Dakota Tavern Owners Relaunch Ontario's Hayloft Dancehall

Dakota Tavern Owners Relaunch Ontario's Hayloft Dancehall
The owners of Toronto venue the Dakota Tavern are expanding their reach a little further along the shores of Lake Ontario. They've just purchased the Hayloft Dancehall, located in Cherry Valley in Prince Edward County, Ontario, and they're planning to re-launch with a summer season of music showcases.

Dakota Tavern owners Shawn Creamer and Shannon Kohlmeier, who also run Toronto's Whippoorwill Restaurant & Tavern, have installed a stage in the Hayloft. Throughout the summer, the room will host live music every week from Thursday to Sunday, with a special focus on blues, roots, country and rock.

Creamer said in a statement, "When our friend Trisha Cook (co-owner and manager of the Hayloft Dancehall, former manager at the Dakota) first sent us information about the Hayloft, it was a thrilling idea. As a touring musician I've played in a lot of roadhouses and hotel bars, and there is something incredibly authentic and cool about this place. It is a bar in a barn on a beautiful stretch of Lake Ontario's shoreline — I think I may have willed it into existence. We fell so much in love with the spot that my wife and I bought a home here as well."

The grand relaunch is on May 15, when Elliott Brood will share a bill with the Beauties and Prince Edward County's own Instant Rivalry. A week later, on May 22, the venue will host the Strumbellas.

The Hayloft Dancehall has been around for 47 years and is located a couple of hours' drive from Toronto (about an hour from Kingston). The new owners will also offer an expanded beverage menu and private rentals for large events.