Nelson music venue closed again

The Royal on Baker Street is once again vacant.  - Kirsten Hildebrand photo
The Royal on Baker Street is once again vacant.
— image credit: Kirsten Hildebrand photo

The Royal on Baker Street is once again without a tenant.

The team that had planned to take over the lease decided to turn in the keys after trying to run the downtown music venue without a liquor license for the month of December.

Building owner Luke Menkes didn't want to get into the specifics of why the would-be tenants ultimately decided to abandon the operation.

"We were so excited with his initial enthusiasm that, admittedly, we did not research this individual as thoroughly as we probably could have, in hindsight," Menkes said.

In November, when the Star spoke to Shane Dayman — the man working towards re-opening The Royal alongside business partner Shane Vassell — he was optimistic about the future of the business. Renovations were underway, new staff hired, and a series of live music events booked.

The plan was to have The Royal open daily as a restaurant and turn it into a nightclub after dark. But that never came to be. The Royal only opened for a handful of times in the month of December and live music nights were poorly attended.

Menkes believes somebody else could make better use of the space.

"We have spent a lot of money towards repairing and replacing broken equipment, cleaning, painting and otherwise sprucing up the venue — it looks fantastic!" he said. "Someone qualified will be in a much better position to operate The Royal today than they would have been even six months ago."

He hopes it won't take long to find another person interested in re-opening The Royal. In the meantime, he'll continue to rent the space out for private weddings, dance classes, live music events and pop-up stores.

"It's a beautiful room and will be made available to anyone who wants to use it and pay a reasonable fee," he said.

For more information about the venue and rental rates, email

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