C’est le Bord’Elle
Ever wonder what it was like in the 1920’s when flapper girls were in style and Jazz was at the top of the charts? Well, there’s no need to wonder anymore. Montreal finally has a new supper club in town, and it’s the classiest one yet. Bord’Elle – Boutique Bar and Eatery located at 390 St-Jacques West in the heart of the Old Port is taking their customers back in time to a European-style boutique hotel, heavily influenced by the sounds and designs of the roaring twenties, where fashion was glam and everything was grand. Last week-end marked the grand opening of Bord’Elle, and it was definitely the place to be.
John Edward Gumbley (Jon Jay) and his company JEGANTIC is to thank for the opening of Bord’Elle – Boutique Bar and Eatery. John, who has been in the nightlife scene in Montreal for over 15 years, is also a real estate developer, a franchise owner and runs a travel company. His desire for providing the city with rich music and entertainment is always at the forefront.
So, what inspired John Edward Gumbley to create such a majestic location?
Gumbley has been traveling to Europe every year for a couple of years now. When he went to Paris he knew he was going to open some places in the upcoming years, however, he didn’t know what exactly. “I stayed at a couple boutique hotels in France on purpose and one of my inspirations for Bord’Elle came from the design of these places,” he says. The concept was to open a boutique hotel that functions as a bar and supper club. This year, John visited Spain and a big part of the Bord’Elle concept is to create your own gin. Bord’Elle is now the official venue of Hendricks gin in Eastern Canada.
“When I was in Spain, they make your gin tonic in a very different way, while using copa glasses that look like half fish bowls,” he explains. “I’m bringing that to Bord’Elle, where the customer can pick their gin base, their type of tonic and then accompany it with whatever you like: blueberry, strawberry and other flavours to create your gin punch.”
His third inspiration was highly influenced by the 1920’s. Bord’Elle – Boutique Bar and Eatery is divided into three distinct areas: The Grand Foyer, the Whiskey Parlour and the Champagne Room. The Grand Foyer is the principle entrance, with lavish booths where they can grab a bite to eat and enjoy a cocktail. Customers will also notice the centerpiece, a grand, round bar offering delicious, infused cocktails. Here, customers can enjoy the relics of the Gin Bar, inspired by Spanish gin and tonic concoctions. Next there is the Whiskey Parlour, located above the Grand Foyer and specializing in about 50 scotch and whiskey blends; this dark, rich, mahogany wooden lounge oozes sophistication. “Picture in the 1920’s, some rich men, going to Egypt and Africa, who bring back relics and enjoy the collection of rich materials. These are the people I imagine walking into the Whiskey Parlour,” John says. Last, but not least, there is the Champagne Room, which is catered to women and designed in a playful manner. Adorned in golden, rose hues, it’s meant to look and feel like the inside of a champagne bottle. The mezzanine offers a variety of champagnes, proseccos and private import wines.
Bord’Elle aims to please an older crowd, as John explains. “It is part of my inspiration. I’ve owned a bunch of places and as I’m getting older and I’m noticing the new wave of clubs are mostly geared towards students, there is still a growing population of people in their late twenties and early thirties that want to have fun and have a real experience. I want to be the person to fill that void and by opening up a big supper club/night club experience, this demographic can finally let loose and have a good time.”
The dinner service is laid back and smooth with a new age raw bar that has many sharing options. Customers can expect tartars, tataki dishes and healthy and light options. The food is really different compared to other supper clubs. The tartar is fresh, and full of flavours. There is nothing on the menu that will leave you feeling too full to have a good time.
I asked John how he can describe Bord’Elle – Boutique Bar and Eatery in one sentence. “A new-age take on a supper club that will redefine and elevate the scene in old Montreal, and the city itself once again.”
What’s in a name? “A lot of French people say that when a party is crazy, it’s going to be un bordelle. I wanted to add mystery and sex appeal as everyone knows what a bordelle is. The play on the spelling of the word is meant to define by her side, adding sex appeal and flare to the location.
As for myself, I think Bord’Elle is a supper club with a 1920’s twist dedicated to cater a distinguished crowd, offering them an experience like no other. Every single detail of the location is intricate. A lot of money and patience was put into this project. It’s a 1920’s ball room come to life.
By Alyssa De Rosa –mtltimes.ca
Photos: Sylvain Granier