21 Okt Sneakerzimmer meets Aidan Lavoie-Whittall (The Coldroom)
Montréal is a true beauty. It’s a city where European and especially French influences are ubiquitous and different cultures combine. Canadians are not only very friendly and hospitable, they are also very laid back and enjoy the good things in life. French cuisine for example tastes as good as it does in France. Foie Gras on brioche anyone? Perhaps that’s one of many reasons why we truly felt welcome from the very first day. Of course we can’t refuse a good drink either no matter what time it is – surely it must be five o’clock somewhere around the globe. Montréal’s bar scene is surprisingly diverse, courageous and always open to new influences.
In search of a strong drink we found a true gem in the centre of Vieux Montréal. Tucked away in a basement (look out for a little duck over an unimpressive door) The Coldroom is a cozy, unpretentious speakeasy bar that just celebrated its second birthday. Stocked with a wide range of premium spirits the seasonal menu will impress all cocktail connoisseurs. Also, The Coldroom is a very sneaker friendly bar. You don’t dress to impress here, you rather leave your ego at home. And as you get into a deeper conversation with the bartenders, you might notice that they themselves also love sneakers as much as you do. Let us introduce Aidan:
SZ: Hi Aidan, nice to meet you! First things first: Where are you from and what’s your job at The Coldroom?
Aidan: Although I was born in Montréal, I was raised in a small town outside of Ottawa called Aylmer. I started working at The Coldroom two years ago as a bartender, but now I’m part of the management team.
SZ: What do you love about your job?
Aidan: I’ve always loved interacting with people, and that aspect of my job I still love. That being said, having an outlet to express my creativity is incredibly rewarding and is a big reason why I’ve chosen bartending as my career.
SZ: Ok, we’re in a bar, probably in one of Montréal’s best. So Aidan, could you make us your favourite drink?
Aidan: I wouldn’t say that I have a favourite drink! In fact, what I like to drink changes almost seasonally. Granted, the drink that I’m happy drinking any time of the year would have to be a „Reverse Manhattan“. Here’s my recipe:
60ml Cocchi Di Torino
30ml Canadian Rye (lot40)
4 dashes of Abbott’s Bitters
Stir and serve up, garnished with a cherry! It’s so good!
SZ: What makes The Coldroom so special?
Aidan: The Coldroom has kind of become synonymous with quality costumer service. This is amazing for us because it’s been our first priority since day 1. I think this is what makes The Coldroom so unique. We’re able to greet people as if we were welcoming them into our home and that’s how we want our guests to feel.
SZ: Let’s change the subject just a little bit: Why do you collect kicks?
Aidan: We spend half of our lives in our bed and the other half on our feet, so we might as well invest a bit extra in both of those things. My clothes aren’t that extravagant and my sneakers are a way of showing off my personality.
SZ: Are you therefore a „sneakerhead“?
Aidan: I don’t know if I can call myself a sneakerhead, because of how much I don’t know of the culture and history. There’s so much about sneakers underneath the surface of just hyped collectibles that many people don’t think about: the designers and influences, the impact on basketball and skateboarding and so on. I know of some of these things, but not enough to be able to properly label myself a true sneakerhead.
SZ: What’s your favourite brand right now?
Aidan: I’m a huge fan of adidas and the three stripes. Hopefully one day they will sponsor bartenders! (laughs)
SZ: What bars in Montréal do you recommend besides „The Coldroom“?
Aidan: I like going to Mal Necessaire, Bar Pamplemousse and Pub St-Pierre. All places with great drinks and amazing people!
SZ: We will check them out! And thanks for your time and hospitality!
You should follow Aidan on Instagram if you like booze and shoes.