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Arsonists Attack Montreal’s Stereo Bar – For the 2nd Time In A Year

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stereomontreal

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.”

By:           editor editor
On:           Sep 3, 2009
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 13 Comments
    • dgz
      dgz

      great to hear of the support from the community, but odd to hear of this kind of crime epidemic in Montreal.

      btw: “arsonists,” not “arsons.”

      Sep 3, 2009 at 10:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AlwaysGay
      AlwaysGay

      Haterosexuals trying to intimidate gay people and destroy what gay people built.

      Sep 3, 2009 at 12:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lloyd Baltazar
      Lloyd Baltazar

      Stupid move from hetero-haters.

      They just made the montreal club stronger with a boost of confidence. More people will come out and support this event.

      Sep 3, 2009 at 12:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GayMontrealer
      GayMontrealer

      @AlwaysGay:

      I have to strongly disagree. Stereo isn’t a “gay bar”, it’s an after-hours club located in the gay village. While a lot of gay men would be there, half the clientele was often made up of straight raver kids. As someone that went to Stereo when I was younger, I would suspect the arson is drug related, not homophobia.

      Sep 3, 2009 at 12:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J in MTL
      J in MTL

      I agree with GayMontrealer… and I think that this article is a little misleading. Stereo is is only ‘gay’ insofar as the electro scene is. This post makes it sound like its a hate crime against gay people when it was probably mob-related.

      Sep 3, 2009 at 1:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AlwaysGay
      AlwaysGay

      @GayMontrealer: You’re making excuses. This arson has the hallmarks of an anti-gay attack. Most likely strangers torched the place since police don’t have any suspects. Usually anti-gay attackers are strangers to the victim. The club didn’t even open so how could it be drug-related?

      Sep 3, 2009 at 8:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alejandro
      alejandro

      wow. thats so effed up! ive never been there but i know a bunch of ppl that have!

      and yea though, maybe its drug related….

      Sep 3, 2009 at 8:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Wojnarowicz
      David Wojnarowicz

      So many problems with this post not sure where to begin. First, the Rome attack happened after this week’s attack on Stereo. Stereo is an after hours club, not a bar. They don’t even serve alcohol. Many gay people go there (because they are hip and cool) and it surely isn’t a gay club.

      The opening was scheduled for tonight (Thursday), with the original dj/owner Angel Moreas spinning. Since Tuesday, when the fire happened, fans have volunteered their time to get the club cleaned up so it can reopen this weekend. It’s not clear yet if the powers that be have given the club approval to open.

      Me, I’m heading up to Montreal regardless for what looks to be an amazing weekend.

      Sep 3, 2009 at 9:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Wojnarowicz
      David Wojnarowicz

      @ always gay: You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Trust me, the fire probably had more to do with a criminal element/turf issue than the fact that some gay people go to this club. It’s not always a gay thing.

      Sep 3, 2009 at 9:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Wojnarowicz
      David Wojnarowicz

      @AlwaysGay: Angel Moreas, the dj who created Stereo back in 1998 is straight. Not sure why he picked Montreal or the gay village but he probably realized that gay men are awesome and into the music what he wanted to create ( a homage to the legendary house clubs of NYC ).

      Sep 3, 2009 at 9:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AlwaysGay
      AlwaysGay

      Thomas Piscardelli now owns Stereo. Is he gay?

      Sep 3, 2009 at 11:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ron
      ron

      Stereo was amazing. At one point it must have been the best club in North America and one of the best on the planet. It was definitely NOT gay…just omni-sexual. Many same-sex encounters were between men who didn’t identify as gay and often were there with girlfriends. The arson was surely organized crime related…there is a arch-rival club across the street.

      Sep 4, 2009 at 4:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jay
      Jay

      Stereo isn’t a gay bar, and I highly doubt this was a gay-motivated attack. If there were anti-gay arsonists at work they would probably take on some of the 10 other gay bars within a few blocks of Stereo and make threats against the community in general. They would burn down something more recognizably gay like Chez Mado, Campus, Drugstore, Parking, or even Priape, or something. It’s true Unity burned down in 2005 or 2006 but I don’t remember people thinking that was hate-related.

      In Montreal, if something bad happens, it’s most likely the result of the biker gangs who control the drug trade. That’s even more likely with an afterhours club like Stereo. Afterhours places in Montreal are major drug sales points. Cocaine, cocaine, and more cocaine. People aren’t even subtle about it.

      The fact that Stereo burned down twice should not be interpreted as a hate crime. It most likely means someone – probably someone who thinks they’re above the law – has a major beef with the owner. Follow the money. Nobody cares about the clientele.

      Sep 4, 2009 at 11:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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