Manitoba

Winnipeg rock-lovers say goodbye to the Zoo after last Halloween hurrah

After one last Halloween bash Saturday night, the Zoo is closing its doors for good.

'The Zoo that we all remember isn't the Zoo of today,' says David Green, owner of venue

The Osborne Village Motor Inn, home of the Zoo, was sold in August. (Google Street View)

After one last Halloween bash Saturday night, the Zoo is closing its doors for good.

"There will never be another venue like it," said David Green, the owner and manager of the rock venue.

Green was approaching the final night with mixed emotions. While excited for the Saturday night show, he was also anxious.

"A little nervous, a little sad," he said.

The Osborne Village Motor Inn, home of the Zoo, has been in the Green family for 35 years. Management announced the sale of the building in August.

Not the Zoo of old

The Zoo's regulars weren't ecstatic to hear the news, Green said.

"They're all sad about Winnipeg losing another venue," he said. "At the same time, they understand that the Zoo that we all remember isn't the Zoo of today. It's not as busy as often, there's a lot more competition, there's a lot more pieces of the pie divided up."

To celebrate the history of what Green calls "probably Canada's best known rock 'n' roll venue," Winnipeg rock band Dreadnaut takes the stage Saturday night. Its the tenth time the band has played the venue for Halloween.

Tickets for the show sold out before the weekend arrived, Green said.

He wouldn't reveal any details about the new owners, but Green said the space is in good hands.

"Something like that is never really an easy decision, but I guess the timing was right, the environment was right and I think it was a good fit for the new people coming in," he said.

After running the show for the last few decades, Green said he doesn't have immediate plans to get back in the rock venue game.

"I'm going to need to step back and see how the land lies and catch my breath before jumping into anything else," he said. "I'd really like to settle down first."

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