I was saddened to hear on the radio this morning that Hugh’s Room is closing its doors. Over the years, Tuffy P and I have attended so many great performances at this venue, including: the late Tommy Makem, The McGarrigles, Tom Russell, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Ian Tyson, Paul Brady, the annual Banjo Special, The Kruger Brothers, April Verch, Bruce Molsky, Iris Dement, Valdy, Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart and so many more.
I understand Hugh’s Room has suffered financial troubles for years. I don’t know anything about running a club, but it must be really difficult operating a place that features folk music. They’ve had a dinner and show kind of format as long as I can remember. I often thought they would do better with a pub-style approach to food, but what do I know? I’ve never been involved with the restaurant, pub or club industry except as a patron.
Hugh’s Room has been THE place in Toronto for a lot of the live music we enjoy. It’s been a fantastic room to listen to music. I don’t know where all those wonderful performers will play now, when they come through Toronto.