Peter Gatien is the notorious club owner who brought us New York’s unbridled playpen the Limelight until being deported to Canada for tax evasion.
Well, my Canadian friend Grant Ramsay tells me about the club Gatien opened up there (but left a few months ago):
“Circa, Toronto’s largest nightclub, has confirmed to CBC News that it is filing for bankruptcy protection. Ari Kulidjian, one of Circa’s owners, said the John Street club has had problems with debt since it opened two years ago.”
Here’s more background (written before the confirmation) from blogto.com:
“The mega club…opened in October 2007 and was initially thought to be the best thing to happen to the Club District in years. But things started to unravel quickly and some suggested the writing was on the wall when founder Peter Gatien ceased relations with the club around March of this year.
“Based on information we’ve gathered, we estimate that earlier this month notices were sent to more than 100 creditors. We managed to track down one creditor (an event promotion company) and received confirmation that a notice was in fact issued and received. We’ve attempted to get confirmation from CiRCA itself but a call to their offices earlier this week was met with a cheery response claiming that although business was “a bit slow” the company had not filed for bankruptcy.
“Should it happen, what a bankruptcy filing will mean for the club and its creditors is still unclear. It’s believed that CiRCA will not cease operations, however, and instead simply try to restructure its debt while carrying on business as usual. The web site still indicates a full schedule of events planned through the end of the year.
“Talking with former employees and others who had relationships with the club (all of whom asked to be unnamed), we’ve heard a consistent theme that the club’s difficulties likely stem from a combination of an unmanageable rent, too many investors and the unwillingness to follow through on Gatien’s initial vision for the club.
“Once the vision was abandoned, not only did Gatien depart but a number of other original staffers followed. In August, management gave promoters A.D/D only two days notice that they were terminating Randomland, the club’s regular Friday night program, choosing to replace it with a more conventional urban-themed offering.”