The owners of Vancouver’s legendary Railway Club announced Tuesday that it will be closing its doors, effective immediately.
In a statement posted on Facebook Tuesday afternoon, the club’s owners said they could no longer keep the venerable live music venue afloat.
“A concerted and very public effort to sell the club over the last few months has seen no buyer come forward,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, the long-term and persistent combination of relatively high expenses, in particular rent, as compared to business receipts has left the business unable to continue. We deeply regret this outcome and the effect it will have on all the stakeholders, as well the cultural scene in Vancouver.”
The Railway Club began life as a private club for railway construction workers in 1931. Under the ownership of Janet and Steve Forsyth, the bar at the corner of Dunsmuir and Seymour became one of Vancouver’s premiere live music venues, beginning in 1981. Canadian legends like the Tragically Hip, Barenaked Ladies, k.d lang, Blue Rodeo and Ray Condo all got their start on the club’s small stage.
The Forsyths sold the club to Amelia and Steve Silman in 2008 after 27 years of operating the club. Steve Silman put the club up for sale for $299,000 in December 2015, describing it as a"rare opportunity to take over an iconic Vancouver location."
Silman couldn’t be reached for comment, but the club’s ownership did thank those who supported the Railway Club over the years.
“We would like to thank our wonderful employees, customers, promoters, suppliers, and especially the performers that have made the Railway Club much more than just a business these many years,” the Facebook statement reads. “Again, our thanks to everyone who at one time or another climbed the steep stairs up to the Railway Club; we wish the best going forward to all those affected.”
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