Montreal pilot project will let some bars stay open all night

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

Dave Kaufman, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:51 PM ET

Montreal has decided to go ahead with a pilot project where 19 designated drinking establishments will be allowed to stay open until 6 a.m.

The 19 bars, pubs and clubs have put in a request to extend their hours with the Quebec Liquor Board, and it's expected the board will approve the requests.

Peter Sergakis, the president of the Quebec Union of Bar Owners, told QMI that unless the request is approved, there is no point staying open until 6 a.m.

"If we're not selling alcohol, we're not making money," Sergakis said. "There's a risk that the bars could end up being a hub for drug use if people aren't allowed to drink."

The 19 bars, pubs and clubs are concentrated in two areas of the city. Seven are on Crescent St. in Montreal's downtown. The other dozen are on Saint-Denis St., in the city's Latin Quarter.

If the board approves the pilot project, the 19 bars will be allowed to serve alcohol until 5:30 a.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from June 12 to July 5.

Educ'alcool, a not-for-profit organization that promotes alcohol prevention, education, and moderation in Quebec say they want to wait and see how the pilot project goes before commenting.

"Let's see what lessons can be learned," Educ'alcool director General Hubert Sacy said. Sacy told QMI they are curious to see how the project will affect public safety. "We'll see what kind of crowd wants to stay out until 6 a.m.," Sacy said.

At a Friday news conference, Mayor Denis Coderre said Montreal should embrace being a world-renowned city for late-night revelry.

"There is a nightlife in Montreal," said Coderre. "The only reason there is one in Toronto is because half a million Montrealers moved there in the past. That's it."


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