They were there first : 3 institutions in the city center

3 minutes

Montreal centre-ville


There is no words for what happens when you set foot in a place years later and find it unchanged. Time stops and we let ourselves be carried away by a trip down memory lane. Nostalgia is a powerful force that draws us to these places over and over again. Renowned Montreal establishments that have stood the test of time while maintaining their timelessness are rare, but have marked history and are now an integral part of our culture.

Among those are these 3 downtown institutions from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s that forged the identity of the metropolis.


Mister Steer


When one imagines the typical old deli, one often thinks of the warm atmosphere animated by the old jukebox, the familiar staff, a menu with endless options and large comforting plates that one can barely finish. Mister Steer, is exactly that : one of the few places where time stopped in 1958 and where you have the same experience every time you visit, whether you’re a regular customer or not.

One of the reasons for the timelessness of the place is the generational aspect: Mister Steer was taken over by the son, who married and then passed it along to his sons. It’s a generation story that we can taste and that fully justifies the visit of people who return there after years spent abroad, as soon as they set foot in Montreal.

Nostalgia isn’t the only reason customers keep coming back year after year, the famous Steerburger, made with refined cuts of kosher beef and a unique seasoning, is recognized as the best burger in town. It is even said that to date 60 million Steerburger have been served in Montreal.

1198 Sainte-Catherine Street W


Sir Winston Churchill Pub

Talk to any Montrealer and they’ll have a story to tell you. Sir Winston Churchill is mainly a bar with 3 floors, each with its own unique vibe: the Winston Churchill Pub on the ground floor, the Winnie’s restaurant-bar upstairs and, on the second, the Karina’s Club Lounge.

Epicenter of downtown nighlife, the pub is known for its moving dance floor, renowned DJs and unforgettable parties where several big celebrities such as Robert DeNiro and Wyclef Jean have already made surprise appearances.

Winston Churchill Pub
Winston Churchill Pub
Winston Churchill Pub

During Grand Prix Week in Montreal, the Winston Churchill Pub becomes a staple where people have to book up to a year in advance to be able to party.

To this day, this institution welcomes locals and tourists, from their twenties to sixties, thanks to its unrivaled happy hour offers, its DJs, its live musical performances and its trendy atmosphere.

1455 Crescent Street


Chez Alexandre

The famous Parisian brasserie on Peel is a real Montreal institution. It was in 1977, almost 45 years ago, that the brothers Alain and Yvon bought Dupont & Smith to open the first French brasserie in town.

Enjoying typical French plates such as foie gras, oysters and grilled meats from Chez Alexandre, whether it’s on their nice little terrace or inside, in their retro decor, gives the impression of having teleported to Paris for the time of a meal. The lounge reserved for cigar smokers has also made them famous.


Since the opening in 1977, the brothers’ motto has been clear and has been well conveyed to employees: to welcome all who walk through the door of their establishment as friends and not customers. The effect is instantaneous: you feel straight at home and then come back as soon as an opportunity presents itself.

1454 Peel Street

With the support of Ville-Marie borough