A Montreal city councillor and the city's most visible bar owner are at odds over Jersey's Saloon, slated to open this week in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in the former Maz Bar on Sherbrooke. After a suggestive promotional video from the new bar, which featured a female dancer/bartender in skimpy Western attire, went public, NDG councillor Peter McQueen promised on Facebook to "mobilize the community against this type of bar on one of our community's most family friendly commercial streets."
Jersey's Saloon's Peter Sergakis, who owns a number of bars and strip clubs in the city (Station des Sports, PJ’s Pub, Amazones), subsequently sent McQueen a cease and desist letter. "To say he doesn't want a bar to sell sex in the district, I feel very bad about that because that's not what it will be at all," the outspoken Sergakis told the CBC. "This is something good for the area."
Jersey's Saloon's video has since been pulled from YouTube and Vimeo (it still lives on a staff member's Instagram page, however). Sergakis, no stranger to controversy, wants an apology from McQueen, but the councillor is adamant. "I continue to believe that this type of bar — sort of a Coyote Ugly-type bar — is not well suited for that spot in NDG." Several area residents expressed similar concerns at a borough council forum on Monday. McQueen thanked them personally today, and added that he hopes Sergakis will rethink his concept, and offer an establishment that is more cultural, gastronomic, and original for the community at large. Given his track record of bar ownership in the city, Sergakis is not likely to indulge the councillor. Borough Mayor Russell Copeman confirmed that he has no authority to stop or hinder the bar, as long as it respects all bylaws and has the appropriate permits in order. Jersey's Saloon opens this Thursday, April 7.