Buonanotte, whose scuffles with law enforcement and the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux have long been a matter of public record, is back after a 40-day hiatus that saw the business's liquor permit suspended. In theory, the Saint-Laurent supper club's return terminates a case that dates back to 2008, in which assorted incidents, but most notably the alleged presence of suspected street gang and organized crime members, put Buonanotte's owners in the cross hairs of cops and Régie officials.
Montreal police must now provide Buonanotte's management with a list of people who have court-imposed orders not to enter the supper club. Co-owner Massimo Lecas told the Montreal Gazette last September that this was largely why Buonanotte's partners agreed to the permit suspension. "The settlement states clearly that we will be given a list of people that have conditions not to be out in bars or after a certain time. It’s a huge step. I think we are going to have some jurisprudence based on our decision and I am very, very proud of that. Now, we will be given a list of people that have conditions not to be out as opposed to arbitrarily telling us: ‘Do you know who that is?’"
When Buonanotte reopens today, patrons will be greeted with a different restaurant. "We gave it a bit of a refresh," said Lecas today. "The big, big thing is the gold-grid ceiling, which is our trademark. Three years ago when we opened Buonanotte Toronto, they did a bigger, better version of it. And every time we went to Toronto, we said, we gotta get that for Montreal. So we installed the Toronto-inspired ceiling. Then, the other thing that's super interesting, is that we have a collaboration with Station 16 Gallery and the Mural Festival. Jason Botkin [artist, and co-creator/director of the EN MASSE project] was here all day yesterday." All this in advance of Buonanotte's 25th anniversary. This Friday the supper club will celebrate its relaunch with the Moët & Chandon sponsored Stay Gold party.