The pandemic has been brutal to the entertainment industry, including the world of live music and comedy which has been almost entirely put on hold since March. Though initiatives like the National Independent Venue Association and Save Our Stages have been launched, some venues just have not been able to hold on. Victoria, B.C. club Logan's Pub, recently announced it would be closing its doors for good:

B.C. is in the second wave of the virus with no clear path forward without a vaccine. Add in the potential threat of more regulations/closures due to the rising cases and the live music venue model becomes no longer viable. We have hung on unopened as long as we could, trying to cover our overheads in hopes this would all change. We looked at potentially re-opening as a pub without live music but found with the costly overheads, costly Covid-19 regulation renovations, a closed kitchen, the fact we couldn’t have a street side patio like many bars downtown, distancing & seating rules and last call at 10pm… it simply wasn’t going to work.

Therefore, it is with huge regret and profound sadness we announce the permanent closing of Logan’s Pub.

You can read Logan's full statement on closing, below.

Japandroids, whose Dave Prowse and Brian King met at University of Victoria, have posted a tribute to Logan's, which originally opened in the '80s as Thursday's. Dave wrote a really nice tribute to the club, saying that it was seeing a local band Atlas Strategic (featuring a pre-Wolf Parade Dan Boeckner) open for Mice Parade (whose name Wolf Parade is sort of a reference to) there in 2002 was what made him want to start his own band. "I was already a pretty obsessive music listener and fan and went to tons of shows, but something changed at that show and all of a sudden it felt like music was something THAT I NEEDED TO DO, not just something for me to watch other people do. I think Atlas Strategic were so inspiring because I could relate to them as much as they inspired me. It was really empowering to see people from my town totally show up the 'big shot' out of town band." The full tribute reads:

I still remember the moment I decided I should (and would) start playing in bands. April 18, 2002 at Thursday’s Pub in Victoria. There weren’t a lot of "bigger” acts coming through Victoria, so I basically would see any band that was from out of town. This band called Mice Parade from Chicago were in town, and a local band called Atlas Strategic were opening. Atlas Strategic changed my life.

They were a mess, but in this very endearing, captivating way. I remember they had brought in this giant painting of a wolf and the lead singer gave this weird kind of sermon dedicating the set to the spirit of the wolf. They were a year or two older than me and weren’t particularly amazing musicians but they just had these AMAZING SONGS and had this shambolic messy energy that really grabbed me. They were instantly my new favourite band. I bought their CD-R and listened to it religiously until it was stolen a year or two later. I still remember that the “artwork” was a crude drawing with a sharpie that depicted a “stand up bot” telling a bad joke about the Premier, Gordon Campbell (“Campbell? More like Camp-Bull!”)

I was already a pretty obsessive music listener and fan and went to tons of shows, but something changed at that show and all of a sudden it felt like music was something THAT I NEEDED TO DO, not just something for me to watch other people do. I think Atlas Strategic were so inspiring because I could relate to them as much as they inspired me. It was really empowering to see people from my town totally show up the “big shot” out of town band. I started renting a drum kit soon after that and start teaching myself how to play drums.

Side note - The lead singer of Atlas Strategic was a guy named Dan Boeckner who went on to play in a bunch of bands I love - Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits and Operators. And he's also a rad dude and we're friends. Try telling 19 year old Dave that he's going to become friends with the lead singer of Atlas Strategic, AND YOU WOULD HAVE BLOWN HIS YOUNG MIND! Life is pretty amazing sometimes.

Anyways..... At some point Thursday’s became Logan’s, but it was still the same place. They eventually got rid of the pool tables in the back and moved the stage back there, which made WAY MORE SENSE than when the stage was in the corner of this weird little side room between the bar/seating area and the pool table zone. When Japandroids played Logan’s in 2010, it was a big deal for me.

I saw so many great shows at that place over the two and a half years I lived in Victoria - Run Chico Run (my other favourite band at the time), Hot Hot Heat, Broken Social Scene, Stars, The Gossip, Pedro the Lion, Frog Eyes, The Vue, Dismemberment Plan. I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton here but those are the ones that come to mind.

This is going to sound corny as hell, but if I close my eyes I can still picture the old layout when the stage was barely off the ground and it was in that awkward side area, before they got rid of those pool tables. I can’t remember the last time I actually set foot inside that bar, but I’m very sad to see it go. RIP Thursday's. RIP Logan’s. Thanks for the memories.
-Dave

Dan Boeckner also paid tribute, and mentioned how Logan's is where he met his future Wolf Parade bandmates Spencer Krug and Arlen Thompson. He writes:

Logan’s was where I really got my start playing music and where I learned how to put on a show on a “real stage."

In the late 90s/early 00s, Logan’s provided a space where Island promoters who came up in the hardcore scene could book “bigger” bands from out of town. You could play a packed house opening for Murder City Devils and get paid enough to not worry about taking the day off work. At a certain point, the local acts started outselling or matching all but the most popular out of towners. Saw amazing shows by Frog Eyes, Daddy’s Hands, Jerk With A Bomb (a proto-Black Mountain band) and so many others.

I got to know [Spencer Krug] and [Arlen Thompson] hanging out at Logan’s and in a lot of ways, that space is responsible for a whole wave of music to come out of Vancouver Island. There’s a Logan’s in every town but maybe there won’t be for long. These spaces need to be supported and protected by the community. They’re incubators of art and a source of income for working musicians. The monopolization of venues by vultures like Geiger needs to be resisted.

STATEMENT FROM LOGAN'S PUB

Dear Friends,

Back when we closed the pub in March, we assumed it was a short ‘intermission of service’ due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We abided by the closure regulations put in place by the government regarding live music venues. Sadly, here we are in late October, 7 ½ months later, still unopened with the same Government restrictions on live music venues in place.

B.C. is in the second wave of the virus with no clear path forward without a vaccine. Add in the potential threat of more regulations/closures due to the rising cases and the live music venue model becomes no longer viable. We have hung on unopened as long as we could, trying to cover our overheads in hopes this would all change. We looked at potentially re-opening as a pub without live music but found with the costly overheads, costly Covid-19 regulation renovations, a closed kitchen, the fact we couldn’t have a street side patio like many bars downtown, distancing & seating rules and last call at 10pm… it simply wasn’t going to work.

Therefore, it is with huge regret and profound sadness we announce the permanent closing of Logan’s Pub.

This is a hard letter to write as we know how much Logan’s Pub is loved by many people including but not limited to: our regulars, (you know who you are), our amazing live music bands and performers (no matter what genre), our LGBTQ friends who made Logan’s their safe and welcome home, our Tuesday Karaoke crowd, our Thursday drag night artists, Andy Anderson’s/Steve Saunders Monday movie/games nights, the Roller Derby teams and of course our Sunday Hootenanny crowd.

We would like to thank from the bottom of our heart EVERYBODY that made Logan’s pub the iconic venue it became.

Thank you…

To all the staff, we miss you, Logan’s was blessed with the best.

Brandon, Ben B, Besty, Markey, Gavin, Paul, Ashley, Jessica. In the kitchen Ben F and a shoutout to Josh (Mav) who helped over the years in many a crisis.

To Scott Henderson, our beloved Sound Guy, thanks for the dedication to your fellow musicians to provide the best sound. Thanks for showing up every weekend for years and years, you rock!

To Mihkel Kaup, our booking guy, whose dedication to continue to book bands throughout his health struggles and over many years provided Logan’s with a range of current, diverse genres of music. Logan’s would not have been the same music venue without him.

To Andy Anderson, who over the years has worn many hats, performer, collaborator, booking, media man, but generally a great guy who loved Logan’s.

To Merle, our cleaner who cleaned the bar 365 days a year for years and years. Not a fun job but one she did with diligence, commitment, and pride.

To all the many door people who night after night checked those I.D.s. Don Chessa, you are a legend.

To all the photographers who took amazing shots and shared them to various media to get those performers recognised, a special shout out to John Carlow of Finding Charlotte Photography.

To all the suppliers, the background workers that kept us running, the reps, the delivery drivers, the laundry guys, the pool table guy, the draught line guys, the inventory counters.

Lastly, to all the live music makers/performers over the years, to all the travelling bands, to all the talent promoters, to all the annual repeat bookers: we encourage you to carry on and follow your dreams; Logan’s is so proud to have been a part of your music performances and may you all have many, many more to come.

See a few more tributes...