After nine years and nearly 500 shows, the Dancing Bean has closed.
Owners Larry Kossey and Mona Kennedy explain they’ve happily become has-beans to take a break and enjoy life after their popular Chemainus java joint.
“It’s just the right time,” Kennedy said of the Bean that shut after a December show by Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo.
“We’re at that point where we want to simplify things and become part of the audience.
“It’s been a wonderful journey, creating it and working it, but it’s a lot of hard work. We want more time with family and friends.”
She and the Bean’s seven or so staffers enjoyed many highlights during live music by struggling and pro players.
“There’ve been so many special moments: Amos Garrett, Fred Eaglesmith and Doug Cox, Diamond Joe (White) and David Francey.
How do you pick a favourite?”
The Bean began in its Willow Street space then later punched through the wall and in to the adjoining shop for more room.
“We were at the end of our lease and imagine the landlord will look for someone new,” said Kennedy who, like partner Larry Kossey, has a demanding day gig.
“Larry may still promote music in other venues, and continue with Saltair City Limits,” she said of the popular lawn concerts staged at the Saltair Pub.
“We just didn’t want to be married to an 80-hour work week anymore — it’s bittersweet for for us.”
“I’ve got the night off,” he said when reached by the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial.
His musical memories from the Bean include hearing blues players Rick Fines and Suzie Vinnick “and seeing various artists come out.”
“Some had never played in public before, and never missed an open mike for five years,” he said. “Part of our mandate was supporting locals and featuring the best when we could.”