The Majestic restaurant and lounge will become a nightclub this month, as the gay venue was recently granted a 190-seat liquor primary licence from the city.
Co-owners Vince Marino and Steve Bauer say transforming the Davie Village venue into a club has been in the works since 2006, when they bought the space.
“We have a vision of providing choice. The goal is to have the capacity to have something to eat and have somewhere to sit and have an area to dance in,” says Bauer.
“We’re trying to provide a different experience,” adds Marino. “I think there’s a need in the community for more dancing venues.”
A primary liquor permit will allow the establishment to stay open and serve alcohol until 2 am. Getting the permit normally takes six to eight months. But for the Majestic, the process took a bit longer.
“We got delayed because of the city strike that occurred last summer,” Marino says. “That just put everything on a different timeline.”
Despite delays, Paul Teichroeb, chief licensing officer for the city, calls the process “typical.”
Upon approval last month, the application had gone before the province and was then sent back to the city, where Teichroeb says it was reviewed against existing policies. The size of the venue and its location in relation to schools, health-care facilities and other businesses with similar licensing was taken into consideration during review. Awareness of the application was made public after the city placed a sign outside the Majestic, notifying community members and requesting feedback of the proposal.
“There wasn’t a significant response from the neighbourhood and there weren’t a lot of concerns from the community,” Teichroeb says. “I didn’t see a lot of risk.”
Bauer says the change is an addition rather than a complete transformation.
“The early entertainment is not going to go. It will be involved in the process, but the food and atmosphere will be much more nightclub than restaurant. With a mixture of the show lounge entertainment and the nightclub dancing, we’re hoping to attract a different demographic.”
General manager Tim Mackrory says patrons are eager for the changes. “There’s definitely some buzz. They’re waiting and they’re excited,” he says.