Downtown Vancouver just got a lot more boring.
When I came back to the NW from Atlanta as a youngin’, the one thing I immediately missed were the clubs. Sure, Portland – and even Vancouver – have clubs, but finding a spot that gets legitimately TURNT has always been a challenge. The places come and go as the get turned out: Red Sea, The Greek Cuisina, The 720, The City and Crown Room took their turns hosting debaucheries parties in downtown Portland but each eventually suffered the fate of closure for one reason or another – and it typically involved the Fire Marshal.
For the last year or so though, downtown Vancouver’s Q Club became the place to go if you want to go get ratchet. Not everyone’s cup of tea for sure, but definitely a place one could go to let loose. Flyers promoting color-themed and horoscope-themed parties flooded Facebook, and a decent chunk of Portland’s “urban demographic” made the short trek North on Fridays and Saturdays to hang out at the Q Club, finally escaping Portland’s fun police, which consists of the OLCC, PPD and the PFD.
It wasn’t long till neighbors starting hating. A shooting that occurred downtown while they were closed was held up as (false) evidence of their destructive presence and neighboring businesses complained of messes and damage caused by partygoers. The club’s owners have complained of police harassment. Vancouver, much like Portland, has an image it wants to uphold, and a giant nightclub playing hip-hop is not a part of that image. None of this led to the club’s closure though… at least not directly.
In fact, according to The Columbian, the club was shut down because C-Tran decided last month that they own the alley where the club’s rear fire exit stands, and they have begun construction of their rapid-transit bus line, The Vine, effectively blocking the mandatory exit. So with less than a month’s notice, the club was shutdown for safety concerns. The concern goes beyond a couple hundred partyers scrambling to find a new place to kick it though, The Q Club’s 31 employees (13 of whom were security guards) are now out of work for the holidays, and the owners stand to lose as much as $10,000 per weekend.
Questions around how such short notice could be given by a public entity before it shuts down a private business have begun to float and both the building and business owners do not seem to be taking it lightly. “We follow all the liquor laws to the T,” said owner Adrian Kallimanis, hinting that subterfuge might be at play. “They’ve never been able to violate us out of the business, so I feel like this is the only way they could do it.”