Nightclub pledges strict anti-gang rules

Globe and Mail
July 19, 2007
By Unnati Gandhi and Jennifer Lewington

In a highly unusual move, a proposed new nightclub is promising to have an airport-style metal detector and not play music that glamorizes guns and violence against women and police officers.

The owner of 30 Fusion Lounge, which is slated to open in the Jane and Wilson area, says he asked Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West) for help in crafting the distinctive set of conditions that would make his new business safe for patrons.

"This area is a little bit of a red flag," Sebeadin Ismailovski said from his Ajax home last night. "We want everybody to feel safe coming to the club."

City council adopted a motion in May that issuing a liquor licence to the club was not in the public interest. With that in mind, Mr. Ismailovski, city lawyers and Mr. Mammoliti agreed upon a set of strict conditions attached to the licence. City council approved amendments on Tuesday and they will be presented at a provincial liquor licensing hearing on Aug. 30.

Among the 11 conditions, 30 Fusion Lounge has agreed to have a "state-of-the-art" walk-through metal detector at the front entrance, use high-resolution security cameras, not admit "anyone who wears gang paraphernalia of any kind including gang colours, bandanas, insignia, emblems or clothing" and "not play, or permit to be played, music, whether live or recorded, that has lyrics that sanction, promote, or glamorize guns, knives or violence against women and police officers."

Mr. Mammoliti said yesterday that a spate of shootings and slayings at nightclubs in his ward prompted his push for the unusual conditions imposed on clothing and the music.

"Gangs and the music that gangs like to hear does not mix well with liquor,"

Mr. Mammoliti said.

A year-old city bylaw requires clubs to post at least one security guard and use metal detectors, typically wands, at the door.

"This is going to be the prototype," Mr. Mammoliti said, describing the proposed amendments "as a win for the city and a mechanism to start negotiating with future new nightclub liquor licences."

Mr. Ismailovski also said he will allow only patrons aged 22 and older inside.

It is unclear how the proposed amendments, if adopted by the provincial alcohol and gaming commission, could be enforced.

Ab Campion, a spokesman for the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

But Mr. Mammoliti said bylaw officers, the police and patrons would know whether the club was playing "thug music."

The councillor praised the owner for agreeing to the conditions.