The city of Montreal and some bar owners have filed their papers with Quebec's liquor board to have the drinking establishments be able to open until 6 a.m. as part of a pilot project that's supposed to begin June 12. And part of their request includes being able to serve alcohol until 5:30 a.m.
Steve Siozios, president of the Crescent Street Merchants Association, said his members would only be on board if they're able to sell alcohol until 5:30 a.m. instead of the usual 2:30 a.m. last call. And if the liquor board refuses, they'd bail on the pilot project.
"Then we wouldn't do it. It's like having a clothing store open until six but not allowed to sell clothes from three to six," Siozios told CJAD 800 News.
"How would you pay for security, waitresses, bus boys, management? It would just be an incredible cost per hour for zero profit."
Many bar owners didn't join the pilot project because they didn't think it was worth their while.
But the later last call is the deal breaker for the others who signed on.
His counterpart over at the merchants association for the Quartier Latin, Philip O'Dwyer said some of his members would not be so adamant. He said they like the idea of being able to help disperse the crowds that spill out when bars close, so some may open until 4 a.m. instead of 6 a.m.
Ten of the 38 bars belonging to the Crescent Street Merchants Association have applied for the special permit extension. A dozen of the 30 or so bars who are members of the Quartier Latin association have signed on.
The special permit request includes stipulations such as closing down the terrasses from 3 am to 6 a.m.
The pilot project would start the weekend of June 12 and continue until the first weekend in July during the summer's big festivals, so that leaves out Grand Prix weekend.
Denis Coderre said if "Montreal wants to conduct ourself as a metropolis, this is the kind of question you should ask ourselves. There is a nightlife in Montreal. The only reason there is one in Toronto is because half-a-million Montrealers moved there in the past."