Whyte Avenue club Wunderbar for sale

The tiny club just south of Whyte Avenue and 101st Street is one of the city's most beloved live music venues.
Craig Martell and three business partners have owned Wunderbar since 2010. (CBC )

Wunderbar is for sale, leaving the future of one of Edmonton's most beloved live music venues in question.

The tiny club just south of Whyte Avenue and 101st Street has been owned by Craig Martell and three partners since 2010.

After four and a half years, Martell believes it was time to let Wunderbar go.

“We’re all bartenders and we can all run a show but the other aspects of running a business I don’t think really fell into what we do very well,” he said with a smile.

Martell said he and his partners had enough money to start the bar but not enough to ride through the peaks and valleys of running a business.

He believes that someone with money and business savvy could take Wunderbar to the next level.

Wunderbar was a showcase for live music and hosted about 300 shows a year.

Musician Jeff Meszaros said  the venue is a special place for artists who are just starting out.

"It's got that really intimate feel,” he said. “You get super-connected with the crowd.  The stage is tiny so you're right in there."

Martell is gratified by the support he’s heard from customers.

“People feel bad about the closing, but people are already aware of what they’re losing,” he said.

Wunderbar does have some interested buyers, but if that falls apart, Martell says he and his partners will try to keep it open. 

"We're going to keep plugging away, plugging away until we can't anymore." 


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