This week's announcement from the Rumpus Room that they are being "kicked out"of their Main Street venue after a "brutal battle" has sent shockwaves through the city with a petition to save the venue numbering almost 2000 signatures at time of writing. However, for some in the city, the surprise has been that this was any kind of surprise at all.
James Iranzad, co-owner of Wildebeest and Abigail's Party looked at the space on Main street when it was first available but turned it down because the terms of the lease stated that the landlord had plans to develop the building.
The landlord and I agreed on great terms but he had clear development plans set and wasn't willing to offer more than two years without triggering a demo clause. Frankly, I couldn't blame him considering the horrendous condition of the previous restaurant and what I could see of the rest of the building. Those terms may have been fine for a quick & dirty turn-key project, but that's not what I was after and I walked away.
The landlord was totally upfront: I could have two years but after that he'd give me six months notice and that would be it. Under-utilized urban space and garbage buildings shouldn't be 'preserved' in the name of culture. That wasn't the last demo clause I'm sure we'll come across. Options have to be weighed, and decisions made and lived with.
The Rumpus Room celebrated their two year anniversary on August 30 last year. They are leaving the building at the end of March. Six months after that date. Presumably that six months notice period has been what the battle has been over.
Co-owner David Duprey was quoted in Global News on Tuesday as saying: "A demo clause is pretty standard in Vancouver now because buildings are so expensive, you just cross your fingers and hope it doesn't happen."
Alas, on this occasion, it seems that has not been a successful strategy.
· Wildebeest [Official Site]
· All Previous Rumpus Room Coverage [EVAN]