The journalist Claude Deschênes is a Saint-Laurent Boulevard regular. You can often spot him strolling up and down the street between Sherbrooke and Pine. For his itinerary, he speaks to us as Claude the citizen, not the cultural coverage professional. He wanders the Main every day because he has lived in this neighborhood for 25 years. Needless to say, he has developed his routines here. It comes as no surprise that his Top 5 includes iconic addresses.
SLOVENIA, BOUCHERIE ET CHARCUTERIE3653 SAINT-LAURENT MONTRÉAL QUÉBEC H2X 2V5I have quite a particular bond with my butcher shop. I’ve been going there for 25 years, since the first day I moved to Montreal. As everything around evolves, Slovenia always remains the same, a tell-tale sign of an institution. When I look down at the names of great restaurants on the take-out boxes when leaving Jean’s shop, I know that I, as well, will be a chef in my own kitchen with a little help of the ineffable Dario who flawlessly cuts my quality meat. The possibility to choose the thickness of your rib steak today is a privilege. Furthermore, there are thousands of products on the shelves that Marianne tirelessly restocks. And then, there’s my Bêtises de Cambrai (the world’s best candy) that she orders just for me.
AU PAIN DORÉ3611 SAINT-LAURENT MONTRÉAL QUÉBEC H2X 2V5Any self-respecting commercial artery should have a bread and pastry shop. One will always need a loaf, a croissant or a desert. On my corner of Saint-Laurent, the fully renovated La Brioche dorée fulfills this role. The smell of fresh baked bread combines itself with the ones of pastries and coffee… nom nom nom. And when I do not feel like preparing a lunch for myself, I walk down a couple of doors and I know I can always count on their one of a kind sandwiches, paninis and salads.
POURQUOI PAS... FLEURS3629 SAINT-LAURENT MONTRÉAL QUÉBEC H2X 2V5Walking into 3629 Saint-Laurent is like being lifted away to a shop in New York. When my neighbors, Roger and Richard, took over Pourquoi pas… fleurs back in 1992, they breathed new life and character into the store. It was already vintage 22 years ago, but you now feel like you’re in a workshop rather than a floral shop. With tin plate ceilings, enormous mirrors and metal boilers on trestle tables, the decor is a great background for an impressive display of flowers. From there on, simply let Éric and his team of skilled floral craftsmen demonstrate their redefined interpretation of a bouquet.
Nino La Cuisinière3653-A SAINT-LAURENT MONTRÉAL QUÉBEC H2X 2V5I enjoy cooking, and Nino has everything I need to do so because Nino knows cookery. Back in his home country of Egypt is where the founder of La Cuisinière started selling pots, pans, dishes and utensils. There must be over 4 thousand neatly organized items in what otherwise would be a tangled mess. Nino is 35 years’ worth of history and has become part of Saint-Laurent Boulevard’s DNA. Moreover, Nico Jr and his brother are ensuring the continued existence of the shop. Not only is Nino a retailer but a wholesaler as well. And do you know why he also sells spices? Because Nino kept the original business that the Indians left when they sold the store.