Joverse is the clever contraction of Joseph Versailles, a turn of the century (20th) entrepreneur who sold his hardware store to become a large land owner and the Mayor of Montreal East.
Mr. Versailles resided the very building located at 52 St-Jacques W. right in the heart of Old Montreal. The ground level and basement are now home to Joverse. At lobby level, you will find a large central bar surrounded by slightly elevated lounge areas to one side and some high tables at the other. The space was gutted while retaining all of the original building’s charm, case in point the two textured walls (stone /brick). No matter where you are located you will be comfortable, one almost feels as if the designers wanted everyone to be center stage. Joverse is someone’s SOHO loft-style living room (complete with tall drop-dead slender females everywhere), a cutting edge bar you could find in London and a kitchen that puts out killer quality bar food from around the world. Basement level Joverse is an exciting and underground space ideal for private events or for some anonymous naughtiness with so many dark corners to disappear into.
How does all this happen you might be wondering…? Joverse is the result of a couple of young lifetimes of world travel, music and love. Management is the happy union of hospitality and entertainment, bringing together a wealth of worldly party experience under the same roof. Joverse is a bar first establishment, open every day as of 5 pm where you will find the young-corporate crowd. As the evening goes on, Joverse is repopulated by an upper scale crowd and by night time music lovers abound as the DJ booth is a revolving door of Montreal’s most reputed spin masters. But wait there’s more! Mixologists Phil Tatham and Daniel Phelan, YES! -Food, YES! YES!!
Joverse wants you to be comfortable; we felt this in the unintimidating selections. At the bar everything is overseen by the house mixologists who put together an original no-nonsense list of speciality cocktails. Do try the Joverse Cesar, but be warned, rolling thunder in a glass with Mescal in lieu of Vodka, all kinds of heat and topped off with spicy chorizo. Other notable cocktails include the Jade 75 (Bombay Sapphire, Chartreuse, ginger rhubarb chilli syrup and Prosecco), and the NOTV Old Fashioned (Canadian Club, grapefruit and bitters).
The Joverse food menu is deceptively simple looking. What appears to be a simple list of food items doesn’t do justice to the actual dishes (we are all too experienced with the opposite – great looking menu, disappointing food). Many, many great options retained our attention. Panko crusted Fried Shrimp were perfect, nothing less. We had sweet and crispy crab cakes, papaya salad inspired from a trip to Thailand and a bang on selection of mini burger sliders. Joverse offers a selection of tacos, a quesadilla, and a solid guacamole too. We only live once, throw caution to the wind and order the Shishito grilled Peppers. (Not for the faint of heart).
With Jonathan Versailles already in the books, Joverse is writing a new chapter in Montreal Nightlife & entertainment and is the new name to look out for. Also be on the look out for their Taco Tuesday!