Village bar Sky Pub has been forced closed for three weeks by Quebec’s liquor authority, the Régie des alcools, des courses, et des jeux, according to Le Journal de Montréal.
The problems were logged by police back in 2013 but it’s taken until now for a final Régie decision. Five separate infractions led to the shut-down of the bar — the presence of minors at the bar’s entrance, issues with violence at the entrance, encouragement of irresponsible drinking, the refilling of liquor bottles, and the grossest, insects found in bottles. A sixth allegation, that Sky Pub was serving from bottles without the Régie’s required stamp on them, was thrown out.
It’s also not the first time bar magnate Sergakis has been in trouble for his venues’ approaches to alcohol service, having previously been strung up for selling smaller-than-advertised beers.
Such drastic action from the Régie is not unheard of, but is relatively rare — the bulk of the punishment is to do with the allegation that Sky’s bartenders were refilling liquor bottles from other sources, a rule intended to protect against fraud (for example, to stop bars from passing a cheap liquor off as something more expensive by decanting it into a different bottle).
Sergakis told Le Journal that the reason this was happening was because electronic liquor dispensers at Sky were failing to completely empty bottles, and staff did not want to waste alcohol by throwing out what couldn’t be poured out of the bottle.
The closure only affects Sky Pub, which is on the ground level of the much bigger Sky Complex, a gay club on Sainte-Catherine East in the Village (although some Eater readers note that Sky hardly counts as a gay club these days, due to a pretty mixed crowd. That means the upper levels are business as usual.
The closure is being passed off as something else on Sky’s Facebook, though — apparently Sky Pub is just closed for renovations, nothing to see here, folks. (It would appear that renovations are happening, because the Facebook post indicates Sky Pub is closed for two months, not just the 21 days required by the Régie.)
The timing of this moment of scandal at Sky isn’t ideal for Sergakis — he is in the midst of waging a battle to get nearby club Play closed down over a zoning issue. These are happening in different parts of the government, of course, but it’s a not a good look for Sky and Sergakis in any case.