News
1 min

Closing taps on Church

Report on Pride liquor inspections expected soon

The Church Wellesley Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) plans to release its report this month on the behaviour of police and liquor inspectors over Pride weekend last June.

Although some bar owners are still unhappy with the manner in which inspections were performed, “the consensus is that the police were better this year than in previous years and that there has been improvement,” says Steve Clegg, manager of Woody’s and a member of the BIA’s licensed establishment subcommittee, which is producing the report.

At issue is a history of overzealous and unfair inspections targeting queer establishments along the Church St corridor.

Even with perceived improvements, a handful of bars and restaurants have already had to deal with the long arm of the law because of infractions observed over Pride weekend. Ab Campion, spokesperson for the Alcohol And Gaming Commission Of Ontario, says there have been several suspensions.

* The Croissant Tree (625 Church St) was charged for overcrowding on Pride Saturday; its licence was suspended for 28 days from Jan 10 to Feb 6

* O’Grady’s Restaurant (518 Church St) was charged for overcrowding on Pride Saturday; its licence was suspended for seven days from Jan 3 to Jan 9

* Tantra Restaurant And Bar (634 Church St) was charged for overcrowding on Pride Sunday. There is a notice of proposal to suspend its licence for 35 days with a hearing set for Fri, Apr 28

* Bar Babylon (553 Church St) was charged for overcrowding on Pride Saturday during a scuffle between inspectors and the owner that led to criminal charges. There was a notice of proposal to suspend its licence, and a hearing set for Feb 6, but the proposal was withdrawn because the owner surrendered his licence and the bar is no longer open

* Mask Restaurant And Martini Bar (556 Church St) was cited for numerous violations — including overcrowding, permitting the removal of alcohol from the premises and permitting the illegal consumption of alcohol — throughout Pride weekend. The owner pled guilty during a court appearance on Dec 23 and paid a fine of $200.

Campion says that under provincial law, the authorities have up to two years after the alleged infractions occurred to lay liquor charges.