After much hemming and hawing, planning and jawing, the much anticipated Railway Stage & Beer Café is about to pull into the station.
The beloved upstairs venue formerly known as the Railway Club reopens April 5 after closing its doors almost a year ago to the date.
Helping kick off the celebrations, Vancouver band the Zolas will perform a free show in the revamped room prior to their sold-out show at the Vogue Theatre the following evening.
As with all things Vancouver, craft beer will be front and centre at the new Railway, which will include 24 taps and four cask engines pouring selective suds from B.C., the Pacific Northwest and wherever else beard fashion figures prominently.
The Railway has also tapped local music impresario Thomas Anselmi to develop the programming vision for the intimate space. According to a press release, Wednesday’s grand opening will launch the weekly schedule of events, which features Comedy Night Tuesdays, local music nights on Wednesdays and Thursdays, live music happy hours, Joe Rotundo’s Saturday Sessions and special weekend events highlighting touring acts and the best up-and-coming music in the area.
“We’re very committed to giving space to local up-and-coming acts,” said Chad Cole, partner at the Railway. “We’ve dedicated our Wednesday and Thursday nights to showcasing local acts, and bands who are interested in playing here are welcome to send their demos directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The Railway Club got its start in 1932 as a members-only club for railway workers. It became an iconic music venue in the 1980s and ’90s hosting the likes of Radiohead, k.d. lang, Los Lobos and the Tragically Hip. But over the years, the cozy upstairs hotspot had lost considerable steam, its identity and much of its loyal clientele. Earlier this year, Cole and business partner Jeff Donnelly took over the lease of the 84-year-old club, which had been closed since March 2016 after its former owners couldn’t find a buyer.
Capacity for the April 5 free performance and grand opening is limited, and the Railway Stage & Beer Café is offering several ways for people to attend. Seventy general admission tickets are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis at myshowpass.com/zolas-at-railway/ and five VIP packages will be given away on Instagram by following @railwaysbc and tagging a friend in a contest post. Entries may also be available at the door on the day of show, subject to capacity.
Event and information updates can be found at donnellygroup.ca/blog/.