Vancouver’s Cellar Jazz Club is set to leave its West Broadway location early next year.
After 13 years at the Kitsilano venue, Cellar owner Cory Weeds and the building’s landlord have agreed to part ways at the end of February.
“It’s a lot of things coalescing at the same time that made me sort of come to the decision that it was time for a change,” Weeds told the Straight by phone from Montreal. “Part of it was the lease. Although we had a negotiated lease, it wasn’t a lease that was going to see us there long term.”
Problems with flooding at the basement venue also played a role in his decision, as did the economics that many people in the local restaurant industry are facing, the club owner and saxophonist noted. And while nothing is set in terms of a new location for the club, Weeds said he’s feeling positive about what lies ahead for the venue.
“I was born, I think, to present music,” he said. “I was born to fight the jazz fight. It’s what I do, it’s what I love—I’m passionate about it.”
“I’m not angry, I’m not bitter,” he added. “I’m done at that location, and it took a lot of guts to make that decision…but I think that if I do it right, I can come back bigger and better and set up for a bigger chance at success.”
In the meantime, the venue is still busy with events up until its closure, and will host a concert series to honour some of the bookings the club had beyond February.
“We’ve got a lot of great concerts coming up and it’s going to be really good for the next three months,” he said. “I want to concentrate on having some fun there…and going out on a high note, pardon the pun.”
Weeds added that in its 13 years in the West Broadway venue, the jazz club has accomplished “some pretty amazing things”.
“It was a home for a lot of people...We probably recorded 50 or 55 records there,” he said. “I think it’s had a very large impact, and I think it’s going to be sorely missed—by me, and the other people."