The Darling Foundry was transformed as an adaptive reuse project in 2002 by In Situ Design after being abandoned for over 10 years. The new building houses three exhibition spaces, as well as a network of artist studios and an artist in residency program. The artists that work and live within the building mingle and nosh downstairs in the award winning Cluny. The area in Old Montreal is still somewhat industrial, but the Foundry and Cluny draws a crowd despite its desolate location.
When approaching the Foundry, visitors are greeted by a grid of stacked boxes that line the corner outside Cluny’s front window. In warmer months, the boxes function as a living wall, raising herbs that are used in the Cluny kitchen and bar. The restaurant is known for fresh ingredients and impeccable dishes, specializing in tantalizing sandwiches at lunch and award winning bread pudding for dessert.
Visitors enter the restaurant through a side door for the Foundry, and are greeted by a large portrait of the restaurant’s namesake, Cluny the pug, the owners’ pup. Inside, the restaurant is flooded with like that shines through the industrial windows, which open in to circulate fresh air. The furniture is all clad in wood- made from reclaimed materials that were salvaged from the contents of the foundry. Rustic wooden tables of all sizes are polished to a fine sheen. Lamps and hooks are made from upcycled industrial parts and tools.
During the day, Cluny is a great spot to grab an espresso and croissant after seeing an art exhibition. At night, the restaurant transforms into a hotspot for the building’s artists to hang out and have drinks, making Cluny Artbar a great spot for both people watching and conversation.