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Ted Hsu for MPP

J.A.K.K. Tuesdays’ Liquor Licence permanently revoked

J.A.K.K. Tuesdays, located on Progress Avenue in Kingston’s west end, on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. Photo by Cris Vilela.

After months of back and forth between business owner Kelly Hale and various regulatory provincial and municipal authorities, the Liquor Licence for his bar, J.A.K.K. Tuesdays, has been permanently revoked.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) ordered an Order of Interim Suspension of the liquor licence of J.A.K.K. Tuesdays, “for reasons of public interest and safety” on Thursday, Sept 30, 2021, and also announced its intentions to seek permanent revocation of the licence the same day. This came two weeks after the business announced its intentions to not comply with COVID-19 protocols under the provincial Reopening of Ontario Act (ROA), particularly the mandatory enforcement of proof of vaccination to enter establishments like the bar.

While awaiting the decision of the Licence Appeal Tribunal regarding that revocation, the business continued to violate legislation and Public Health protocols, resulting in its loss of business licence through the municipality of the City of Kingston and being served with a Section 22 Order by Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. Additionally, J.A.K.K. Tuesdays – which continued to remain open to the public despite all of these things – saw multiple visits from KFL&A Public Health through the first two weeks of November, all documenting the business’ non-compliance, which culminated in the sports bar being served with a Superior Court Order on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. Again, Hale refused to close his business, and remained in non-compliance as documented by KFL&A Public Health the following day.

And, as the week came to an end, so, too, did the business’ ability to legally serve alcohol, as the Licence Appeal Tribunal issued its decision on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.

“The independent Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) has issued its decision. The order directs the AGCO to carry out the Registrar’s proposal to revoke J.A.K.K. Tuesdays’ liquor licence,” the AGCO said in a statement.

“The AGCO’s revocation of the liquor licence means the operator cannot legally sell or serve alcohol in this establishment.”

Despite this, the business still remained open as of 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. While the neon ‘Open’ sign was not illuminated in the business’ window, people inside could clearly be seen sitting at the bar of the establishment. A woman outside the bar, identifying herself as “the bouncer”, said they were having a private party and encouraged arriving patrons to “BYOB.”

Patrons can clearly be seen inside J.A.K.K. Tuesdays on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. Photo by Cris Vilela.

The provincial regulatory board continued, outlining its reasoning for the suspension of J.A.K.K. Tuesdays liquor licence and the proposal to revoke that licence entirely.

“Requiring proof of vaccination in select settings allows businesses to keep operating while protecting the safety of Ontarians. The operators of liquor licensed establishments have an important role to play in keeping the sector open and the community safe,” the AGCO stated.

“We appreciate and recognize all the establishments that are taking this responsibility seriously and will continue addressing situations where that responsibility is being disregarded.”

Kingstonist has requested a full copy of the LAT decision, and will provide updates when that information becomes available.

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