A popular Montreal eatery named Linguini restaurant located in Baie d’Urfé that burned to the ground last month may hold clues in the ongoing Montreal mafia war.
According to a Journal de Montreal report, a meeting that included members of the Violi and Cotroni families took place there in early October. Among those present were Dominic Violi and Michel Cotroni who are the sons of former Montreal mafia leaders Paolo Violi and Frank Cotroni. Dominic Violi has alleged ties to the Calabrian mafia also known as the Ndrangheta in Hamilton. Some believe this meeting may be another indication of the Calabrian mafia’s involvement in the bloody attacks against the Rizzuto crime family.
“Linguini restaurant fire”
It was the murder of Paolo Violi back in the 1970’s that paved the way for the Sicilian-based Rizzuto family to take control of the mafia in Montreal. The Calabrian-based Cotroni crime family controlled much of southern Quebec and Ontario with the backing of the Bonanno crime family of the New York mafia for years. An internal war broke out between the Calabrian and Sicilian factions of the Cotroni family in the 70’s which led to the murder of Paolo then an acting capo for leader Vic Cotroni among others. The Sicilian faction led by Nicolo Rizzuto would break away from the Cotroni family forming the Rizzuto crime family that eventually took control of organized crime in Montreal.
Brothers Giuseppe and Dominic Violi moved to Hamilton after the murder of their father in 1978. Vic Cotroni’s death left his brother Frank Cotroni as the new boss of the fading Calabrian faction until he died of cancer in 2004. One of the major theories associated with the Montreal mafia war was that the Violi and Cotroni families were back for revenge backed by the Ndrangheta from Ontario. The Violi brothers were reportedly in Montreal just weeks before the mafia hit on Nick Rizzuto. Both police sources and mob experts have acknowledged this as a viable theory which now seems to be getting somewhat more conceivable. There are also links between the restaurant and alleged mobster Danny De Gregorio who worked there until recently.
The 48-year-old De Gregorio was recently sentenced to 32 months in prison weapons charges and is considered to be close to the Calabrian clan. He had ties to now-deceased mob leader Giuseppe De Vito who was believed to be a part of the rival faction challenging the Rizzuto family for control of the Montreal mob. There are still questions surrounding the recent fire at Linguini as to whether or not it was criminal in nature. Perhaps the restaurant was targeted by what remains of the Rizzuto family because of the meeting held there weeks before. This definitely makes things that much more interesting in the ongoing Montreal mob saga.