West Island Bars of the 1980s
For all of you out there who wanted to know, listed below are some of the popular West Island (Montreal) bars of the 1980's that I frequented with my friends. Tonight, I received an email request out of the blue. This person was looking for the name of the bar that burnt down in the mid-80s and that had live shows. Man, I lost count of the bars that burnt down! He googled some search terms and came across my web site. Oddly enough "pointe-claire", "bar", and "burnt" will show the link to my bio as the second web link. Nice... He'd thought I know of the place he was thinking of. It turned out I do know. It was a popular place known as The Maples. It actually burnt to the ground before I got a chance to visit the place, on the inside at least. I think it was gone in the spring of 1985. (FYI, If anyone knows the exact month let me know. Thanks, Derek.) So this request got me thinking of all the places I've been, and I thought I'd share this will all you kiddies out there.
Actually, I almost went to The Maples one evening but never reached the place. I was just walking home from Chez Paul's (a skanky bar near my high school) one evening in 1983 . Finding the walk home a bit long, I hitch-hiked and was quickly picked up. I think this was the first and last time I actually stuck out my thumb. The driver and friends soon shared a nice cool can of Budweiser and offered to drive me to The Maples as this was their destination. I respectfully declined and I was let out at Westminister Ave. and St. John's (By the way, mom, I kept the beer -- and it was good). All in all, hitching was a good experience that evening.
We all had fun in the eighties. The music was good and the bar owners and bouncers were not overly-concerned with the age of its patrons. I think the nightlife started to go downhill, in my opinion, when Victor Davis, the Olympic swimmer, got into a street fight and was run down in the road and killed. Tragic. That evening in November 1989 pretty much signalled an end to 'the party' in the West Island and closed out the decade on a sombre note. Anyway, here is the, by no means exhaustive, list of bars:
- The Maples (Pointe-Claire)
- The Edgewater Inn, and The Marina (Pointe-Claire)
- The Pioneer (Pointe-Claire) I saw April Wine there many times.
- Shawn's Pub (Kirkland, off of St. Charles Blvd.) (It's a raid!!! was often heard.)
- Quai Sera (Ste-Anne de Bellevue)
- Annie's (Ste-Anne de Bellevue)
- Cousineau's Tavern (Ste-Anne de Bellevue) No women allowed and the pickled tongue was to die for
- Cheers (St. John's Blvd.)
- Chi Chi's (Margaritas and Nachos) (St. John's Blvd.)
- Chez Paul (Pierrefonds)
- The Manoir (Pointe-Claire)
- The Residence / Rez (Pierrefonds)
Photos of the Maples Inn courtesy of Derek Dranfield.