tengo ktv

Karaoke bar gets liquor license suspended for not following provincial orders

Among the numerous businesses in Toronto and the surrounding suburbs that have been busted lately for not following operating guideliness amid the health crisis is Tengo KTV, a Unionville karaoke spot that just had its liquor license suspended for what authorities say are multiple infractions.

The bar in a plaza at Kennedy and Highway 7, which is also known as UFO KTV, was found to be in violation of more than one portion of the province's Liquor Licence Act and Regulation 719, including failing to "maintain control over the premises."

This could mean that underagers were found inside, that alcohol was being served outside the new legal hours for the region, and/or that there was overcrowding, overserving, or illicit activities taking place, and more.

Whatever the case was, suspending the business's license immediately was "for reasons of public interest and safety," stated the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which is now moving to fully revoke it.

York Region, where Tengo is located, currently sits in the province's Red-Control zone, meaning that food and drink establishments may be open for in-person service, but with a maximum number of 10 patrons indoors.

Customers must be seated at a table of four people or less positioned at least two metres apart from others unless there is an impermeable barrier between tables. And, last call is 9 p.m., with a closing time of 10 p.m. at the latest.

Particularly noteworthy is the fact that dancing, singing and the live performance of music is prohibited and background music must be "low enough that a normal conversation is possible," meaning that if KTV Tengo was operating as anything more than strictly a bar — e.g. its intended purpose of a karaoke spot — it would be in violation of provincial COVID-19 orders.

With such establishments completely shuttered in Toronto and Peel, there have been fears that residents of the two locked down regions will travel elsewhere to do things like shop, eat at restaurants and imbibe while singing some karaoke. 

And it seems that those concerns have been justified, with many flocking from the downtown core to malls and other businesses in Hamilton, Burlington and Vaughan.

"We appreciate how difficult these times are for all in the hospitality sector. As regulator, we’ve been working closely with the Government of Ontario on measures to support the sector throughout the pandemic," the AGCO said in a release about the incident, which does not specify what specific offenses Tengo KTV committed and how they may have violated pandemic orders.

"All who hold a liquor licence in Ontario are required to ensure alcohol is served safely and responsibly, and act with honest and integrity during this COVID-19 outbreak. The AGCO will continue taking all appropriate regulatory actions for those that are unable or unwilling to comply."

Also busted this weekend were retail stores in Markham and Vaughan, including a number in the bustling Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre, one of the closest to Toronto that is still open.

Lead photo by

Tengo KTV/Google

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