Published Oct 31, 2019Vancouver's Smilin' Buddha Cabaret Restaurant — the concert venue also commonly known as SBC located in the city's Downtown Eastside — has announced that live shows will no longer take place at the space effective immediately.
The venue made the announcement through Facebook on Tuesday (October 29). As the Vancouver Courier reports, venue owner Malcolm Hassin said the closure was enforced to meet licensing compliance with the province's Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB), adding that he will meet with inspectors next Monday (November 4) to plan the next steps.
A representative from the LCRB told the Courier yesterday (October 30) that the venue's licence had not been suspended. SBC's indoor skateboard ramp will remain open to the public for the time being.
A second Facebook post from the venue today saw Hassin write, "My mental health has taken a toll over the past almost decade and need to hang up gloves for the time being.. Its been a long go, lots of great things have come out of this place from music to love to sessions to art and community...but for my sanity and well being i need to make this decision!"
Online, some speculated that SBC's sudden closure was prompted by a horrific automotive accent that took place outside the venue earlier this month, though Vancouver police department spokesperson Const. Steve Addison told the Courier that the venue's announcement had nothing to do with the incident.
Following a performance at the venue from Minneapolis punk outfit Off With Their Heads, 24-year-old pedestrian Desiree Evancio was hit and dragged by a van and trailer for five city blocks, sustaining life-altering injuries in the process. A GoFundMe page has been set up in her honour.
Off With Their Heads frontman Ryan Young shared a statement about the incident today, writing that all of the band's shows will be cancelled for the foreseeable future following the incident.
"I've been wanting to speak to this and being silent has been extremely difficult," Young wrote. "We've always used our band to try and help people and to find out that anyone was hurt involving my band in any way was absolutely crushing."
SBC first opened in 1952 as the Smilin' Buddha Dine and Dance nightclub, and has played host to the likes of Jimi Hendrix, D.O.A., Jefferson Airplane and more throughout its history. Rockers 54-40 named their 1994 full-length Smilin' Buddha Cabaret after the venue. Hassin and two business partners took over the space in 2013.