EDMONTON – Following complaints of ongoing noise, weapons and violence, the Strathearn Pub’s business licence was revoked August 24.
In April, Edmonton’s Public Safety Compliance Team submitted a report to the Chief Licensing Officer requesting the pub’s business licence be cancelled.
“The report outlined a three-month undercover drug investigation that occurred inside the venue, after-hours liquor service, incidents of violence – including incidents of weapons violence – general disorder, and ongoing complaints from the surrounding Strathearn community,” said Jacob Montgomery, Sgt. with PSCT.
“The [team] felt at the time – and still does – that Strathearn Pub’s business operations are putting the public safety at risk and having negative effects on the surrounding community.”
“This particular establishment has a lengthy history with the Edmonton Police Service, the PSCT and that community,” he added.
Police began looking into Strathearn Pub & Restaurant, a family-owned pub located near 95 Ave. and 87 St., after allegations of drug trafficking surfaced in late 2013.
A three-month Edmonton police investigation into alleged drug trafficking at the pub led to the arrest of its owner and a staff member last March.
After executing a search warrant at the business, investigators seized cocaine and marijuana.
Bassam Monsef, 61, and Antoine Khalil Mounsef, 54, are both facing drug-related charges.
The owner and a staff member – who police believe are related – appeared in court on Thursday. Proceedings were adjourned until September 19.
“They are appearing on drug charges stemming from a three-month undercover investigation with EPS that involved the seizure of drugs and stolen property including more than 200 items of jewellery,” said EPS spokesperson Scott Pattison.
After the March arrests, the PSCT conducted follow-up investigations.
“The vast majority of night spots in our city comply with industry regulations and the criminal code,” said Montgomery. “It’s the few that compromise the safety of the surrounding community and general public that we’re addressing.”
The owner of the pub has appealed the licensing decision so Strathearn Pub will remain open until a decision is made by the Community Standards and Licence Appeal Committee.
“A hearing date has yet to be scheduled, and until that hearing date, Strathearn Pub can remain open,” explained Montgomery.
A hearing date has been proposed for the end of October, but that date has not been confirmed.