The shutdown of a rave held in the basement of a Chinese restaurant this weekend was the result of an ongoing investigation into possible license infractions, says the director of investigation and enforcement of the province’s Alcohol and Gaming Division.
The division got wind of the Bedlam Entertainment function planned for Friday night at Kings Palace while looking into a complaint about a similar party that allegedly took place at the Quinpool Road establishment last month, John MacDonald said.
Due to the ongoing nature of the case, MacDonald could not reveal what infractions — if any — might have been committed at the 16-and-over, alcohol-free event. He says on-scene enforcement agents advised Kings Palace owners that the party could be seen as violating the terms of the eating establishment and liquor license, which does not allow a lounge atmosphere.
“If what they were doing was some sort of dance party, then that would typically not be permitted,” MacDonald said.
The owners chose to shut the party down at 1:30 a.m., a police spokesman confirmed.
The operation was a joint effort between police, RCMP and the Alcohol and Gaming Division.
Event organizer Matthew Bullock said the decision to toss almost 200 partygoers, many of whom were underage, onto the street in the middle of the night was “very, very poor handling by the authorities.”
Bullock says he discussed the event with police, invited officers to attend and implemented a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy.
“I wanted to guarantee the safety of the kids attending. That was my main goal,” he said in an e-mail interview.
But Staff Sgt. Sean Auld said the police department had concerns, and never gave “its blessing.”
That night, undercover officers charged an adult man with trafficking ecstasy. Two youths were charged for underage drinking outside.
Owner Edmund Wong did not return calls yesterday, but a Kings Palace employee who did not want to be identified said the rave would be the restaurant’s last.
“I don’t think we need that kind of advertisement for our place. It’s not a good image,” the employee said.