House Of Henri

On the TV show Canadian Pickers a few years back, the two stars of the show came across some old beer hall tables while in Montreal..

The two bubbly and slightly over-the-top Alberta pickers happened to find themselves in Montreal, Hudson, Hawkesbury, Lachute and surrounding territories, and not only did they come across a nice hoard of old La Presse hockey photos from the thirties and several other goodies, but while digging through piles of junk somewhere out in the boonies, they discovered nine old tavern tables which the owner said came out of Henri Richard’s tavern in downtown Montreal, and which closed in 1986.

And although there was no proof they were the Pocket’s, the pickers scooped them up for a few hundred bucks for the lot of them.

It gets a bit scripted, though. The pickers decided to try and find out if the tables were actually from Henri’s place or not, because if not, they’d just bought themselves some old tables they might be lucky to get $50 for, and eventually they found themselves in a little pub on a side street in Montreal, of which the name escapes me. In talking to the owner, the guys told him they had these tables and wanted to know his opinion on if they were the real thing or not, and the owner simply told them to ask Henri Richard himself, WHO JUST HAPPENED to be sitting at a table enjoying a Molson with ex-Habs player, coach, and GM Rejean Houle.

JUST HAPPENED. Right.

Henri looked at the tables, said they were indeed from his pub, and he and Houle signed the top of them and invited the guys to sit down and have a beer with them. “Eleven Stanley Cups”, they gushed at Henri, and Henri said, for probably about the eight thousandth time over the years, that he was just in the right place at the right time.

Later on, I found an auction site that was selling two of these tables, with the autographed tops, for $600 each. I wouldn’t have bought one, but that’s just me.

My first wife and I, along with Mike Williamson and Diana, had dinner at Henri Richard’s tavern in the late 1970s, and for the life of me I don’t remember tavern tables. It was more of a restaurant I thought, although maybe a beverage room was in another part of the building. Or maybe I’d just had a few too many Molsons.

8 thoughts on “House Of Henri”

  1. Hey DK, I don’t remember the stools either but I do remember having a great time. The Habs won (imagine that) and on the way back we stopped to look in awe at the Northern Lights! Keep the past good times coming as we sure as hell aren’t having any in the present!!! 🙁

  2. Hi Mike. Yes, it was a good time. And like on the TV show, Henri was there, but it wasn’t scripted like the Pickers show. Habs and Leafs tonight. Tabarnac.

  3. Sapri Tabarnac, Denis you’re starting to sound like a real Frenchman of yore. Reminds me of driving into Hull from across the Ottawa side of the river one beautiful Saturday morning in autumn when I was attending university in ’62. I stopped by the curb to read my road map. And then, I heard through my open car window three city maintenance-workers talking. Yes, for a Saskatchewan farm boy, it was the “richest” splurge of swearing and blasphemy I’ve ever heard. I never did get past a lexicon of 4-letter words.

  4. Search “Henri Richrd tavern closing” on You Tube and theres a 7 minute piece done by a TV crew back in the day. Great look back.

  5. Billy…thanks for heads up on the YouTube clip…brought back lots of memories…the bonus was the newsclip was put together and narrated by my old Montreal CBC colleague Bob McDevitt who sadly passed away last year.
    I lived a block away from Henri’s Brasserie…if those tables we’re there..they were most likely there in the early days of the place…before they had a full kitchen and started serving meals…It was a great place…Henri was there most of the time greeting fans, posing for photos signing autographs, even pouring pints…and it was pretty common to see many members of the Canadiens there. Maurice and Henri always enjoying a stogie with their beers.
    Near the end of the YouTube clip you can see Henri’s brother Claude who had a tryout with the Habs…there is a great photo of the three Richard brothers during a practice at the Forum. It was a great place to watch the game…i recall being at home a block away watching the Stanley Cup finals…the Habs were one period away from winning the cup..and decided to go to Hank’s and catch the last period..the place was packed…lots of excitement in the air….those were the days…It was the best of times..a celebration of “les glorieux’.
    Dennis thanks for starting the conversation.
    Sadly…Henri is suffering from Alzheimer’s and has not been seen in public in years…hope he is comfortable.

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