if you’ve ever looked up bars in Montreal before then you’ve probably come across this week’s hotspot. You’ve also probably noticed that many other people find this bar notable as well. We’re here to back up everything you may have read and to let you know that yes, indeed, Bily Kun is a top-notch YP hangout for cocktails and, more notably, great beer. Located at St. Denis and Mont-Royal (354 Mont-Royal Est), it is surrounded by amazing bars but has managed to make a reputation for itself. Opened in 1998 by Fabien Lacaille and Bruce Hackenbeck, Bily Kun is actually designed after a hotel/bar in Czech Republic. The are a few Czech beer options on the menu, but who needs a huge list when it comes to one of the most renowned beer-producing countries? As for the décor, don’t expect to see any moose heads lining the walls. Instead, there are about 20 Ostrich heads mounted near the ceiling. It’s a strange mix of out-of-the-ordinary, yet still very Montreal.
The drink menu is fantastic – they’ve got most of everything you could want and their beer list is amazing for a bar that isn’t a microbrewery. In fact, they actually carry beers from local microbreweries such as Dieu du Ciel, which was last week’s notable featured bar. If you prefer something not from a microbrewery, then Bily Kun has that, too. Most of their commercial beers come from Quebec-based breweries, but if you like Unibroue this shouldn’t be a problem. They have a list of cocktails on their menu, but as with most other places you can ask for anything and make up anything. They also have a list of Czech cocktails that are very interesting, many of which feature Czech herbal bitter, Becherovka, in them to give it a sharp aftertaste. The J-R Becher could be called a Czech Old-Fashioned; the Becherovka acts as the bitter, the apple juice as the sugar, and the lemon as garnish…all covered with a hefty serving of Brandy. They also have a Mojito Becher, which is exactly like a mojito but with, of course, Becherovka.
In the summertime or warm weather months, Bily Kun opens up its windows to the passers of Mont-Royal. If you can, then do score a seat near the window. It’s the perfect way to spend a warm night.
Photo courtesy Bily Kun