Word of a skateboard park inside a bar often elicits stares of disbelief. TRH Bar (pronounced ‘trash’) is a near-mythic bar that no one ever really believes exists until they’ve been there. You may never have heard of TRH or even noticed it in passing, but inside is a fully functional skateboard park with a ramp on the second floor and a bowl on the first. A popular bar for snowboarders, surfers, and skateboarders alike, it’s easy to find if you know to keep a look out for its small, black and red sign and the packs of skateboard-baring youths outside its door.
When I ventured into the bar just south of Tokyo Bar on St. Laurent, the first thing I noticed was the graffiti. It’s on the walls, the doors, and even on the mirrors in the bathroom—no need to check how your makeup or hair is holding up anyway. Other items decorating the walls are stickers from various skate and surf companies such as Hurley and Roxy, as well as numerous skateboard decks, all of which add a cool and colourful atmosphere.
In TRH, comfort is the rule. I watched the action in the bowl from one of the many couches and worn-in chairs scattered around the space, reminiscent of the comfortable furniture in the SSMU lounge. This relaxed set-up and atmosphere made TRH feel like a night out at someone’s house; it’s a non-threatening environment that falls within most people’s comfort zone.
This laid-back attitude was also evident in the clothes the patrons wore—apparel included sweaters, baggy jeans, beanies, loose shirts, snapbacks, and snowboarding jackets.
If you want to participate, all you have to do is pay a $1 fee and sign a waiver.
The bowl—an obstacle requiring very little pushing—allows the skateboarder to focus on technique while undertaking lots of tricks.
People weren’t trying to do anything too crazy—mostly 180s, ollies, and aerials on occasion. For spectators, it’s also amusing to watch the odd wipeout—not to worry though, the bowl and ramp are netted off to protect from flying skateboards. The boarders took turns and either after a spill or a couple good runs they would switch out to let another skater have a go.
Everyone I met at TRH was incredibly friendly and welcoming, which was a welcome change from the Montreal club scene. We danced and bonded over the incredible drink deals: $2 shots. At $5, a beer isn’t too hard on the wallet either.
Just a warning—the TRH vibe may not be right for everyone. If you plan on going to TRH you have to be able to roll with the punches and have a good time. Televisions played an odd Jackass-esque video where a group of guys tried to fit condoms over their heads. I also had beer literally thrown in my face when two guys fell over while dancing to the remixed dance rap pumping from the speakers for most of the night.
Nevertheless, TRH has a great vibe and provides boarders with an awesome venue for skateboarding throughout the winter season in Montreal. Since everyone just does his or her own thing, it’s a great place to practise whether you’re a beginner or have been skateboarding for years. For a different way to spend a night out, TRH is definitely a spot to check out.
3699 St. Laurent
Tues.-Sun: 8 p.m.- 3 a.m.