Playground Ping Pong Bar on Notre-Dame Street West may be forced to close less than a year after opening because of a clerical mistake by Montreal's Southwest borough.
The bar opened officially in June, but its owners received a letter from the borough in October saying that it should never have been allowed to open and that there had been a clerical error by the city.
The building's zoning doesn't allow the sale of alcohol.
Owner Alexander Karpov said he was shocked when he read that the Griffintown bar's request to open had not been done according to appropriate procedures, and they could be shut down as a result.
"I was really surprised. It took me a few days to realize what [was] happening," he said.
Karpov told CBC that he stands to lose up to half a million dollars if the bar is forced out.
A petition to keep the bar open started Friday and garnered over 260 signatures the first day. By Monday, it had 442 signatures.
'We made a mistake'
Southwest borough city councillor Craig Sauvé said that this situation should never have come up in the first place.
"We made a mistake; the city made a mistake, administratively. And now we have to fix it. So we are going to work with the neighbours and with the business to make sure we find a solution that is positive for everybody," he said.
Sauvé told CBC that the borough was made aware of the issue after some residents complained.
The borough council was supposed to decide Playground's fate on Monday, but Sauvé said it was taken off the agenda in order to give the borough and the bar more time to examine their options.