Saskatoon's newest concert venue backed by Sheepdog

A new bar in Saskatoon is geared to giving emerging musicians a shot at the stage.

Leot Hanson is just one of the partners getting ready to open The Capitol.

(Left to right) Mitch Lupichuk, Leot Hanson & Matt Dashchuk three of the men behind The Capitol. (Britainy Robinson)

The Capitol is the latest bar to pop up on the Saskatchewan music scene, and its founders see it as a place to mix new talent and musical nostalgia. 

The idea for the 1st Avenue North nightspot came from four high school friends who initially wanted to take over Lydia's Pub on Broadway Avenue. That plan was scrapped and the partners decided instead to move downtown. 

Leot Hanson is one of the bar's backers but his day job is as lead guitarist for The Sheepdogs.

The band got its first paying gig at Lydia's. Hanson says even though he and his partners decided not to go with the Broadway location, they bought its contents for the new bar.

"We have the barrels, small tables, the pews," explains Hanson. " When we used to go to Lydia's and see that kind of thing. It used to feel homey, very vibey. People are going to see that stuff here."

This project has taken six months and thousands of hours of work.  
Leot Hanson, guitarist for The Sheepdogs, taking a break from the band to build the bar at The Capitol. (Britainy Robinson)
The four partners are not just money men, they're in there doing some hands-on building as well. Hanson, who used to work as a carpenter, built the bar where customers will saddle up.

"He's been here almost everyday," says Hanson's partner Mitch Lipichuk. "When he's not on tour he's here working. It means a lot."

Of course all this work is really for the music. The partners hope The Capitol will be a place that gives local bands and touring musicians their start in the industry, and eventually becomes a place where the public can come to discover new talent.

The Capitol opens Friday night. The show will feature League of Wolves and Indigo Joseph.