Entrepreneur Behind Montreal’s Trendiest Boutique Bar
Jon Jay Edward Gumbley, also known as Jon Jay is a man of many talents. He's been operating Montreal's night life scene for over a decade, has consulted on multiple successful real estate and franchise deals, is the owner of a social media agency and operates all under his corporation, Jegantic. His new venture, Bord'Elle has only been opened for six months and it's making noise all over the city. Keep reading to find out the story behind Bord'Elle and what's coming up next for the industry mogul.
The second you walk into Bord'Elle, you feel like you've left Montreal and entered the scene of a Great Gatsby movie. Inspired by the roaring 1920's in New York, it holds a special charm that is only understood once you open its double doors. Since its grand opening in November, Bord'Elle has become the go-to place for an evening out. A new all-star team was formed to run this night club, including Morris Nader, Kaje Kandiah, Rob Roy and Jon Jay. These guys have taken it to the next level creating a space that caters to luxury in an environment that sells itself. Its no wonder why it's Goss Club's #1 spot...
How did you come up with Bord'Elles' interior design?
This place is based on my trips to Spain and France: I was staying at Boutique hotels and slowly got the idea to do a boutique bar that would look like a hotel except I wouldn't have rooms - now I'm thinking it would've been cool to have turned it into rooms upstairs (starts laughing). If I would've thought of it before I think it would've really worked out [because] you have everything under one roof.
Tell us about what makes Bord'Elle so different from other clubs?
The last decade in Montreal's night life, everyone was doing the "less is more" thing - but essentially people were getting less for their money. Our concept here is the opposite. We're going to go over the top, spend the money to get it done, work on the details constantly so at the end of the day when someone comes here, we're giving them an experience for their money. It won't cheap, but you'll get something out of it.
I believe if you build something that is special, [people] will come. You can't just build it and they will come, but if you build it with a purpose and a concept and a vision that's good that's what people want now - people are looking for more than they were in the past.
What makes Bord'Elle so special? It's all about the details.
1. Interior Design
People don't know this but, the furniture in the whiskey bar is hand made Italian furniture that I won at auctions. I was going to auctions and hand selecting specialty items and then bidding on them to win. The goal in the end is that we're going to sell these items - I'm going to write stories about them on our website and someone's going to be able to buy it and we'll keep buying new ones at auctions.
photo credit - Mike Deleon
I found these pictures on the internet, our designer Deleon, took all these pictures blended it into one, made a digital version, we sent it to Vancouver and an artist in Vancouver hand painted it, sent it back to me and if you look at the bottom right corner - my signature is on each one.
3. The Swing
Vanessa Fournier is a Cirque du Soleil artist, who can be seen performing on the swing Saturday nights. We're also launching a "dinner show" every Thursday where we're going to have a trapeze thing on the other side of the room, we're going to have two separate Cirque du Soleil artist doing air manoeuvres as well as a burlesque show every single week performed by different artists in Montreal. People will get to come for dinner, and enjoy the show.
4. Thursdays "Ladies Delight"
On Thursdays, a "dames delight" will occur where every woman who walks in to Bord'Elle will get a complimentary glass of champagne at the entrance, poured directly for them, without having to wait in line at the bar.
5. Special Gin & Tonics
The Gin & tonics are inspired from Spain - because in Spain they've made it in art. They use hundreds of different types of tonics, hundreds of different types of gins, and each gin and each tonic have separate flavour profiles and when blended in together, it makes a specialized drink, so we're trying to bring what they do in Madrid with gin and tonics here. Our main gins are Bombay and Hendricks but we carry up to 25 other gins.
6. The Whiskey Parlor
Up in the Whiskey Parlour, you can choose 60 different from the tastiest to the most expensive scotches and whiskeys ranging from $16 to $180 an ounce. It's suppose to look like a "rich mans cigar lounge" the tufted leathers, the dark mahogany wood, the bookcase, you're suppose to just feel like old world charm sitting in here -
7. Impeccable Service
Bord'elle is the ONLY club in Montreal that offers a premium valet service every single night that they're open. A daring move to make in the heart of the Old Port, where there is literally no parking anywhere. This makes the ride that much more enjoyable.
8. Luxury at its finest
"You don't need to be rich to come to Bord'elle, but Bord'elle will make you feel rich". So when you're here, you want to put on your good shoes, you want to put on your nice dress, and it fits.
Photo credit - Mike Deleon
9. Champagne Room
The Champagne room is meant to be the complete opposite of the whiskey room. The pillar in the bar, is a gold mirror behind it lit up is meant to look like bubbles inside of a champagne bottle. That's why the colours are beige, hues - it's suppose to look bobbly and effervescent and very feminine. Pink couches are suppose to look like a ladies powder room. You can have champagne by the glass, Prosecco or Veuve Clicquot by the glass and we have 6 champagne cocktails as well we have fruit and herbal blends.
Biggest event coming up?
Our Grand Prix weekend. We're in charge of doing the party for Renaud Williams and Martini Prosecco during Grand Prix. I'm doing two things: there's going to be a special Thursday party for the entire racing team and then on Saturday there's a party here for Grand Prix and then on Saturday afternoon, we're going to have Ace of Spades, Martini Prosecco and Grey Goose party in the day. It's going to be an outdoor party called "terrasa".
What's next for Jegantic?
A new Mexican fusion underground bar with a HUGE terrace in the old port. The theme is going to be two areas: a new taco joint, floral wallpaper, feminine, and then beyond that, it's like inside a castle everything is stone, rounded and everything - and beyond that there's an interior court yard inside of a building, 2,000 square feet outdoor terrace. That will be opening in the near future. Stay tuned.
Tell me about Orange Tree Media?
In house now we have [with my wife and associates] our own social media company, website developer and designer, all under a creative agency called Orange Tree Media. The motto is: in a world full of evergreens, we'll make you the orange tree. Essentially, we'll make you stand out.
Our biggest project for Orange Tree Media was Bord'elle, we didn't hire any promoters or any external booking companies, it was mostly on social media and word of mouth.
Bord'elle is now open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
For reservations, visit their Website.
Cover Photo Credit - Francis Ward