Gangster links to Cavalli restaurant’s clientele probed
Owners appear at hearing that could result in revoked liquor permit
by Paul Cherry, Gazette crime reporter
MONTREAL — No restaurant, especially one located on a busy downtown street, can reasonably be expected to control who dines there.
But it’s what happens after some of Restaurant Cavalli’s clients show up at the popular eatery on Peel St. that prompted the Montreal police to have its owners summoned on Wednesday before the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux that could result in its liquor permit being revoked. An in camera conference (closed to the public) has been scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday at the Montreal courthouse so lawyers can prepare for a future hearing which will likely be public.
A numbered company, 4072430 Canada Inc., is the holder of Cavalli’s liquor permit. The company has been summoned to appear before the board as part of “an investigation to determine if it has been lacking in its legal obligations” as a holder of a permit.
The concerns of the Montreal police are listed in a notice the Régie issued to Restaurant Cavalli on June 14. It notes the presence of several members of the Mafia, biker gangs and street gangs between Oct. 8, 2010, and December 6, 2011 (a police source recently told The Gazette that reputed mob boss Vito Rizzuto was seen dining at Cavalli as recently as May).
More importantly, the Montreal police also allege the restaurant has been the scene of several serious acts of violence, sometimes involving known gangsters, between May 12, 2006 — when a client was beaten with a chair — to Dec. 14, 2012 — when police broke up a fight between four men. During the most recent incident, bottles were thrown at two of the victims and “one of (Cavalli’s) security guards interfered with the work of a police officer.” The summons alleges the restaurant’s staff has been “unco-operative” with the police on a few occasions.
Details concerning one of the incidents of violence listed in the summons were made public during a court hearing related to Project Colisée, a large-scale police investigation of the Mafia in Montreal. On Aug. 23, 2006, Francesco Del Balso, a young leader in the Rizzuto organization, was recorded as he spoke on a cellphone to one of his associates. Del Balso took offence to having been grabbed by the throat by Charles Huneault, a man tied to the Hells Angels, while they were at the restaurant. Shots were fired into Huneault’s Porsche, parked outside Cavalli, and within minutes the police had the area surrounded. Del Balso, who sounded inebriated as he spoke to his friend, was unable to leave the area because of the police investigation. He said he was willing to fire off a gun in front of the police.
“You want me to show you what the f—k? I’m able to do it in front of these f—kin’ cops. I’ll shoot them all,” Del Balso said as his friend pleaded with him to calm down.
The Montreal police requested the hearing on April 1, 2010, and updated their request last year. The summons also notes that the Montreal police met with the restaurant’s manager on June 16, 2011, to discuss the problems caused by “street gangs and organized crime.” In the five months that followed, its officers noted the presence of street gang members at Cavalli on six different dates, including on Oct. 6, 2011, when “11 individuals related to street gangs” were spotted inside.
Cavalli restaurant linked to gangster clientele
I agree, Captain. I know a couple of girls who work there and they're totally hot!
I believe that "Cavalli" is also owned by the same group who owns Buena Notte, Globe & Rosalie restaurants/supper clubs. I've heard that they recruit their staff from modelling agencies.
Je confirme: the food at the Cavalli is good, and original for some. It happens that I suggest to some of my visiting and local gentlemen to have a supper there.
I am surprised to know now all that kind of intrigues about the restaurant Doc.
-food is good for lunch break at Buena Notte.