Following up the letter bomb attack at a gay bar in Rome comes word that Montreal’s Stereo club was torched — the second time in just over a year it’s been targeted by fans of flames.
Last July, the club (in the city’s Gay Village district) was lit ablaze in an arson attack; nobody was charged, and a massive $500,000 restoration project got underway.
Tuesday night, a familiar scene: Gearing up for what was supposed to be yesterday’s kick-off to a five-day re-opening celebration, Stereo was once again hit by vandals last night, who lit the club up around 4am for an hour-long blaze before firefighters could put it out.
And once again, the police have no suspects. Suffice to say, there will be no grand re-opening celebration. But this blaze, which was smaller than last year’s, isn’t dampening the spirits of Stereo’s owner. Or its patrons.
“I’m not even angry,” he said yesterday. “Something bad happened here, but something good’s going to come out of it.”
It’s a typical read from the DJ who has spent the last 14 months working to reopen his club, “because the kids wanna dance.” Stereo’s comeback-bash was supposed to kick off today.
The club has a cult following locally and on the international house music circuit. Fans call it “legendary,” a “temple of sound” and “one of the great clubs left in North America.” More than a few Stereoheads, as the club’s regulars are known, wear tattoos of the venue’s iconic logo.
“It was our city’s answer to Studio 54,” Bernard Plante, director of the Village Merchants’ Association, told Xtra.ca recently.
More than 100 volunteers showed up Tuesday night to help with the cleanup.
“They had gloves, shovels. The support was insane,” Piscardelli said. “Our press agent in New York had to get extra people to handle all the calls.”