Ward 22 councillor Josh Matlow says he is going to do everything he can to shut down the nightclub Mint, which has been operating illegally on Eglinton Avenue near Mount Pleasant Road.
The St. Paul’s representative says he is fed up with the club, which is in an area zoned for bars and/or restaurants, for not cooperating with the city and refusing to clean up its act.
Mint was convicted in February for operating an entertainment venue without a proper licence, with its owner pleading guilty to the charge.
City regulations define an entertainment establishment or nightclub as “a premises, including but not limited to a dance hall or disco, used to provide dance facilities for patrons, where seating is not provided for the majority of the patrons and where food or beverage may be for sale as an ancillary use.”
Mint has run afoul of the city for operating with fewer seats than required to operate as a restaurant and/or bar and for having noise being audible from the club after 11 p.m.
The city is taking Mint back to court this month for two additional charges: one for noise violations and another for operating without a proper licence.
If convicted on both counts, it will make it much easier for the city to shut Mint down.
“Typically you need at least three charges to be able to get rid of them,” Matlow said.
In the meantime, Matlow has been attempting to work with property owner Menkes Life Storeys, who leases property to the Unicorn Pub who in turn sub-leases the space to Mint.
“I’m using every tool available to us, so I’m hoping that the property owner will be able to take action on their own,” Matlow said.
Matlow said he had once hoped the establishment operators would work to rectify the situation, but it is now clear they have no desire to do so.
“If they followed the rules there wouldn’t be a problem,” he said. “But they are knowingly, and admittedly knowingly, disregarding the neighbours … They don’t seem to be considerate to the fact that they’re adversely affecting local residents with noise.”
Matlow said he wishes no ill will upon the establishment’s operators, but simply cannot stand by idly as a nightclub operates illegally in his ward.
“If they want to leave the neighbourhood and get a proper a licence in a neighbourhood that’s zoned for nightclubs, that’s their prerogative,” Matlow said. “But they can’t do it here.”
Menkes Life Storeys and Mint owner Steven Curtis did not respond to requests for comment by press time.