TORONTO — Another victim of pandemic shutdowns, the Broadview Danforth BIA has announced that the Old Nick Pub a popular neighbourhood gathering place and live music venue has closed its doors after 15 years in the community.
The anticipated reopening of indoor dining in Toronto restaurants and pubs next week couldn’t come soon enough for the Old Nick Pub and for that matter, the Brass Taps Pizza Pub, which also shut down recently.
“It’s deeply saddening to say goodbye to another local business in our community,” reads the statement from the BIA.
“Big heartfelt thank you to all of you that supported and loved us for all these years,” said owner, Katherine Lukanchoff on Instagram. “Almost 15 years of friendship, music, wonderful memories, fun times, love, lessons, community, laughs and shenanigans. Lots of highs, a few lows too, but we made it work. I’m so grateful for our time together. Miss you and love you all. Take care of yourselves,” said Lukanchoff
Opened in 1993, Lukanchoff told the Toronto Star that the Old Nick relied heavily on live music, including serving patrons there to see local Toronto musicians and the droves of customers that would gather there before heading to concerts at Danforth Music Hall.
With love music taking a seat during COVID, the Old Nick was hit hard. The Old Nick had closed in March with the imposed Ontario restrictions on bars and clubs, and has been shuttered ever since.
“It was a heartbreaking decision to make, but with the second wave hitting and winter coming, reopening just wasnt going to be feasible. The restrictions would cause me to go further and further into debt as the fixed costs remain the same and the income would be so drastically cut,” said a spokesperson for Old Nick on Twitter.
“Being closed all these months with no income while still trying to stay on top of hydro, gas, insurance, etc. was crippling. Even just restocking all that was lost would have been a challenge. My landlords have been extraordinarily kind and understanding. I am still on the lease currently, but just won’t be able to open again.”
Meanwhile, in early October, another popular Danforth neighbourhood gathering place, the Brass Taps Pizza Pub has also closed its doors permanently after 30 years. They were known for their pizza and craft beer and relied heavily on local regulars.
Owners, Will and Clare Sturm said that “month to month uncertainty and hoping to return to normal operations has put a financial choke hold” on them.
“Slowly coming to terms with what has happened and accept the pain that has come with it,” said Clare and Will Sturm, owners of the popular Danforth pub for the last 16 years. “Will and I have been overwhelmed by ALL the heart felt well wishes and tributes.”
“Thank you for all of your support, we love each and everyone of you and cherish the memories we get to share with you from here on out. New beginnings and fresh starts here we come,” said Clare and Will Sturm on Instagram.