Joe Pantalone maintains his tough—and lonely—stand against merlot

Joe Pantalone maintains his tough—and lonely—stand against merlot

Joe Pantalone: city councillor, benevolent shepherd (Photo:

Being a city councillor is a tough job—just ask deputy mayor Joe Pantalone. Fresh from killing Ossington’s buzz, he now finds himself on an increasingly lonely crusade to deny a liquor license to J.P. Challet’s new Harbord Street bistro, Ici. Ostensibly, Pantalone wants to ensure a bad precedent isn’t set and that the license doesn’t stay with the venue if the restaurant closes, causing the whole street to descend into a crime-ridden hell (you know, again).

While 285 people signed a petition in support of the alcohol bid and have voiced their support to Pantalone’s office, the councillor isn’t swayed.

In a recent Globe article, Pantalone claimed that “a lot of people in the community are being distracted by the fact that the applicants are nice people,” as though the intentions of Challet were beside the point and the failure of Ici was a forgone conclusion. But what really caught our eye was his Father Knows Best take on leadership:

Leadership means that you stick your neck out even though a strong segment of your community thinks otherwise, if you think that what is being suggested is ultimately for the detriment of the community.

Thanks, Dad.

• Councillor fights bistro liquor licence [Globe and Mail]