CityMash.com - In March 2016 Vancouver’s beloved and historic Railway Club closed its doors after 84 years of business. The live music hot-spot was one of the city’s favourite music venues and hosted iconic names such as The Tragically Hip, k.d. lang, Los Lobos, and so many more.
Sadly, the sky-high rent caused the demise of the venue (Vancouver, right?). In 2008 the Railway Club’s rent was costing $10,000, so you can only imagine what that number looked like 8 years later.
The Railway was an exceptionally cool place. It opened just shortly after prohibition was repealed in B.C. In fact, you had to be buzzed into the bar. You also had to be either a member or the guest of a member to enter. If you sprung for a membership (for $10) you were given a key to the joint. At one point, the club had 3,000 members, therefore they also had 3,000 keys floating around the city. The club’s attendees remember it as much more than a bunch of friends hanging out drinking and listening to music, but rather, a family.
Though the Railway Club will be opening as something totally different than you remember, we are pretty pleased that it’s in the capable hands of Jeff Donnelly and Chad Cold of Vancouver’s Donnelly Group. You may have heard of the Donnelly Group as they currently own 9 pubs and 3 cocktail bars in the city.
The group plans to donate historic fixtures to the Museum of Vancouver to preserve some of the legacy in a public space for locals to enjoy. They also plan to work with the local music community to keep some of the spirit alive, though sadly, live music is not the main aim for this new pub.
You can expect a community pub with all of the fun and charm you’ve experienced in any of the Donnelly Group’s other locations. Though we’re sad to see the Railway Club go, we’re excited to see what comes of the space.
If you have any stories or memories from the Railway Club, we’d love to heard about them!