‘They don’t care what downtown looks like’

The owner of a popular nightclub in central Windsor says more attention needs to be paid to small businesses dealing with crime.

The Phog Lounge, in a prime location next to Windsor’s historic Capitol Theatre, has been a recurring target of vandals, and owner Tom Lucier has had enough.

The latest incident occurred on Sunday, when the Windsor International Film Festival (WIFF) was wrapping up its triumphant return to live screenings for the first time since 2019. Lucier said he received a call from an employee who reported that a front desk window in the break room had been shattered.

Lucier told WindsorNewsToday.ca that one of his employees was contacted by a WIFF volunteer about someone with apparent mental health issues banging on the window at the Capitol box office next door, but it’s unclear if that was the person in charge of the vandalism.

The pub owner believes that it may be the people who are dealing with some of the inner city’s problems who are behind it.

“It’s people who need help from a mental health professional,” Lucier said. “These people are addicts, these people are homeless people on the streets. I would say at least once a week, or, Jesus, more than once a week, I see people going crazy about some bad things.”

Lucier made it clear he was blaming City Hall for focusing too much on what he called “pet projects” like the restoration of the Windsor tram by the river.

“The message to small business owners is that they don’t care about downtown, especially where there are too many people downtown with these issues,” Lucier said. “They don’t care about small business owners. They don’t care what downtown looks like. “

Phog Lounge isn’t the only business recently hit by suspected criminals. The Milos Greek Grill on Wyandotte Street East in Walkerville was the target of a suspicious fire in the early hours of October 27. A few days before the fire, Milos’ owners posted on social media that the restaurant had been damaged several times recently – ins.

Lucier said these events were common because they happened to him as well.

“We had a graffiti artist working on the back of the building, and we had a big grey block in the middle of our door because someone had pried it open with a crowbar,” Lucier said. “I know very well about break-ins. I know it all. “

– Document from Adelle Loiselle

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