Meyer Billurcu, the co-owner of Mile Ex music venue Bar le Ritz PDB, is worried about the bar’s future, and not just because they’ve made zero revenue since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It turns out that the city of Montreal is forcing Bar le Ritz to go to court over an outstanding fine.
“So next week I have to go to court to contest a noise complaint lodged against the Ritz from before COVID,” Billurcu wrote on Facebook. “I asked for a delay of the trial until we could actually open our business again as we have $0.00 revenue coming in right now. Not only did the city deny my request for a delay but they said the trial will proceed whether I show up or not. You’d think seven months of being closed would be punishment enough, but apparently not.”
Billurcu told Cult MTL that the venue’s landlords were kind enough to accept reduced rent from April through September as part of the federal commercial rent assistance program (wherein the renter only had to pay 25 per cent of their rent and the government would kick in 50 per cent). Paying noise complaint tickets — of which there are two outstanding, $985 apiece — may not result in Bar le Ritz closing permanently, but is still a hard financial hit when there is no clear timeline for the return of live music.
For the latest news updates, please visit the News section.