Ravi Handa is designing his own wine bar called Stem in Montreal

Remanufactured materials found during the demolition were preserved and used as decoration in this vineyard bar in Montreal called Stem, which was also designed by co-owner Ravi Handa Architect.


Named Stem, the wine bar was completed in early 2020 near September, a café and a surfing workshop designed by the same architect in Montreal’s Little Burgundy neighborhood.

A piece of vintage wallpaper now hangs next to the bar entrance

Learning that the empty space near the September cafe will be occupied by a pizza chain with large boxes, the architect teamed up with some partners to rent the space themselves.

“There was a commotion in the community and we [September] along with other local businesses in the bloc they didn’t want a multinational chain as a neighbor, ”Handa told Dezeen.

“There was a lot of pressure to create something mental and anchored to set up, because we persuaded our landlords to break with a brand we thought was soulless and quite generic,” he added.

A Montreal wine bar with a wooden slatted screen
Materials found on the site during the demolition were turned into works of art

Handa envisioned an institution that would pull clues out of the cafe, offering an occasional place to gather neighbors in a night environment.

“As a partner, and because the job is physically connected to an already successful business, I put more emotion into the design process than usual,” he said.

“Although the spirit of the café is reflected in the fine lines and warm palette of the wine bar, the new space has its own identity, using the stem as a source of inspiration.”

Thin wooden slats, intended to represent the stems of wine glass, are a motif that is repeated in interiors.

Montreal Wine Bar with privacy screens
A privacy screen separates the tasting room from the back of the house

During the demolition of the existing space, several finishes and parts of different materials were found, which were converted into works of art of the finished space.

“The pieces of wood and metal were collected in collaboration with artist and friend Jeremy Le Chatelier, who incorporated them into the works of art,” the architect said.

In the long, narrow space, there are walls painted in dark green, which was chosen on the basis of a piece of vintage, hand-painted wallpaper found on the site.

Otherwise, the existing brick walls are exposed to the nod of the industrial past of the area.

The bar is headquartered in the Montreal Stem wine bar
The thin wooden strips lining the space should look like the stem of a wine glass

Thin wooden slats cover the bar itself, a motif that is also on the privacy screen that separates the back of the house from the tasting room.

“[The screen] it hides the sink and the dishwashing space, without alienating the workers from the lively energy in the bar, ”the architect said.

Bathroom with green mint tiles and exposed concrete
The new finishes contrast the existing walls in the bathroom

In the toilet, the concrete wall remained in its original condition, in contrast to the new tiles and devices that were installed during the renovation.

In an attempt to support local brands and designers, the architect procured furniture and lighting from the city’s closely connected community of designers. The lights are by Luminaire Authentik, and the furniture is designed Device Workshop, furniture arm Appareil Architecture.

Other projects in Montreal include the newly opened coworking space Ivy Studio and a retro café in downtown Ménard Dworkind.

It’s a photo Olivier Blouin.

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