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LONGISH - Birdland move update

>From Halifax Daily News, Sunday December 8 - 

Birdland Move In Jeopardy - Heavy Protest May Keep Showbar Off Barrington
Street - by Andy "King's J-School grad" Pedersen

A battle for Barrington Street erupted at a Liquor Licensing Board hearing
on Friday afternoon when the Birdland asked official permission to move to
the corner of Barrington and Blowers. [note to out of towners - a very
heart of downtown location]

The Birdland's owners must move the bar from its current nest in The Trade
Mart building (at the corner of Brunswick and Cogswell Streets) because
the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce recently opened a 24-hour call
centre directly below the bar.

So the owners - including long-time local-music stalwart Greg Clark -
chose the space where The Studio Lounge once rocked as their new home.

Clark and his partners are already renovating the new location, clearing
space for a stage and dance floor, but must be granted an all new license
from the liquor board.

After Friday's hearing, however, it's unclear whether they'll get it. A
host of well-organized Birdland opponents crowded into the liquor board's
cramped hearing room - in speech after speech, they pleaded that the bar
be kept off Barrington Street.

"There are 87 private homes right across the street," said Ken McInnis, a
lawyer for George Ramia, the owner of Barring Gate. The large condo
complex is, indeed, right across Barrington from the bar's hoped-for new

"These are homes - places where we retreat at the end of the day for peace
and quiet."

McInnis impelled the three-member liquor board to think about the Downtown
Halifax Business Commission's strategy to bring more apartments and condos
into the city's core.

"The effect of this decision could be devastating to the city's downtown
strategy," he said sternly.

The owners of nearby businesses [now you know who to boycott...- tlw] -
Loomis and Tooles [haha, Andy wrote Tooles, NOT me! - tlw] and Renaissance
clothing - also registered their disapproval. As did representatives of
the Saint Mary's Basilica and several Barrington Gate residents.

The size and persistence of the Birdland opposition made the bar's
attempts to deflect neighborhood fear - mostly by hiring two police
officers to patrol the area around the bar between midnight and 4 a.m.
from Wednesday to Sunday night - seem decidely, and unfortunately,

It was clear the dissenters haven't forgotten the drunken menace which
spilled out of Barrington Street's last cabaret - The Roxbury - every
night at closing time.

The liquor board will not announce its decision until sometime this week.


ok, this is tara speaking now. isn't Barrington Gate just a block or two
down from a) pizza corner (like it's not loud or rowdy) and b) the economy
shoe shop on argyle which has a cabaret license (meaning they can stay
open until 3 am)? aren't a lot of people complaining that the city's
downtown core is dead? wouldn't the birdland move help to bring more
folks/money into that area? pardon me, but this city is so fucked (long
time residents are probably laughing at me now, wondering what took me so
long to figure that one out).

anyway, a few people have been posting questions about the birdland move,
including folks from out of town, so i thought i'd post this update. 
did anyone on this list go to the hearing/know anyone who went? anyone
talk to greg clark this weekend?

one more thing - who was the genius behind moving a 24 hour call centre
BELOW A BAR?? do they still have their job? how stupid do you have to be
to have that job (not the people who answer the phone, i mean the person
who thought locating the centre below a live music venue would be a good
idea)? just wondering, is all.

back to more important things like chixdiggit and speculative


ps/ phone up your local college radio station and request songs from the
new cinnamon toast christmas compilation. it is sweet. the performances
last saturday night were grand as well, particularly lukas pearse's
bassy-crazy song and story, matt murphy/joel plaskett/catriona's outlaw
song (a woody guthrie song?), and al tuck singing his song right after the
recorded version played over the PA. and the sorbetto was yummy, too!
hooray for CT, still the best tasting label in town. :) 

ps+/ are there any details available on the dec 20 birdland christmas
benefit show? please, i want someone to rub it in, make me feel bad that i
leave that night. who is playing?

HEY!! Write me at:


after September 30, 1996