Tucked underneath a trending restaurant is the newest speakeasy to grace Montreal with its presence. We weren’t kidding when we said it was the new “it” thing! People love exclusivity and feeling like they’re in the know, so it’s no wonder speakeasies are on the rise.
Bird Bar recently opened to fried chicken fans’ delight. Even more excitingly, however, is the gem that opened beneath the tasty restaurant. Henden is the speakeasy we’ve been waiting for. It’s the most reminiscent of the secret bars in the 20s, where they were hidden in basements behind unmarked doors. The only way into Henden is through Bird Bar, and then you have to go down the stairs to find the wonderful cozy bar below.
Henden is tiny. It really fits about 45 to 50 people at a time. So if you’re in, you’re really “in.” The space has beautiful stone walls with bright drapes on the ceiling, making the space look more inviting. The matching couches are the perfect spot to sit and sip cocktails with friends. Plants adorn the space to make it feel less like you’re partying in someone’s basement. And don’t forget the marble countertop tables, perfect for those Instagram-worthy shots.
The cocktails are delicious and not typical (although you can obviously order your simple gin & tonic). We loved The Blacker the Berry cocktail, with Crown royal black, Dark origins, Diplomatico, blackberry, almond, chocolate bitters, and activated charcoal. It was the perfect mix of sweet and bitter, making us order this cocktail over and over again.
Another delicious cocktail on the sweeter side is The Andean Dutchman, with Ketel One, papelón , pineapple, almond, lemon, and egg white. We’d be curious to try Henry the Vegan cocktail, with Bombay sapphire, cashew milk, vegan egg white, sugar, orange blossom, and soda. Henden caters to vegans with their alcohol too! What a prize.
Another fun fact about Henden is that you can order off Bird Bar‘s late night menu while sipping your cocktails. And you thought this place couldn’t get any better! Well, you were wrong. Another ode to the vegans, Bird Bar / Henden offers popcorn vegan fried chicken with crème fraiche, chives, and flowers. As non-vegans, we loved this imitation clucker!
We also sampled the green fried tomato taco. Wow. Bursting with flavour, we couldn’t get enough. We would definitely recommend this delicious dish. But the pièce de résistance is, of course, the popcorn fried chicken (the real stuff), also served with crème fraiche, chives, and flowers. Juicy, crispy, with just the right amount of batter, it made us want to try Bird Bar ASAP!
At their fabulous opening event soirée, Henden’s bartenders were sporting sexy Alice Kass lingerie while expertly making cocktails, shucking oysters upon oysters, and making wonderful little blinis with Imperial Caviar. This was the good stuff. We may or may not have huddled around that section for a good portion of the night.
If you’re itching to try a new cocktail bar on your next night out (and feel a little empty pit in your stomach), then Henden is the place you’ll want to check out.
Photos courtesy of Henden (Alison Slattery Photography) and Bird Bar.