City closes downtown bar

A notorious bar in Edmonton's downtown east area has been ordered to close because of what the city calls its poor business practices.

A notorious bar in Edmonton's downtown east area has been ordered to close because of what the city calls its poor business practices, including failure to prevent and report criminal activity taking place on site.

On Tuesday, the city's chief licensing officer, Randy Kirillo, announced he has revoked the nightclub licence for the York Hotel at 104th Avenue and 96th Street after an investigation

"The owners and management of the York failed to address concerns which the EPS [Edmonton Police Service] brought to their attention regarding the operation of the tavern," he said.

In his decision, Kirillo found police responded to two to three times more calls at the York compared with similar businesses nearby.

Improper management practices turned the bar into a "problem location" where steps weren't taken to curb and report criminal activity, Kirillo said.

The decision to cancel the licence was made after reviewing evidence from the city's public safety compliance team and the owner.

In one instance, a person was stabbed in the bar, cleaned himself up and then continued drinking, Kirillo said.

"When the police heard about it — because someone besides the staff phoned them up — and then they went to the staff and said, 'Do you know about this incident?', they said 'Yeah. The guy's over there drinking,'" he said.

"This is not the kind of behaviour that you want to take place in any business that's licensed by the City of Edmonton."

The bar will have to close by Oct. 6th unless the York's owner decides to appeal the decision. The York still has a business licence to operate its hotel.