The Yale Hotel's long-time owner decides to let the blues club go

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      It was with a heavy sigh that Waide Luciak told the Straight he’s giving up management of the Yale Hotel.

      “It tears me apart because I just love that whole scene and I love the people that were involved in it, but what can I do?” he said in a telephone interview. “The reality is, the live music business is just not what it used to be.”

      Luciak has owned and operated the Yale since 1987. The famous blues club closed for renovations in November 2012, but recently switched on its old neon sign, and looked to be preparing for a reopening in the near future. Luciak, however, said he’s decided to let the pub go. He added that he’d ideally like to maintain ownership and lease the space, but will consider selling if that’s an option that draws interest.

      “It was never our intention to sell the Yale,” he explained. “Things are just really different, and not positive different. We try really hard to put great music acts out there, but audiences just don’t show up the way they used to, and they don’t drink the way they used to.”

      The newly renovated building at 1300 Granville Street originally took the name “The Yale” in the mid-1880s. It carved out a niche for itself as a regular stop for travelling blues musicians beginning in the late-1980s, and went on to host hundreds of notable acts including the likes of John Lee Hooker, Johnny Winter, and Jimmy Page.

      Luciak said that he’s going to continuing working with FanClub, another live music venue located down the street. But he acknowledged the hit that his decision will likely deliver to Vancouver’s whimpering blues circuit.

      “I just had my 60th birthday and I’ve been involved in the music scene for almost three decades, and given it my all,” he said. “But it really is too much to do two, at least for me.”

      Comments

      18 Comments

      Locode

      Jan 10, 2014 at 11:27pm

      " poll dancers"?? Laura Robinson your new proofreader?

      Martin Dunphy

      Jan 10, 2014 at 11:41pm

      It's fixed, smartass.

      Pat Crowe

      Jan 11, 2014 at 9:47am

      Crushing! This was the only place left downtown for the mature, music, crowd.
      The only thing left on the strip at night for "real" music fans is a possible decent show at the Commodore or Vogue. Other than that it's just punk assed aggravation and expense.

      Alan Layton

      Jan 11, 2014 at 10:11am

      What a shame.

      Forest

      Jan 11, 2014 at 10:27am

      No! No! No! No! No! We've been waiting for years for the Yale to re-open and now our dreams of finally hearing some good blues in a real pub are dashed upon the bloody and soul-less shores of Vancondo-ization. Oh well, there will always be the vomitorium north on Granville street

      James Blatchford

      Jan 11, 2014 at 1:38pm

      Well, this is a blow to the Vancouver music scene...such a shame if The Yale becomes the late, great music hall in Vancouver. We almost lost the Commodore so maybe maybe another philanthropic rescue? Hope so.

      Anyway, Waide Lusiak deserves our gratitude for all the great shows he brought to The Yale over the years.Someone give this man a medal!

      Meathead

      Jan 11, 2014 at 2:01pm

      What then, pray tell, do they plan on using the venue for now?

      Skebo

      Jan 11, 2014 at 4:47pm

      What a toilet.

      ACMESalesRep

      Jan 11, 2014 at 9:55pm

      Forest: I'm pretty sure the condo development next door is the only reason the Yale is still standing, let alone wholly restored (on the outside) and renovated.

      James Blatchford

      Jan 12, 2014 at 8:34am

      Skebo -- do us all a favour and go back under the bridge like a good troll.