Since the 1930’s Gibeau Orange Julep has quenched the thirst of Montrealers with its Delicious one of a kind beverage. To view our menu click here!
History of The Big Orange Julep
In 1932, Hermas Gibeau opened his first retail conventional storefront on St Laurent Boulevard near the Old Port of Montreal selling his delicious Orange Julep. The business was brisk on the weekdays, his Orange Julep was a hit! In response to the limited customer traffic in the area on weekends, Mr. Gibeau made a decision that would forever change the Julep experience. Keeping with the inspiration of his Orange Julep beverage, Hermas took on the bold move to make his building in the shape of an Orange fruit.
He began building his first 11 foot plywood and sheet metal sphere the winter of 1933. Once this first Orange was set up on Sherbrooke Street East, he sold 100 drinks on his first day, then 200 the next and so on. He knew he had something magical. During the subsequent years Hermas had 15 of these “Oranges” throughout the St Lawrence valley of Quebec and Ontario. Unfortunately, the Second World War ended any hopes of expansion, reducing his Orange stands to just a few remaining in Montreal. Belmont Park in Montreal was a key location for Orange Julep as his stands were seasonal. In 1947, the ever big business minded Gibeau was able to secure a property at 8000 Decarie Boulevard in those days known as “The Sunset Strip”.
This location marked his first permanent “Big Orange”! From 1947 until 1963 his Orange became the most well known “drive in” restaurant in the region. Montrealers responded in droves making his Julep known and loved for generations. As Montreal was growing along with his business, the city was preparing for Expo ’67 . The expected traffic to the Expo required highway expansion. Sadly, his beloved Orange was expropriated for the new Decarie expressway effectively ending the Sunset Strips high traffic route and turning it into a service road. Undaunted and ever the promoter of his spectacular Orange Julep, Mr. Gibeau purchased a piece of land nearby at 7700 Decarie in 1964 and built what you see today as the Largest Orange Sphere in the World! His concept to go bigger was successful from his 30ft sphere in 1947 to this nearly 60ft “Big Orange” in 1964. It actually for a time glowed in the dark from it’s translucent panels which beamed for all to see. Commercial airline pilots would remark how they would use the Big Orange as a landing marker on approach because it was so large and visible.
Purchase Orange Julep T-shirts, hoodies, and more at the restaurant! French and English Versions available.
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