There are a few jazz musicians and fans who will be singing the blues as January 2020 gets underway, as Commercial Drive's Libra Room will be closing down around the new year.
A patron tipped V.I.A. off to the pending closure a few weeks ago via e-mail, and a couple of event listings indicate the end is near.
"The LIBRA room is closing on Dec 31st. OH NO! So GO while you can!" notes performer Melanie Dekker on her Dec. 18 event listing on the site bandsintown.
A Facebook event for a Libra Room Ender Bender, set for Dec. 29, indicates the venue is "closing soon."
The Libra Room has been in their space for over 10 years. The venue closed down for a lengthy renovation a couple of years back, re-opening in 2017.
The building, called the Odlin Block, was built in 1910-11, and contains both 1608 and 1610. "1608 Commercial Drive has contained numerous businesses, including China Pheasant Cafe from 1958-1970, and Old Europa from 1976-2000s," notes the Vancouver Heritage Foundation.
According to one frequent Libra Room performer, the venue's new proprietors may be turning the space into a Greek restaurant, however that information remains an unconfirmed rumour.
The Libra Room is "the only spot in Vancouver to catch live music seven-nights a week," touts their website. They also proudly feature local artists' work on their walls, and make the artwork available for purchase. On the menu are appetizers and approachable eats like burgers and pasta dishes.
UPDATE Dec. 20: We spoke with one of the owners of Libra Room, who confirmed the venue is closing down in the new year. Their last day of service will be Saturday, January 4, and among the events for their final days includes a New Year's Eve bash. Citing increased rents and the high cost of operating the live music aspect of the business, as well as the lengthy and costly recent renovations, the current owners are opting to bring on more partners and revamp the space to bring Commercial Drive and Vancouverites something fresh and different for the neighbourhood and city. Since they will only be making cosmetic changes, the team hopes the new as-yet-to-be-revealed concept will be ready to launch in early spring.