Edmonton

Needle Vinyl Tavern music venue closed for good on Jasper Ave.

The Needle Vinyl Tavern is closed for good on Jasper Avenue, just three months after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against one of the owners.

The venue closed temporarily in November after one of the owners was accused of sexual harassment

The Needle Vinyl Tavern is permanently closed on Jasper Avenue. (Emily Fitzpatrick/CBC)

There will be no curtain call for the Needle Vinyl Tavern in downtown Edmonton.

The venue is closed for good on Jasper Avenue, just three months after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against one of the owners.

"The decision was fairly clear," said Tegan Martin-Drysdale, president of RedBrick Group, the agency that owns the building the Needle was in.

"In the beginning, we let the Needle first try to see if they could find operators that would continue it as a music venue … but from my understanding, the discussions dropped off."

The Needle closed temporarily in November after former employee Brittany Lyne Rudyck posted a Facebook note detailing an alleged incident with one of the owners in March 2017.

Brittany Rudyck's Facebook post described an alleged incident with one of the owners in March 2017. (Brittany Lyne Rudyck/Facebook)

"He was blackout drunk and groped me several times after I repeatedly said no," Rudyck wrote.

"It came to the point where I had to ask security to kick him out. He was disrespectful to a number of staff that night, and sadly that was not the first time he'd acted inappropriately at the venue."

The situation came to a head when Rudyck and three other women sent letters to management about a new hire that several women had concerns about.

City not a 'sugar daddy'

Ward 6 Coun. Scott McKeen said he was approached by the owners of the Needle to see whether the city could help keep the space open.

"The city doesn't typically do that sort of thing," said McKeen.

"I was getting a sense that there was this request for the city to be a sugar daddy and step in and fix everything. I don't think that's our role in this case."

McKeen said he won't bring the matter to council.

Considering the Needle's situation, Martin-Drysdale said her group will take measures to work with any new tenant to prevent a similar situation from happening again.

"We would be vetting them heavily and ensuring they have a strong sexual harassment policy," she said.

"I think that's something all building owners should be taking a hard look at."

Interview requests sent to Needle co-owners Rob Campbell and Neil Bosch were not answered.

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