1224 Rue Stanley, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
1951 – 1972
Founded in 1940, the Esquire Show Bar or the “Esquire Music Bar” or simply the “Esquire” (as it was mostly called by patrons) was a true fixture on the Montreal nightclub scene for close to three decades. Located on 1224 Stanley Street, it evoked the golden age of 1930s and 1940s jazz with its distinctive décor. Many famous performers ranging from John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins Aretha Franklin, James Brown and even a young Jimi Hendrix with the Isley Brothers performed at the Esquire.
In the 1960s, the Esquire began a series of Sunday afternoon concerts open to patrons of all ages. Many young people attended these matinée shows, some of whom were inspired to embark on music careers of their own.
By the early 1970s, the club was struggling financially as the great age of jazz seemed to have passed. While activities had slowed down steadily in 1970 by 1971, the owner, Norm Silver, finally decided to close the club.