A café-bistro-bar where you are the hero
*Behind every menu, product and experience, you’ll find passionate people and their stories. Discover these proud Outaouais ambassadors!
Over the past two decades, Le Troquet has quickly become an institution in Old Hull. Is it a café? A bistro? A bar? “All of the above!” replies owner Éric Gaudreault.
In 1997, the establishment was more like a small café serving latté, tea and pastries. “It was a wannabe Starbuck’s or Second Cup,” admits Éric, who started out as a waiter before moving up to manager and co-owner in just a few months.
Éric recognizes that new customers can sometimes be confused by their first visit to Le Troquet, but that’s no bad thing: “It’s normal. People are accustomed to chains, where everything is consistent and reassuring. Here, the menu is different, there are no tablecloths, and we take a slightly bohemian approach to the service!” The formula is obviously working, as clients return often to enjoy the relaxed, home-like ambiance.
In 20 years, Éric Gaudreault has managed to create a unique atmosphere at Le Troquet. “It’s like going over to your aunt’s place to hang out with your cousins: it’s full of familiar faces, there’s an aroma of good food in the air, and it feels good to spend an evening there.” The servers and cooks have a clear common goal: anyone who walks through the door, chic or casual, sad or happy, must have a good time!
A niche? What niche?
The forty-something owner wants customers to continue to feel at home, without ever imposing a specific label on Le Troquet. “I’ve never been into niche marketing, and I’ve often been criticized for it. These days, that goes against the grain. My approach is broad and inclusive. It’s all about openness, and there’s not enough of that in 2018.”
That openness is reflected in the cultural programming and activities offered weekly, including slam nights, comedy galas, poetry labs, bluegrass shows, exhibition openings, podcasts, video screenings, etc.
When you go to Le Troquet, anything can happen. Isn’t that great?