Regina's Artful Dodger takes final bow - for now

The Artful Dodger Cafe & Music Emporium is closing its doors after a final show Saturday night.

Owners moving business to new location in February

The Artful Dodger was opened five years and has since hosted jam sessions, gallery shows and live music. (Alex Soloducha/CBC News)

The Artful Dodger Cafe & Music Emporium in Regina is closing its doors after a final show Saturday night.

Co-owner Kelly Cairns said she is expecting the venue to be at capacity.

 A total of ten bands, each with a special tie the dodger, will take the stage when the event begins at 7 p.m

For Cairns and the four other owners, Saturday night's end will bring a new beginning.
Joshua Laurier, pictured, is one of the five co-owners of the Artful Dodger and will continue to hold his position at the new venue. (CBC News/Alex Soloducha)

The crew is moving the business to a new location under a new name.

Rise in rent

"Our rent went up quite a bit so we weren't able to sustain it here," Cairns said.

She said there will be a greater focus on the menu, but they'll still host an open mic and DJ once a week.

"We want to reach new communities of people who maybe never had a chance to come here or weren't sure about it so we want to really branch out even more, keep the regulars we have and bring on new regulars," she said.
Kelly Cairns said the new location should be open by February. (Brandon Harder/CBC)

Cairns' parents opened the dodger five years ago. Her mother had a longtime vision to open a venue that included all different types of art under one roof.

Since then, there has been room for jam spaces, visual artists, tattoo artists, gallery shows, shopping and more.

Community legacy

Through it all, Cairns said the venue's greatest legacy is community.

"This is a very inclusive place and welcoming place and that's what most of our regulars have said they're going to miss is it feels live a living room, it feels like their house to them," she said.

The new, undisclosed location will be further down 11th Avenue.
The Artful Dodger library has floor to ceiling books that were donated by people in the city. Some people come to the library daily just to enjoy the collection. (Nichole Huck/CBC)

Cairns said it will still have brick and hardwood floors. And yes, the library is going with them. The entire staff will also be there.

"It's going to be beautiful and I think people will be excited to see what we do with it," Cairns said.

The group is aiming to open the new venue in February.