Canadian nightclub owner Peter Gatien won a legal round August 24th to finally open his 3,000-capacity Circa entertainment venue for business, but the battle isn’t over.
The former New York club owner, found guilty of tax evasion and deported to Canada in 2003, spent the last year battling with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to obtain a liquor license.
He was granted the license in July but the commission revisited its decision reportedly because legal errors were made in the process. A hearing is expected to take place in November, according to the Toronto Star.
Gatien told the paper he’s optimistic despite the ongoing battle. His goal is to have Circa open for the Toronto International Film Festival September 7th.
"We lost two weeks to this, so at the latest we will be open by mid-September, but our goal is to be open for a film festival party," he said.
Opposition to the Toronto club from police and area residents is said to be about the increase of patrons to the entertainment district and not the Canadian native’s notorious past.
Gatien, a fixture in the New York City club scene in the late 1990s, was arrested and later acquitted of drug trafficking. He was found guilty of tax evasion in 1999 and served six weeks in jail. One of his party promoters, Michael Alig, was convicted of murdering and cutting up drug dealer Angel Melendez in what the media dubbed the "Club Kid" murder.