An iconic live music venue in Vancouver is back on the market in another effort to get a new owner on board.
The former Railway Club, now Railway Stage & Beer Café, was relisted on May 20 at a discounted price of $449,000.
An earlier bid of nearly half a million dollars, or $499,000 to be exact, for the downtown establishment failed to turn up a buyer.
The Straight away reported on January 28, 2022 about the previous listing for the site at 579 Dunsmuir Street.
The company’s owner, Donnelly Group, has since been rebranded.
On March 16, the hospitality group that operates pubs in Vancouver and Toronto announced it was adopting the new Freehouse Collective identity.
“Freehouse may be less of a rebrand and more of a refounding,” the company said.
It explained that the “change comes with a newly minted but ever-existing belief system, core values and philosophies to ensure that our legacy will see many more bright decades of service and empathy”.
“We believe that good hospitality is seen and great hospitality is felt. Based on this conviction, we strive to make people feel at home in our house.”
Except for the reduced price of $449,000, the text of the two listings for Railway is the same.
And as the listing by real estate agent Jean Seguin’s Restaurant Business Broker agency says, the club has been “known to Vancouverites for centuries.”
In a report dated Nov. 9, 2006, Straight away collaborator Aaron Chapman recalled that the 1931 City of Vancouver Records Register shows 579 Dunsmuir as the “home of the European Concert Café, part of the Laursen Building, which also housed a number of commercial units”.
Chapman noted that it wasn’t until 1934 that the registry listed a name change to “The Railwaymen’s Club”.
The site became a watering hole for “railway workers from the nearby Canadian Pacific station – the current home of the SeaBus”.
Canadian artists such as Sarah McLachlan, kd lang and The Tragically Hip performed at the venue.
Local Vancouver musical legends such as Dan Mangan, Rodney DeCroo and Rich Hope also have many memories of the Railway Club.
When the location closed in 2016, Straight away reported that the “town shook a little”.
“It was the closest thing to a late night Mardi Gras that No Fun City has ever collected,” the paper said.
The club reopened in 2017 with the Donnelly Group as new owners.
The upstairs establishment is licensed for 156 seats, plus 40 seats on the roof terrace.