It looks like Vancouver will be saying goodbye, at least temporarily, to one of the city’s longest-running and oddly charming music venues.
In an Instagram post, the team running the Cobalt has stated that the end appears to be near for the room as we know it. The post announces that the city is demanding fixes to the hotel that the Cobalt operates out of.
The hotel is owned by the Sahota family, which has numerous properties in the Downtown Eastside, many of them derelict. Last June the city ordered the Balmoral, which the family runs on East Hastings, shut down, citing structural concerns such as sagging floors, mould, water damage, and rotting wood. The building, a low-rent SRO, was also overrun with rats, cockroaches, and bedbugs.
The Cobalt’s Instagram post reads, in part: ”It looks like the building is going to be getting some much needed upgrades. Unfortunately for the bar it looks like we may be asked to close during these repairs as the main focus will be replacing a shitload of floors."
It goes on to say the Cobalt doesn’t know when it will be asked to close for the renovations or if and when it might reopen, adding it could be months. Bands and promoters looking to book shows at the venue are encouraged to reach out to the club.
Over the years the room on Main has had many incarnations, including dive bar, strip club, fetish bar, and punk rock/underground metal venue. Near the end of its time as a punk rock dive overhead pipes were leaking sewer water onto a sagging dancefloor.
The current Cobalt team took over the room around the beginning of the decade and did a round of renovations that got rid of the grime that was part of the Cobalt's charm during the late '90s and early 2000s. The sightlines remained among the best in the city, the red-velvet-like curtains at the back of the stage giving the spot a Lynchian feel.
Since then it’s operated as one of Vancouver's best small rooms, hosting Karaoke nights and touring DIY acts falling under many umbrellas, including indie pop, college rock, and alt-country.More