Taking a gamble on a new spot to hang out can be dicey; it’s hard to find a place that lives up to the hype, but at Snack N’ Blues in the Montreal Mile End, you’re sure to have a good time and get just what’s on the tin: endless free snacks and an amazing assortment of jazz and blues.
Opened in Mile End in 1991, the bar is simple and sweet – bowls of gummi bears, caramels, jelly beans, chocolate malt balls, chips, pretzels, peanuts, a venerable Wonka Factory if it was run by a less manic master of ceremonies, in this case, owner Steve Katina-Glow, and did I mention the snacks are free?
Photos of Ray Charles, a topless Janis Joplin, Satchmo, and other stars line the walls of a bar that looks more like a bohemian living room than a nightclub. It’s frankly impressive to have so many things fit in such a small and intimate space without making it feel crowded; a large pool table dominates the back of the room, and above the bar a television plays old classic cartoons and movies, even on nights when bands jam on the small stage crammed between the front door and an ancient piano.
On the other side, the DJ booth that Katina-Glow built himself is stacked end to end with a treasure trove of vinyl and CDs, and you know whatever gets picked next will always be just right.
The tunes are unparalleled, the atmosphere is intimate and – perhaps most importantly – the drinks are good and the snacks are free and bottomless.
The patrons are a revolving door of all types: skaters, punks, old timers, jazz aficionados, young and old alike mingling in the good vibes.
Things run slowly at Snack N’ Blues – if you’re looking for somewhere to slam shots and party at, this isn’t it. But, if you want a spot to have a nice date night where you don’t have to shout yourself hoarse just to have a conversation, if you want an evening hanging out with your besties, or if you and your crew have been wandering around trying to find the next place to hit up on a crawl, Snack N’ Blues is a great place to cap off the night at, or just stop and refuel @ 5260 St Laurent blvd!