The co-owner of an iconic Hamilton, Ont., music venue who’s about to leave the club behind says “it just felt like it was time.”
This Ain’t Hollywood has been sold, and Lou Molinaro says it was the state of the industry that convinced he and his three partners to call it quits.
“It’s a tough business, it’s a fun business, that takes a lot of time.”
Molinaro said a new worldwide music scene that appears to be “niche” and the social distancing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, presented question marks that simply forced the partnerships hand.
“This pandemic was, you know, something that kind of surprised us,” Molinaro told Global News.
“It just made us feel with the uncertainties that could be presented after COVID-19 is over, that bars and restaurants could even open.”
Named after an album from Hamilton punk rock band The Forgotten Rebels, the club opened in 2009, and for 11 years presented live music events five nights a week on the corner of James Street North and Murray Street.
Over that time, Molinaro and partners Glen and Jodie Faulman assembled a staff that became a family.
“It was definitely a team effort that started with Glen, who had an idea years ago of opening up a bar.”
Molinaro said the pub that became his “biggest asset” was purchased in 2009 for about $350,000 and hosted acts like Johnny Winter, Teenage Head and Monster Truck.
“He’s been a vital part of not just our band, but anyone who’s kind of graduated from playing venues like This Ain’t Hollywood,” Monster Truck guitarist Jeremy Widerman told Global News.
“But with all the work the effort that he’s put into it, you can’t help but feel good for him.”
The building sale will close on Aug. 4 and Molinaro hopes to go out with some sort series of farewell shows, if feasible amid the pandemic.
“If we can’t, then we definitely will do a farewell show after everything gets back to normal and may not be at the bar.”
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