Max Coubès, illustrator and bartender.

Updated: May 3

This is Max Coubes.

A portrait of Max Coubès, illustrator and bartender in Montreal
Max Coubès

Max is 35 years old. He has two kids and is originally from Marseilles where he studied graphic communication and worked as a political journal illustrator. When he arrived in Montreal, he realized he had no knowledge of the political scene here and decided he wasn’t going to learn about local politics if he wasn’t even a citizen here. So he got a job in a bar… Max is the type of person that likes to excel at what he does and that is not satisfied until he achieves his goals. If he was going to be a bartender, he was going to be an excellent one. And he succeeded. He worked in different bars until he joined forces with Tony Galdes at B1 with the goal of becoming partners and turning the space in another bar. Which they did and gave birth to Montreal’s first speakeasy: Le 4e mur Shortly after that, they opened l’École du bar de Montreal, which was the first of its type, and shortly after that again they decided to do Miracle, which was also a first in Montreal.


By now you must understand that Max is inherently a protagonist and likes to be the first to do stuff. And he does. And it works. He likes the thrill of conceptualizing and making ideas turn into realities a lot more than he likes to control the operations. So usually, when he gives birth to a project, he is already working on the next one.


That’s what got him to collaborate with Rose Simard and 1 ou 2 cocktails to write the book L’apéro au Québec, a first of its type book that democratizes cocktails for everyone to make at home and shows the beauty and diversity of Quebec’s local ingredients.


Today, as much as he keeps working in the bar industry as an illustrator and graphic designer, his bartender years are now behind. He is still very close to the community and is always available to share his knowledge and experience to younger people starting in this industry.


For his cocktail creation, click here!

A little bit more about Max...


The three words that describe him best are: talkative – protagonist – intense


The most magical place he ever visited: On New Year’s Eve when he was in Mauritius Island with his girlfriend. People love fireworks there and every household would buy a ton of it for the celebration. They went on a roof somewhere and spent the night watching all the fireworks blowing from everywhere.


One thing he has yet to achieve on his life bucket-list: He doesn’t really have one, but he has objectives. Now that he is working as an illustrator full time, he would like to find an agent and get contracts on an international level.


The biggest lesson his job taught him: You never know who you are talking to and what opportunities awaits you.


A piece of advice he would offer to young bartenders: Learn your classics. And take part in cocktail competitions, they can really benefit you in a lot of ways.


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