Winnipeg lounge loses liquor serving licence following multiple violations

A Fort Richmond nightclub’s liquor-serving privileges have been revoked following a series of infractions over a 13-month period.

The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority (LGCA) said it has cancelled the licence for Obsidian Ultra Lounge following an overcapacity violation on Feb. 4. It was the seventh infraction at the Pembina Highway nightclub since Dec. 31, 2022.

During a routine inspection on that date, LGCA inspectors reported the bar was overcapacity and patrons were being overserved.

According to the LGCA report, inspectors saw a table of six people with a tray of 19 vodka shots in front of them. Two of the people had additional drinks.

The two inspectors also counted the number of patrons. Their two counts, totalling 181 and 176 people respectively, were both above the lounge’s 150-person capacity.

“The LGCA deems breaches caused by overcapacity as threats to life safety and/or social responsibility,” the report’s decision reads.

Obsidian’s liquor licence was suspended for two days as a result. The bar’s owner appealed the decision, arguing the vodka shots were intended for “15 patrons seated between two separate tables,” but the appeal was dismissed by an LGCA panel.

Over the following year, the LGCA issued six more compliance orders to Obsidian Ultra Lounge. The infractions include four more overcapacity citations – not including the Feb. 4 infraction – and another over-service violation.

Penalties ranged from fines to temporary licence suspensions. In one instance, staff were ordered to complete mandatory training.

Following the Feb. 4 overcapacity violation, the LGCA issued a compliance order to cancel Obsidian Ultra Lounge’s age-restricted liquor service licence.

The nightclub has appealed the decision and a hearing with an LGCA panel is set for Wednesday.

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