Café Cléo got a push from the artists' community which it serves this past week, when the Dead Doll Dancers made a video about it for Prince Charles' visit. And now, owner Johnny Zoumboulakis has brought the case to municipal court, reports Cyberpresse on Saturday.
Zoumboulakis is seeking to overturn the expropriation that would see him lose the Café in its current location, in lieux of a mega-development plan to turn the area into a festival circuit billed as the Quartier des spectacles. See here for a background on story.
Zoumboulakis, in his brief, calls the forced removal of the Café: "unjust, unfair, abusive, discriminatory, unreasonable, of bad faith, and constituting an abuse of rights equal to fraud and a violation of civil and fundamental rights," (loosely translated from "injuste, inéquitable, abusive, discriminatoire, déraisonnable à leur
égard, faite de mauvaise foi et constitue un abus de droit équivalent à
une fraude et une atteinte à leurs droits civils et fondamentaux").
This looks like a major battle, one that won't end soon. The push from the activist, artist, queer, academic community has really created momentum. And there is a precedent—we've seen the city cave to this kind of pressure before (ie, the Griffintown re-development plans). I predict an out-of-court settlement, of the monetary kind.