A stage show at the Odyssey in Vancouver (Photo: Odyssey | Facebook)
Odyssey bar and nightclub in Vancouver, Canada, has announced that it is to close on 30 June.
Management posted a message to the venue’s Facebook page.
‘Dear Patrons, with much thought and deliberation, it has been decided that June 30th will be the last day The Odyssey Bar & Nightclub will open its doors.
‘As Vancouver has been our home for almost 30 years, we have had the honour of being a safe inclusive LGBTQ+ space for many in the community and visiting abroad. It has been a distinct pleasure of hosting some of the best and iconic events over the past few years that have brought so much energy and excitement.
‘To all our adoring fans and supporters, our artists, staff, promoters and anyone that as walked in our doors – with much love we thank you.
‘We hope to see you all at many of our amazing events we will be hosting before we close, and grace us with your faces one last time.’
No further explanation for the closure was offered. However, many commented on the posting that the venue’s location had not helped business.
Relocation outside the gay village
The Odyssey first opened 30 years ago and ran successfully for many years on the corner of Howe Street and Davie Street – part of the city’s gay village. However, that venue had to close in 2010 when the site was earmarked for demolition.
The venue’s owners searched for suitable new premises for several years. They finally decided on the club’s current home at 686 West Hastings Street. The club reopened in July 2015.
Although it tried to recreate many of the club’s former attractions – including the ‘Shower Power’ booths for go-go dancers and regular drag performances – the new location placed it far from the city’s gay village.
‘Very sad news indeed but the location may have been its downfall. The new location was terrible!’ said Facebook commentator Alvin Vigil.
Many large cities have seen a closure of LGBTI venues in recent years. London has lost around half of its gay venues in the last decade. New York and San Francisco have also seen many closures.
The closures have come about due to a number of factors: Rising real estate prices and rents making it harder to turn a profit; more people hooking up via apps rather than on the scene; LGBTI people feeling more comfortable socialising in more mainstream establishments being just three of the reasons.
GSN has contacted management at Odyssey for further comment.