Brit Champs-Elysees landlord fails to evict Queen

2nd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 2 (AFP) - One of Paris' most famous gay night-spots has won a battle to stay at its exclusive Champs-Elysees site after an appeals court threw out a bid by the building's owner to evict it from the premises.

PARIS, June 2 (AFP) - One of Paris' most famous gay night-spots has won a battle to stay at its exclusive Champs-Elysees site after an appeals court threw out a bid by the building's owner to evict it from the premises.  

British businessman Michael Gross, who owns the building, had alleged that the club, an institution on the Paris night-club scene, had repeatedly violated the terms of its lease by admitting more than 492 people at once.  

An earlier ruling in November had found in his favour, and ruled the club's organisers should quit the premises on one of the French capital's most fashionable streets at the end of its lease in February.  

However, the appeals court ruled late Wednesday that Gross had failed to "conclusively prove that Queen had admitted more than 492 people at the same time on one or several occasions."  

"I'm very happy, this decision means we can stay and for a long time," said the creator of the club, Philippe Fatien, adding that neither the police or the fire brigade had ever had a problem with attendance at the club.  

So Queen, which attracts both gay and straight clubbers, can only be evicted from the 850 square metres (9,100 square feet) it rents from Gross if it is paid compensation amounting to its annual business which Fatien put at some EUR 19.5 million (USD 24 million).  

Two experts however are to be appointed to determine the exact amount of compensation which would eventually be payable.  

Andre Guillemain, lawyer for Gross, said his client would probably still seek to evict the club from the premises as "he believes that there have been repeated infringements which put clients in danger and for which he would find himself responsible if there were an incident."  

But Fatien, who alleges that Gross wanted to evict the club without paying any compensation to benefit from property speculation along the golden Champs Elysees, was in the mood for celebrating.  

He told the Parisien daily newspaper that the club would hold a series of events this weekend, with free entry and an open bar on Saturday to thank all their supporters.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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