Beloved Music Venue Hugh’s Room Shuts Down This Weekend

Committee formed in effort to reopen popular location

UPDATE: Hugh’s Room has formed a committee to develop a business plan in an effort to reopen the Roncesvalles music venue.

The committee met this week to address how to handle the venue’s debt and move forward with opening its doors to the live music scene once again.

“There’s so much belief in the goodwill this club has — as well as its value as a venue on this scene — that no one wants it to go,” committee spokesperson William ‘Grit’ Laskin said in a statement. “There’s willingness and connection and so many offers of help that it’s doable, but precisely how is to be determined.”

“There’s a will to go forward,” Laskin said. “Everyone’s feeling pretty positive, but there’s work to do.”

Here’s what we wrote on Monday when news of the popular venue closing broke:

Roncesvalles’ most treasured music venue Hugh’s Room unexpectedly shut its doors this weekend, potentially for the last time.

The bar’s owner Richard Carson told CBC he’s “reached a point of insolvency.” Carson says he’s going to be taking the next couple days to figure out what his options are moving forward.

It was a rocky weekend for the venue, starting off Friday morning when a James Taylor tribute act with 125 advance tickets received a call from Carson telling him the show was cancelled for the night due to “internal problems.” Over the next couple days, Carson decided to cancel more shows, affecting 20 musicians who had the venue booked for events.

A photo posted by Jody Brumell (@jodyeknight) on

“I have not filed for bankruptcy.” Carson told The Star. “I would like to figure out a way to continue. I don’t know if that’s going to be possible, so I just need a few days. Right now, I don’t feel it’s fair to go on in the dire current situation that we’re in.”

For the past 16 years, the 200 capacity venue has seen acts from Ron Sexsmith, to Serena Ryder, Pete Seeger and more. While the music community mourns the loss of Hugh’s Room, the decision also affects the 35 full and part-time employees of the venue.

Image courtesy Christine K via Flickr