Just as the venue gods giveth, the venue gods taketh away. Ethiopian restaurant/music hub Nyala is shutting its doors. For the past six years, the Main Street spot has delivered dinner music via a slew of traditional African outfits, as well as jazz, indie rock, and even the occasional hardcore act. Sadly, the enterprise closes its doors November 1 due to skyrocketing property values. “Rent has gone through the roof,” owner-booker Assefa Kebede told the Straight. “We’ve reached a point where it became unaffordable. We’re paying over $6,000 now.”
While the venue’s closing marks the end of an era, Kebede insist that he’s already on the hunt for a new concert spot in a cheaper area of Vancouver. In the meantime, he’ll be catching the groups he’s befriended around town. “I miss my musicians; they’re part of my family,” he said, adding that he’s hoping other restaurateurs will open their arms to local music while he’s away.