The Pioneer pub reopened four years ago after operating under the banner ‘Clyde’s’ for some two decades. Here, up to 558 people of all ages can go for drinks, pub food, music, and playing pool. Situated in the heart of Pointe Claire village; the building has been a fixture of local social life for over 100 years.
“This place was built as a hotel in the 1880s and transformed into a bar by about 1900,” says owner Diane Marois. “It was called ‘The Pioneer’ when I started here as a barmaid 1979; I eventually became co-owner of the building with my late husband, Ron Bracken. We took a 20-year break when Clyde’s rented the premises, reopening as ‘The Pioneer’ in 2011. Today I am proud to work with my daughter, Veronica, the manager.”
In its previous incarnations, The Pioneer was known as a great place to hear live bands; including April Wine, Meat Loaf, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Platinum Blonde, Corey Hart, Honeymoon Suite, Prism, and The Animals. “A lot of bands would love to play here today, but it’s not profitable for me. But we do have bands with fund-raising events.”
Marois showed off the back room used for fundraisers and jams. “The sound here is amazing and seating capacity is 173.” When asked what sort of fundraisers she prefers, Marois answers, “I have a soft spot for causes promoting children or animals.”
Today, the Pioneer’s main draws are its friendly ambience, wide selection of beer, wine, and hard liquor, pub food, three pool tables, one Foosball table, six wide screen TVs (usually beaming in sports channels), four video lottery terminals (VLTs), a wood fireplace, terrace, and ample free parking.
There are food specials almost daily at The Pioneer: Fajitas Tuesdays ; Wings Wednesdays (the Pioneer’s wings won an award in 2014 from the Urban Spoon); Tacos Thursdays; and Friday are for ribs.
The regular menu offers four salads including a taco salad ($12.95), some 15 entrées from the
fromsoupe du jour ($3.95) to poutine ($7.95) to home made chili ($11.95). Eight different burgers are listed, ranging from chicken burger ($9.95) to fajitas beef chicken ($21.95). Vegetarians who can eat cheese will find a few items on menu, such as the veggie quesadilla ($15.95). The Pioneer is thin on desserts, but does offer a mean apple pie.
The lunch menu is smaller than the regular menu, featuring some 17 items starting with a bacon lettuce tomato (BLT) sandwich at $6.95 and going up to a tortilla cheese steak ($12.95).
Coors Light, Creemore, Molson Export, Murphy’s, and Rickards are on tap while bottled beers include many Molson products, Dos Equis, Heineken and some Labbatt labels (Blue, Budweiser, Corona). There is also a wide selection of hard liquor.
“Our daytime crowd includes families,” says Marois, noting that while customers have to be at least 18 years old to go inside, children are allowed to eat on the terrace (open May to September, weather permitting). “Saturday draws an older crowd, sometimes including the parents of our Friday night customers.” The Pioneer is open 11AM—3PM daily.
“Most of the clientele is local, coming from Pte Claire, Dorval, or Ste Anne’s. There used to be a lot of places like Cheers and Bourbon Street West that people could go, but now they are mainly closed. The Pioneer is one of the few pubs left from that era…”
The Pioneer / Resto Bar Le Pionnier
286 Lakeshore Rd, Pointe-Claire
H9S 4L7 514.630.8118
STM bus 211 west
(from Lionel Groulx metro or Dorval Train Station)