London Bar Owners Band Together

London bar owners band together to give live-music venues a united voice

United they stand.

Even though they are competitors, the owners of several live music venues in London are getting together under one banner to form an advocacy group in the hopes it will help them stay in business despite coronavirus restrictions.

“My hope is to take everything we’ve been doing already and kind of unify the (independent venues),” said one of the organizers behind drive, Marty Novak, who is the marketing and communications manager for Palisade.

“What we noticed is that the London live music scene didn’t have a voice, didn’t have a platform,” explained Jim Ferreira, Novak’s partner in the venture and the owner of Old East 765 Bar and Grill on Dundas Street.

How hard has the pandemic, and the restrictions it brings with it, been on live venues in the Forest City?

“You’ll definitely see venues close (if the situation continues),” Ferreira said.

Jim Ferreira owner of the Old East 765 Bar and Grill PHOTO BY FILE PHOTO

He estimates his bar has lost half a million dollars since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic on March 11. Small shows would bring in $2,500 to $5,000 a night and he’s had to live without that revenue, even though he says he’s gone beyond the restrictions put in place by the different levels of government to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.