Nova Scotia liquor control officers are trying to force the Toothy Moose Cabaret in downtown Halifax to close earlier after a series of infractions.
The cabaret's owners were in front of an emergency hearing of the province's Utility and Review Board on Friday to deal with eight Liquor Control Act violations. The hearing resumes next week.
Provincial officials are trying to get the cabaret to stop serving alcohol at 2 a.m. instead of 3:30 a.m.
Emergency disciplinary hearings are rare but the Halifax cabaret has been reported to have had eight overcrowding and over-serving infractions in eight months.
The Toothy Moose is limited to 198 patrons and staff by its fire regulations.
However, when Darlene Hancock, a liquor compliance officer, dropped into the cheap drinks event on Jan. 10 she said she lost count after 250 patrons.
"I had been bumped and pushed around and I had a beer spilled over me," Hancock said.
"I discontinued my count because I couldn't get through the crowd. The other officer conducted a count and she came up with 467 patrons."
'Unprecedented' number of violations
Jean Paul Landry, the regional manager with the provincial government's alcohol and gaming division, said the number of violations reported at the cabaret is significant.
"In that time there were several infractions observed, coming in at an amount that was unprecedented and something has to be done immediately to correct this," Landry said.
A government lawyer is asking the regulator to suspend the Toothy Moose's cabaret license for one year. That would not close the bar down but its owners worry an earlier closing time will affect profits.
The province's Liquor Control Act allows cabarets to serve alcohol to 3:30 a.m. Such businesses normally host live entertainment and can hold more than 400 people. Clubs, however, are only permitted to serve alcohol until 2 a.m.
Kelly Serbu, the lawyer for the cabaret, questioned why the authorities waited until February to notify them in writing of the violations.
One violation goes back to July and involves over-serving a young woman who police say was taken to a hospital emergency room by an ambulance.
The Toothy Moose is owned by the same group that owns Bubbles Mansion. The consortium includes Mike Smith, who plays Bubbles on the Trailer Park Boys television show.