Gibeau Orange Julep
|Gibeau Orange Julep|
Gibeau Orange Julep storefront
|Food type||Snack bar specializing in "Orange Julep"|
|Street address||7700 Décarie Boulevard|
|Postal/ZIP Code||H4P 2H4|
The Gibeau Orange Julep restaurant (also known colloquially as OJ or The Big Orange) is a roadside attraction and fast food restaurant in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The building is in the shape of an orange, three storeys high, with a diameter of forty feet.
The restaurant was started by Hermas Gibeau in 1932 to serve his trademark orange drink, Gibeau Orange Julep, similar but not identical to that of Orange Julius. In 1945, Gibeau built an orange concrete sphere two storeys high to house his restaurant. It is believed Gibeau intended to live in there with his wife and children.
The restaurant and its orange sphere were rebuilt, from a design by architect Olius P. Bois, larger and further back from the roadway when it was widened as the Décarie Expressway in 1966. Its shell consists of fiberglass segments that were ordered from a local pool manufacturer, covering a laminated wood shell frame and the whole building is illuminated from the outside in the evenings.
For a time, the Julep was noted for rollerskating waitresses, but customers today order food in the more conventional fashion of a fast food restaurant. Food can then be taken away or eaten at one of a number of provided picnic tables. The restaurant operates until 3am during summer and reduced hours in winter. The restaurant appears, along with other Montreal landmarks, in the music video for the Men Without Hats song "Where Do the Boys Go?".
Today, it also hosts classic car and motorbike enthusiasts on Wednesday nights from May–August.
Drink and company
The drink, Gibeau Orange Julep, is now also sold via retail stores. The Big Orange was once one of several Gibeau Orange Julep restaurants in the Montreal area, many shaped like a giant orange, but now is the only one remaining. The original restaurant, established in 1928 and located on Sherbrooke Street, was closed and torn down in 2009. It was not shaped like a giant orange.
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