The owner of the Hintonburg building that's been home to the troubled Vibe Lounge & Bistro is looking for a new tenant while the business's food licence remains suspended until it expires on March 31.
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The licence was originally issued to the building's owner and landlord, Romeo Donatucci, but the day-to-day operation of the lounge has been handled by the tenant: Vibe Lounge & Bistro.
The food licence was suspended last month, two days after Leslie Mwakio, 17, was found shot in an SUV nearby on Bayswater Avenue near Laurel Street, on Dec. 6. He was later pronounced dead in hospital.
No more 'Vibe'
At a status review hearing on Tuesday, the city's licence and property standards appeal committee ordered that the food licence will remain suspended until it expires on March 31.
At that time a new food licence can be sought, provided the application doesn't involve anyone associated with Vibe Lounge and the word "Vibe" is removed from any new business's name, according to the order, which was agreed to and signed by the building owner and a lawyer for the city's chief licence inspector.
If those two conditions are met, the application will not be treated with prejudice, the order reads.
Mwakio's death renewed complaints about Vibe Lounge & Bistro. A man was shot on the property in 2013 but survived. In October, shots were fired on Somerset Street W. near Bayswater but no one was injured.
'Finally, it's over with'
Resident Frank Furmanczyk said at the meeting Tuesday that he's relieved.
"We'll get back the peace and tranquility of the community, the way it was before. Because this has been going on for years now, and the community association, along with the residents, we've been begging them to change their behaviour and for them to fit in with the community," he said.
"And I'm so happy with the verdict ... that they have voluntarily [reached]. They got the picture, they got the negative publicity that they didn't want, and it does work.
"... So finally, it's over with."
Landlord 'doesn't want any trouble'
Lawyer Leonard Max, who represents building owner Romeo Donatucci, said Tuesday that his client hopes the community's anger is assuaged.
"First of all, he doesn't want any trouble at all, and that includes quieting things down inside the community. There are still going to be problems in that neighbourhood, ..." Max said, adding that his client isn't responsible for them.
The Vibe Lounge & Bistro's lease remains in place until March 31, and the business could technically stay open until then, Max said.
"They can't operate the café in terms of selling food. Whatever else they're doing that doesn't require a licence, they're entitled to do. They can be open, but I think you're going to find that they're just making arrangements to clean up and shut down," he said.