A typical Thursday night in June – my colleague and I decide to go out for a long-overdue 5 a 7 in bubbling, artsy Griffintown. Walking along Notre Dame, I suggest Grinder. He agrees. But the hostess doesn’t.
Reservations? “I have none, but we’re only two … think you can squeeze us in on the terrace?” I ask, pointing. She smirks. “Especially not on the terrace. Nothing at all until 10:00pm.”
Disappointed, we leave, following our senses that are drawing us to that random crowd and unmistakable smell of BBQ, overflowing into the street. What’s going on here? Grinder Boucherie must be having a launch celebration!
We approach the table, squeezing through a sea of young professionals laughing, drinking, savouring the meat. The waitress encourages us to help ourselves to some filet mignon and asks if we would like red or white wine. Red please!
Reaching for my wallet, I ask her what we owe for the drinks. It’s on the house, she says smiling. I leave her a tip that was intended to pay for the wine. Judging by the overflowing tip glass, everyone else had the same reflex.
We drink, we eat, and discover the beautifully designed interior, with majestic pieces of perfectly aged meat hanging from the ceiling, flaunting themselves against the glass. We get a photo taken, and try some delicious Bourbon Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup, courtesy of Distillery 1769.
Life is perfect.
We have long-forgotten the fact that they couldn’t accommodate us and have both solemnly promised to be back soon. Grinder understood something critical to marketing. They created an experience for passersby and gave them value, for nothing in return. No contest, no Hashtag, no Facebook Like request. But didn’t they win us over that night?
I checked out their Facebook page later that night. Go figure. I had already liked them.
Forgot about it.
Definitely won’t forget this night, though.