Located on Saint-Jacques Street, Old Montreal, and only open during the day, Dandy serves breakfast and lunch on weekdays, and brunch on weekends. The restaurant’s hours impacted BlazysGérad’s concept from the beginning. They opted for an understated but brightly lit space because people “look better in a simple space than in a cluttered one”, as Alexandre Blazys explains.
Originally an insurance company space with huge windows, it was still very dark. The windows - the only remnants from the insurance company - inspired the entrance area, reflecting on what it would have once looked like. This resulted in the service counter being designed as that of a bank, prominently positioned to complement the long dining room, its two rows of banquettes, and the kitchen at the back of the room. Keeping with the inspiring idea of the curved windows, they built two large arches to set off the dining room.
“We like it when the architectural language of the exterior finds its way inside.” - Benoit Gérad.
They played with light and wood, sculpting it like any other material, and opted for yellow accents in order to reflect and absorb light. This allows for natural light to be constantly present at Dandy, illuminating and enhancing the casual ambiance. To contribute to this, the beamed ceiling - better for acoustics - was finished in a reflective paint.
“Outside light is reflected off the ceiling and bounces back into the room, boomerang-style.” - Gérad.
Piquing the curiosity of passers-by, a giant lighting fixture with multiple stems drifting like a mobile above the dining room was installed. The fixture provides each table with its own lighting and, along with the lower portion of the windows covered in opaque paint, provides a sense of intimacy and shelter from the street outside.
“When you’re inside, you feel completely cut off from the city. Outside, the window starts 1.8 metres above the sidewalk. Passers-by can see the mobile, but little else.”
The restaurant needed to be about fresh energy and simplicity, therefore, BlazysGérad chose an orange-yellow colour to create a sunny vibe within the space. The floor was finished in classic white oak, whilst the entrance hall echoes the banquettes with terrazzo poured in situ. The more active areas, like the service counter or the bar, make use of the colour red to set them apart.
Dandy draws in young professionals, lawyers and workers on weekdays, and attracts young families out for brunch on weekends, having accomplished their goal of creating a welcoming, dignified space.
BlazysGérad celebrate curiosity and creativity in all fields, with their strong architectural background helping to define and set their innovative interior concepts apart. The spaces they create are recognised by their unique signature - structured yet softened with a timeless elegance.