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Crew Collective



The happiest of Tuesdays to you! Tuesdays, I believe, are the most pointless of days. It’s not quite Monday so you hardly have an excuse to have that start-of-the-week sluggishness. It’s not hump day. It’s not almost Friday, Friday, and it’s certainly not the weekend. It hangs in a limbo of purposelessness. That, I think, is quite sad. Tuesdays once had a point, back when iTunes released a new free song each Tuesday. But then they launched Apple Music and ruined everything that this poor day of the week had to offer. Tuesdays are random. Tuesdays are where assignments are always due because there’s nothing better to do. Tuesdays do not have a good reputation.

Alas, I’m restoring the purpose to this pointless day with a blog post about coffee. Specifically, a blog post about a very grand place called Crew Collective + Cafe.

There’s nothing about this cafe that screams “nestled in the heart of __” because Crew Collective + Cafe is a statement and is well aware of the fact.

Firstly, this place diverges from standard independent cafe culture stereotypes. There is no cozy, intimate space. No cushions in the corner, no dog that always lies in the same spot for 25 hours a day. This place is majestic, and they mean business. A corporate cafe, if you will. Before you close this tab and turn your back on this place forever, I need to emphasize two things: this cafe is built on the concept of productivity and work, and have you seen the pictures above?

Crew Collective is located in what I believe is a bank in Old Montreal close to the Intercontinental and Westin hotels. It has gorgeous cathedral ceilings and stunning, open-concept architecture. The atmosphere is so grand that we can dismiss our premonitions of what an independent cafe should be and just roll with it.

The historic setting of the cafe contrasts its modernity and makes it all the better. Like I said, Crew Collective seeks to be the best workplace alternative to the library. Anyone with the motto “Best coffee and wifi in Montreal” (the coffee claim is debatable) is about getting things done. So snag a seat and never leave. You don’t have to; you can simply use the “best wifi” to go online and order your coffee/snack/meal directly from their website, and someone will bring it to you. And while their food is amazing and this feature is wonderful, I find that this online service hinders the speed of their service and makes it a little slower. However, if you’re parking out there for the day, you aren’t in any rush. Also, from the macchiato I had, I can understand why certain Yelp reviews praise everything about this place except for the espresso. The coffee? It’s fine. The espresso is a little bit bitter and rich for my taste. I prefer something a little less creamy, but the only reason I’m being picky is because my macchiato took ten minutes to get to my table.

Aside from my preference of espresso, I just want to acknowledge how awesome the food is here. Their menu is prepared to keep you there all day (made this judgment solely from the presence of salmon tartare avocado toast…for $12.50 it better be amazing). I’ll let you explore the menu for yourself.

Crew Collective also does this interesting thing that I still don’t really understand –  potentially because I don’t have money coming out of every orifice nor do I usually commit to one cafe – where one can purchase a membership to their cafe. For a mere $450/ month, you can get discounts on food and beverages (oh, the irony), speakeasy access, 24/7 entrance (even when the cafe is closed), your own personal concierge, meeting room access, networking ability with Crew’s immediate community of innovators (this seems to be a particularly empty claim…no elaboration), and access to the balconies! The latter, I find, is the most interesting part. A large portion of the cafe is accessible to us plebeians, but there’s an even larger portion of the cafe reserved for members. This is a literal realization of the whole “you can’t sit with us” thing. Ah, nostalgia.

Okay, so Crew Collective may be pretentious and situated in Montreal’s most beautiful neighbourhood (yet another subjective claim), but its grandeur and working space are totally worth it. Not particularly fantastic for socializing, but I managed to read a Spenserian text in a single afternoon (read: Old English). That, my friends, is a testament to their working atmosphere. It’s pretty great.

Visit their website here.


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