Nyala restaurant closes up shop

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.


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we dont back the juiceman

Oct 28, 2011 at 12:18pm

This is terrible news but not surprising. The unabated march of empty-condos is moving all the way up Main St. past King Ed, pushing up land-values and pushing out venues such as the Nyala. Vision Vancouver (including the NPA) has no political will or desire to make this city affordable or guarantee that spaces such as the Nyala don’t disappear altogether.

Last night Vision candidate Heather Deal at an all candidates debate in Mount Pleasant, stated herself: “we’re at risk of becoming a city of the very rich and the very poor;” yet in the same breath she also stated that it’s impossible to subsidize affordable housing or studio space in this city. This doesn’t make any sense. Remember that a couple of days ago, Vision had just announced that they would pledge to give the VPD an extra $5 million dollars as part of their “Safe and Livable Neighbourhoods” platform. The same platform that says nothing about ‘housing,’ ‘affordability’ or actual ‘livability’ — instead, all Vision is doing is policing the crisis.

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