Hamilton

'The end of This Ain't Hollywood' — iconic live music landmark is sold, owners say

After more than a decade as a live music landmark in Hamilton the property at the corner of James Street North and Murray Street West will soon be no more, according to a message from the owners shared on Instagram Sunday.

Closing date for the sale is August 4, but bar's final date hasn't been determined

This Ain't Hollywood has been sold, with the sale set to close on August 4, according to social media posts from the bar's owners. (Ovlix.com)

Hamilton's iconic North End rock 'n' roll bar, This Ain't Hollywood, has been sold.

After more than a decade as a live music landmark in Hamilton, the property at the corner of James Street North and Murray Street West has been sold, according to a message from the owners shared on Instagram Sunday.

"As many of you know, the property has been on the market for some time so we knew this day might come," it reads. "It saddens us to inform you that this will also mark the end of This Ain't Hollywood."

The building, which has hosted everything from Juno after parties to punk rock shows and drag events, was initially offered for just under $2.15 million and later listed at $1.5 million.

Co-owner Lou Molinaro previously told CBC News that putting the site up for sale wasn't an easy move.

"It was a really tough decision … you grow so attached after 10 years," he said in November 2018. "It's still your baby."

Molinaro said the building was put on the market after its ownership was approached by a real estate agent, who said they believed buyers would be interested in the building.

At the time, he said they hoped the venue could remain open.

"We're really hoping that somehow, the bar continues," Molinaro previously explained. "It's really important to us that there's activity in that room.

On Monday Molinaro described the sale as "bittersweet."

But after 11 years of hard work and devotion, the partners were looking to explore different opportunities.

"The irony of an offer coming in during the COVID crisis seemed a little too surreal," he said. 

"It just also seemed like this was meant to happen and there was a reason this offer came in, so we decided to go for it."

Final send off in the works

The post shared Sunday celebrates the "thousands of shows" the club has been able to host, while acknowledging a changing industry and the fact that operating a live music venue comes with challenges and risks — especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic which brought "a lot of uncertainty."

"Our goal on day one was to open a neighbourhood friendly bar offering Hamilton a variety of music, and art," reads the message. "While we are saddened by the end of this era, we look upon the last 11 years as a truly special chapter in Hamilton's illustrious musical story."

The owners thanked their staff who "uniquely sprinkled their magic to make this venue a one of a kind spot" over the years, as well as the community for its support.

The closing date for the sale is Aug. 4 and, at this point, the bar's final date hasn't been determined.

However, the post does promise "unforgettable farewell shows" and asks patrons to keep an eye on its social media pages in the coming weeks for more details.

Molinaro said his fingers are crossed COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted in time for people to gather inside the bar one last time, but even if that doesn't happen they'll be sure to send This Ain't Hollywood off in style.

"Whether it's a street party or it's in a bigger hall … we'll definitely be doing something."

with files from Adam Carter

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