Annie’s Restaurant and Pub in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue will have an earlier cut-off time for alcohol sales at its front and rear terrasses this summer.
Not by choice.
Quebec regulatory agency La Régie des Alcools, Des Courses et des Jeux (RACJ) has imposed a 12:30 a.m. limit for alcohol sales at the Ste. Anne St. bar in June and July because of a history of noise complaints and other infractions.
Among the infractions cited in the RACJ ruling this month were a demand from a doorman for an unposted $20 fee to enter the premises via the rear terrasse on Aug. 4, 2011; the presence of 83 people on the front terrasse on Aug. 12, 2011, when the authorized limit was 67; two minors on the premises and alcohol consumption in unlicensed areas, also on Aug. 12, 2011.
That’s on top of numerous calls from the public to police (and the 911 emergency number) about noise, fights and drunkenness between 2006 and 2011, and the arrest of a waitress for drunk driving when she left the bar in 2007.
Police told the Régie that Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays were the problem nights at Annie’s, with incidents usually occurring between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.
One officer told the regulators that Annie’s was the only cause for concern from a dozen establishments on the street. Cunninghams Pub had similar problems but they ended around 2010, he said.
Annie’s manager Steven Graham countered that other bars contributed to the problem. He said security had been beefed up and a higher cover charge and beer prices had reduced the Thursday lineups, making things easier to control. And the doorman who asked for the $20 fee has been fired, the hearing was told.
Annie’s had asked the Régie last year for permission to increase the capacity of its terrasses, but police and the city of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue opposed it and the request eventually was dropped.
In its ruling, the Régie said overconsumption was the main problem at Annie’s, and it was the staff’s responsibility not to serve those showing signs of inebriation.
Citing the gravity of the breaches and the need to give the operators something to think about, it ordered alcohol sales on the terrasses to stop at 12:30 a.m., and the areas to be shut completely by 1 a.m., this June and July.