This is Jean-Max Giguère
Jean-Max is 35 years old and is the owner of 132 Bar Vintage, one of Montreal’s most renowned cocktail bars. Jean-Max studied Sommellerie at ITHQ and speaks fluently French, English and Spanish. He is originally from Laval and has been living in Ahuntsic for 12 years now.
When Jean-Max was little, he dreamed to discover the world. He started travelling with his parents when he was 3 years old and definitely got the travel bug at an early age. He started bartending when he was 18 years old and it was for him a very pleasant and useful way to keep on travelling.
Jean-Max took a bartending class in 2006 and shortly after that got a job at a Club Med in the Dominican Republic. It was there that he learned most about the trade, especially about hospitality. More than making cocktails, a big part of his job was to engage with the guests, spark conversations, initiate moments, walk around with a big smile and focus on making other people’s experiences really special. It was there that he realized that there was a lot more to bartending than simply making drinks.
When he opened his own venue, he wanted to create a space for the local community to come together, a second living room for the neighbourhood. As he describes his bar himself, the 132 Bar Vintage is above and before anything else a neighbourhood bar that also happens to be specialized in cocktails, but where everyone can find what they are looking for.
One thing that really hit us during our meeting with him is how hospitality is at the very core of what he believes in and works very hard to achieve. If you have not met him or have not had the chance to try his bar, we highly recommend you do, as simply spending our morning with him reminded us of how much we love and miss sitting at a bar and be greeted in a true and hospitable way.
A little bit more about Jean-Max...
-The three words that describe him best: resilient – smiling – hard working
-One thing he has yet to achieve on his life bucket list: Climb the Kilimanjaro before there is no more snow on top.
-One thing he has achieved on his life bucket list: He spent 72 hours with the drummer of Guns and Roses and got to meet the band.
-The most magical place he ever visited: Barcelona. The food, the bars, everything was magical.
-Life motto: It is what it is, keep ongoing.