354 Mont-Royal East
Montreal, QC H2T 1P9
If the hipster movement stands for anything, it is being new and different. It is about putting your self out there and doing something that is outside the Norm. Bily Kun in Montreal is all about being different. While the ultra modern lounge look is popular in many bars, Bily Kun has kept the classic, historic touches of the old building and gives them a slight twist. This isn’t your average neighborhood bar where empty Pabst cans cover the tables. This is the type of bar your order an absinthe or a plate of marinated feta while enjoying improvisational jazz.
As with the hipsters of today, Bily Kun (Chzech for “White Horse) seems to pride itself on being just off normal. The tile on the bathroom floor is a bright lime green with black.The wall tile is a white hexagonal ceramic paired with black subway tile (Both vertical and horizontal) in a way you often see. This is paired with dark woods and cream colored paints that give it a relaxed and classic vibe with a twist. Even the music is the unlikely pairing of Jazz and a live DJ. The best touch is the stuffed Ostrich heads. It is a great icebreaker for a first date and it gives Kun’s its personality. It allows you to feel at ease, that you have officially escaped the seriousness of the workplace and that you entered a place where you can crack jokes.
Recreating this look is not difficult, particularly in a home that has a more classic architecture (In particular Victorian). Use vintage materials whenever you have the chance. Use plaster walls, vintage ceramic tile, and dark yet not overly ornate wood. While you may not want Ostrich heads lining your basement, you do want something that will get people talking. Antiques stores are a great place to find these types of things. Consider looking for old ads that have changed meanings over time ( (/10 Doctors smoke Camels, No Irish Need Apply, etc). You may also want classic pieces that have been tweaked. The idea is to be just a few degrees of totally sophisticated. This is the bar you drink a Wild Turkey Manhattan or a Grey Goose and Kool Aid. A place you can discuss Wrath of Kahn in a business suit. It is a place where you can be you, and if you are replicating it in your own house, that is exactly what you want.
And if you are in Montreal, drop into Bily Kun’s and grab a drink and listen to some live music. You’ll thank me later.