, the week prior to the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix with open air free concerts, terrasses for the bars into the streets, street vendors, and racing displays. This festival un-officially kicks off Montreal's festival season.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sir Winston Churchill Pub". CrescentMontreal.com. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "History". Winnie's Bar. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Gravenor, Kristian; Gravenor, John David (2002). "Nightlife". Montreal: The Unknown City (First ed.). Vancouver, B.C.: Arsenal Pulp Press. p. 202. ISBN 9781551521190. 
  4. ^ "About the Crescent Street Merchants Association". Crescent Street Merchants Association. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Brownstein, Bill (2012-03-25). "Popular Lebanese eatery changes hands". The Gazette (Postmedia Network). Retrieved 26 March 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Ville de Montréal, Les rues de Montréal. Répertoire historique, Édition Méridien, 1995 (French)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°29′52″N 73°34′36″W / 45.497640°N 73.576646°W / 45.497640; -73.576646