A name like Korova puts you in pretty big shoes to fill. If you don't know what I mean, then run to your local used-book shop (forget about giant rip-off Indigo/Chapters) and buy a roughed-up copy of "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess. After you're done with the book, run to you local used-video store and get Stanley Kubrick's masterly take on the same "A Clockwork Orange". In the film, Kubrick lets his wild imagination free and manages to re-create a crazy modern and original bar called Korova. Take a look at the collection of Korova images taken from the movie, and youíll see why I say that using the name Korova puts you in some pretty big shoes to fill.
The sad reality is that even in nightlife-crazed Montreal, I've never entered a bar that comes anywhere close to Kubrick's Korova in terms of originality and craziness of design. And I am really not sure why it is this way; if Kubrick managed to get these tables and props made, then an eccentric business person with deep pockets could do the same for a real bar. My only explanation for the lack of Korova-style amazingness in the nightlife is the actual conservatism of patrons and owners, and thatís pretty lame.
Keeping in mind this utopian Krova constructed by Kubrick, I was ready for big time disappointment when visiting Montrealís own Korova Bar. Located on a 2nd floor of a St-Laurent building, I though there was no way the place could live up to its name.
To my pleasant surprise, Montreal's Korova does posses its own original soul. That soul comes from a set of original arcade games (Pac-Man and Space Invaders I believe) which are in the form of tables, around which you can sit and put your beers on. The machines are functioning, flickering, and simply amazing to see in a table format.
The bar has a pleasant laid back and unpretentious feel to it. Itís definitely not an enormous space but still packs a dance-floor. A large deer head behind the barman, a foosball table, the vintage arcade-game tables and free popcorn combine into a chill atmosphere, miles away from the artificial poshness that many St-Laurent joints suffer-of.
Yes, I got it, Montreal's Korova even though is nowhere near Kubrick's Korova, has an authentic soul. And that's already a lot.