Partying since 1975! LIVE MUSIC 7/7
BISTRO À JOJO
One day, Francis Chamberland began
negotiations to acquire the local and
eventually bought it, with his 2 asso-
ciates at the time, Carl Sprat and Elie
Sabbath. After 2 quick weeks of reno-
vations, a Bistro à Jojo jam-packed
reopened its doors on December 16,
1996, with Jimmy James on stage.
Francis then became the only owner nearly a year later, until 2010.
When Jean Millaire guitar was installed (the first of our wall showcases), other guitars, instruments, personal objects, awards and gold albums began arriving from everywhere. An association between Québécois artists and Bistro à Jojo started and a collection was born, with pictures on the walls over time.
Bistro à Jojo, Montreal’s Blues Institution
Founded in 1975 by Joe "Jojo" Lévis, owner of the nearby restaurant 'Le St-Malo' who wanted to include the growing clientele that often came for just a drink.
Joe sold it 2 years later to two European partners, Marc Botrel (French) and François Tavernier (Belgian), who held the Bistro for 19 years. With the complicity of Jean Millaire, they had the idea to present Blues shows and it was the Johnny Blues Band who had the honor of being the first official group to play for 2 years, every Monday from 1985 and 1986. Unfortunately, following tensions between the 2 partners, the Bistro had closed its doors in 1996, after 21 years of existence and hard work... For 2 months, the Bistro wasn’t anymore and the local was for rent...
The success of the Bistro resonated in Montreal, the music scene of the time was sharing its stage. Album launches and interviews occurred and mentors artists like Marjo and Éric Lapointe provided a good visibility at Bistro à Jojo and supported it with all their heart. * Today, Eric comes from time to time and he does not miss the opportunity to get on stage if he wants to sing! Do not miss the opportunity to see its two showcases and its table, including guitars, trophies, photos and other personal items! *
In 2009, after 13 years of loyal services, Francis decided to sell the Bistro. Danny Cyr and his associate Clément Côté took over in 2010. Currently owners, they have managed to preserve everything that makes
the charm of the Bistro à Jojo: an incredible
atmosphere every evening, a large clientele of
music lovers and a great staff team to ensure
your party in an intimate, unpretentious bar.
Not to mention the eternal, unique and
historic "handle bar", that helps to balance
your dance if the alcohol leak afloat!
These last 3 years, the Bistro had 2 periods
of large renovations, but the soul of the
place is still there, with new pictures on tables,
new music showcases and new objects. Today, the Bistro à Jojo is still the best place to live an unforgettable evening in the company of local artists and to meet music lovers from around the world! The atmosphere is always a feast, with music shows 7 days a week, which makes the Bistro à Jojo the Montreal Blues Institution.
Thanks to those artists without whom the Bistro would not be what it is:
Jean Millaire, Éric Lapointe, Marjo, Gerry Boulet, Justin Boulet, Breen Leboeuf, Matt Laurent, Carl Tremblay, Jim Zeller, Bob Walsh, Bob Harrisson, Steve Hill, Jonas, Paul Deslauriers, Guy Bélanger, Joe Jammer, Michel Barrette, Linda Lemay, Daniel Boucher, Jimmy James, Colin James, Martin Deschamps, Laurence Jalbert, John McGale, Carlos Veiga, Joe and Roger Lévis and all the others!
A big special thanks to André Ménard (team Spectra) and Randy Renaud (CHOM FM).
And a huge thank you to all those who believed in the Bistro, continuous customers creating the magic of each evening and past, present and future staff; you're all part of the family!
«Without women, blues would not exist.» - JOHN LEE HOOKER
«Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel.» - JIMI HENDRIX
«Playing the blues is like having to be black twice.» - B.B. KING
«Blues is like salt, you put some in everything.» - ROOSEVELT SYKES
«Blues was born when africain slavery became american salvery.» - LEROY JONES
«If you don't like blues, you might have a whole in your soul.» - JIMMY RODGERS
«Every bad situation is a blues song waiting to happen.» - AMY WINEHOUSE
«If you don,t know the blues, there's no point in picking up the guitar and playing rock'n'roll or any other form of popular music.» - KEITH RICHARDS
«Simple music is the hardest music to play and blues is simple music.» - ALBERT COLLINS
«I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet..» - DENIS WAITLEY
«The blues is losing someone and not having enough money to immerse yourself in drink.» - HENRI ROLLINS
«Pop music is aspirin and the blues are vitamins.» - PETER TORK