Call The Office closing after decades of live music
Iconic music venue hosted The Tea Party, members of the Sex Pistols and the Ramones, and many more
After decades of slinging beer and showcasing live music, Call The Office is closing its doors indefinitely.
The iconic venue has been a staple for music lovers in London, Ont. since the 1980s, hosting members of such acts as Sex Pistols and the Ramones.
"Profit margins were shrinking before COVID," said owner Darren Quinn, who added that the exchange rate made it difficult to book U.S. bands.
"Attendance at shows is way down. People prefer to stay home and watch Netflix," he said.
Home to "local misfits" and lesser-known bands
"Even when times are good, the live music business is a really tough thing," said former co-owner Tony Lima.
"We've had every big band in the last thirty years, except Sloan," he said. Lima added that the venue was home to "local misfits" and lesser-known, independent bands, with live music pouring out of it on Friday and Saturday nights.
Lima said audience patterns have changed since the dive bar's heyday in the late 80s and early 90's. YouTube made it easier to check out new bands online instead of catching them passing through the city. Lima added that building an online following has replaced touring for some bands.
He'd love to see a new owner revive Call The Office, but said it's even more unlikely during the pandemic.
"We'll probably see more venues folding," he said. "They're disappearing all over the place now."