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Griffintown’s Ping Pong Bar Could Be Forced to Move After City Permit Snafu [Updated]

City says the bar should never have been issued a permit

Facebook/Bar Playground

Griffintown’s ping pong bar Playground could be forced to close and move locations after it was given a bar permit that the city should never have issued.

Metro newspaper’s community publication for the neighbourhood La Voix Pop reports that following recommendations from various city bodies, the Sud-Ouest borough council (which covers Griffintown) will hold a special meeting on March 2 to authorize the bar’s closure.

Update (February 19): Speaking to Eater, bar co-owner Fedar Huminski says nothing has been finalized with the city, and he intends to remain open for the foreseeable future. A statement from the bar owners was also issued, calling on Sud-Ouest mayor Benoit Dorais to “engage in the dialogue that is so dear to his political heart, to give the bar a chance, considering its efforts to integrate itself with neighbours and the community”, suggesting that the borough council had rushed to a conclusion in suggesting that the bar would have to close and move.

In January, it emerged that the borough had made “an internal administrative error”, with officials realizing that Playground’s building on Notre-Dame West was never eligible for a bar permit. Yet the bar was issued a permit by mistake in April 2017, and opened at the end of June.

Playground has been allowed to stay open while the city deliberated on what to do, and a petition was launched in support of the bar, which gathered around 500 signatures. Those deliberations didn’t appear to work in the bar’s favour: La Voix Pop writes that numerous complaints from neighbours about noise and “indecent acts” from the bar’s customers tipped the scales against the bar.

Bar owner Alexander Karpov previously told CBC that closing or moving would cost him $500,000 — yet borough mayor Benoit Dorais told La Voix Pop that he wanted to make sure the business would be able to reopen in another location, a loose suggestion that the city might help Playground relocate.

In the meantime, Playground is keeping on. This isn’t the first time a permit error has claimed a figurative scalp — last year, Village gay club Play had its permit revoked for a similar reason.

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