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Dan Boulianne, bar manager

Updated: May 2, 2021

A portrait of Dan Boulianne, bar manager in Montreal
Dan Boulianne

This is Daniel Boulianne.

Dan is 35 years old and grew up in Répentigny, near Montreal. He has a brother and is the uncle of 4 kids. He studied communication for a while but when his job at the time offered him to travel all across Canada, he decided to keep the job and leave his studies.

There are many things that might surprise you as to how Daniel got into the world of cocktails. Before being in the hospitality industry, Dan was a rep for Craft Canada and was dealing cheese and macaroni with grocery stores. At some point, the company took more time than usual to renew his contract and Dan used this time to do a bartending course. At this time in his life, he was quite a party guy and was organizing big karaoke parties, so learning to bartend seemed like a good thing to do. And it was.

After he finished his course, he was hired at La Distillerie as a doorman. Like most people that started at this Montreal’s iconic cocktail bar, he worked his way up to become a bartender and at some point, he joined the management team. After he worked pretty much all positions in the company during the 5 years and a half he stayed there, he got to a point where he wanted to learn something new. That’s when he met Kevin Demers who was about to open Coldroom and decided to hire Dan as his general manager. Dan was part of the Coldroom adventure from day 1. He was also part of the first team to open the now famous El Pequeno. Today, Dan is part of the management team of Hotel Nelligan terrasse, an institution in Montreal’s Old Port.

What Daniel loves most about bartending is how you can influence the people you meet. He reminds us that going to a bar is a search for happiness. It is a moment when you decided you are going to spend your money to feel better. If you’re sad, you are going with the intention of being less sad while if you’re happy, you are going to with the intention be happier. As a bartender, you have the opportunity to have a positive effect on people and to affect the course of their day to make them feel better. This is pretty much what he has been doing for the past 10 years and let’s face it, he does it more than well.


A little bit more about Dan...

The three words that describe him best: hardworking – joyful – good times

One thing he has yet to achieve on his life bucket-list: Hang-gliding

Fun fact about Dan: Dan was doing dance competitions and won a national solo blues dance competition. He also decided to refine his ballet technique when he was 21 years old and was the only man in the school with 10 to 13 years old girls’ classmates. Let’s say that he clashed a bit in the décor with his big beard. Another fun fact about Dan is that he loves larping. He goes to a couple of events a year and has three full boxes of costumes.

The biggest lesson his job taught him: No one is irreplaceable.

A piece of advice he offers to younger bartenders: There is always someone that knows more than you, always someone that is more creative than you, always someone faster than you. So you never have a reason to stop learning.

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