French-Canadian Disco-Bistro Le Mont Royal Opens Soon in Adams Morgan

On tap: draft espresso martinis, vinyl DJs, "fur trapper vibes," and all the poutine you can eat.

Le Mont Royale on November 13, 2022. Photography by Clarissa Villondo of Karlin Villondo Photography

We’ve been eager for Le Mont Royal’s opening ever since we heard a wine-fueled, French-Canadian dance party was coming to Adams Morgan. Now, the disco balls are spinning, the poutine gravy is simmering, and the Champagne is ready to flow—the bistro-bar will open very soon.  

Le Mont Royal, a French-Canadian disco and bistro, opens in Adams Morgan DC. Photography by Clarissa Villondo of Karlin Villondo Photography
The two-story space mixes dining areas, two bars, and plenty of room to dance. Photograph by Clarissa Villondo of Karlin Villondo Photography

The owners—Chas Jefferson, recently the head distiller at Cotton & Reed, and chef Bart Hutchins (ex-Beuchert’s Saloon)—transformed the former Southern Hospitality space with the help of DC design firm OK Awesome. It’s a more fashionable phase for the two-story watering hole: think emerald green banquettes, a white marble DJ booth for spinning vinyl records, and mood lighting that can switch from Miami Vice pink to Montreal strip club blue on a whim.  And that’s just the first floor. Upstairs you’ll find “fur trader vibes,” according to the owners, with lots of dark wood, stuffed animal heads, a second bar, and a purple felt billiards table. Over 40 sparkling disco balls fashioned by local “disco dealer” Libby Rasmussen float throughout. 

“It’s the exact opposite of Scandinavian minimalism,” Hutchins says. “It’s Canadian maximalism.”

Le Mont Royal DC. Photograph by Clarissa Villondo
Over 40 disco balls come DC “disco dealer” Libby Rasmussen. Photograph by Clarissa Villondo

Many stories of what a restaurant is “inspired by” are personal; this one is  fantastical. Le Mont’s vision board is a mix of Parisian natural wine bars, ’70s discotheques, and the Canadian fur trade. In their story, the poorest French escape to Canada, become nouveau riche overnight by trapping, et voila. Hutchins imagines a populace with Twinkie tastes on a Champagne budget—hence the foie gras Twinkies on his menu. 

“I’m from the south, and I think of my uncles, who’d still eat barbecue—and maybe put a truffle on it—if they made a million bucks,” says Hutchins, who worked in Montreal (no, the owners aren’t Canadian, to answer your next question). 

The second floor features dark wood, more dining space, and a billiards room. Photograph by Clarissa Villondo
The second floor features dark wood, more dining space, and a billiards room. Photograph by Clarissa Villondo

The highbrow/lowbrow mix is everywhere. Patrons can sip draft espresso martinis and negroni sbagliatos, or sip Canadian beer. Jefferson, formerly the wine director at Adams Morgan’s Jug & Table, filled the carte de vin with  “things that would fuel a wine dance party,” he says. Think Champagne, natural wines, and “juicy stuff.”  

Draft cocktails include espresso martinis and negroni sbagliatos (pictured). Photograph by Clarissa Villondo

For dining under the disco balls, there’s poutine in several flavors (classic, duck, vegetarian miso-mushroom) and a bounty of add-ons like truffles or foie. Hutchins says he channeled Montreal haunts and throwback French bistros for the menu, which covers everything from seafood towers to pike quenelles to a bar burger to plates like roast chicken with bone marrow mashed potatoes. Once the place is up and running, he’ll add a set menu du jour—four courses for $75—as well as a “party brunch” on Saturdays in the spirit of La Boum, the weekend bacchanal once held nearby (the working name: La Boumerang). 

Photograph by Clarissa Villondo

No surprise, the bathrooms are a party unto themselves. In one, crafty koalas get stoned and munch on burgers. In the other, monkeys are, well, you’ll have to see yourself. 

“The whole point of the place is a classy party,” says Jefferson. 

Le Mont Royal. 1815 Adams Mill Rd., NW

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.