I boogied over to Félix last weekend and I’m itching to tell you all about it. Located in an inconspicuous building on St. Hubert, you don’t expect to encounter the wonderfully weird interior décor. The rules are, there are no rules… well except one: pas de téléphone chez Félix. The lovely maître d’ will take your phone and tuck it in what looks like a library card catalogue from the 1800s.
I’ve heard a lot of people dub this place Montreal’s Berlin-style bar, but it isn’t quite that. All of my fellow travelers will agree that this joint is a touch too goth and not enough techno to embody Berlin through and through. Rather, Félix is more like the offspring of a Berlin bar and a Budapest ruin pub. I will say that the upstairs décor does have that Berlin-style living room feel, and there is a cave in the basement of the club after all. Still, the sound system isn’t ear-piercing and the vibe is more chill than chilling.
Felix is a new bar so I’ll need to give it another visit in a few months to see it reach its full potential. After all, what is it that we adore most about our favourite places to boogie? The people. The ways that people interact in a joint and the ways that effect is negotiated at dance parties is at the heart of this column.
I seemed to have missed the memo that night because there was a costume theme going on. Staff and patrons alike were dressed up in outfits—from corsets to boas, it was definitely funky chez Félix. There seemed to be a lot of love in the room but I got the feeling that the place was packed with two or three large groups that made up the crowd of the bar. See the patrons of Félix were abound by prior connections, not by the music. This—I think—is the secret ingredient missing for this spot. Love and Funky Stuff is dedicated to well, love and funky stuff. I want to explore that love potion we call house music and think about our souls dancing in these collective spaces.
I think this is precisely the phenomenon that Félix’s cellphone restriction tries to uncover: the human connection that is lost when we tap into our phones and out of our shoes. Because it is one thing to be lost in the music, but it is another thing to be lost in the community who brings that music to life. Danny Tenaglia famously said that music is the answer to our problems—and this is the relationship that I’m digging to unearth: that between house music and our joy, our sadness, and our problems. So head over to Félix and give this place the soul that it needs. Jack’s house is homey when house music is heard by the souls of its herd.
Félix is located at 6388 St. Hubert. 10 p.m. – 3 a.m. Got some house music tips or venues for Love & Funky stuff? Email them to email@example.com