Clinton’s Tavern, the legendary Bloor Street West mainstay named for its cross-street, has been one of Toronto’s beloved watering holes and venues for nearly 85 years. Last night, it announced its sudden and permanent closure on social media, to the shock and dismay of locals.
“A lifetime of memories are hidden away in our wood-lined walls. Clinton’s has always been a bar with a lot of heart,” a post on the bar’s Instagram account reads. “Unfortunately, we have some sad news to share. Clinton’s has closed.”
The post continues on to explain “a tireless battle” to keep the venue open amid “lies and greed” and a “careless” owner.
“We rallied together to do whatever it took, often without pay, to keep things going. In the end, there was nothing we could do,” it reads.
Clinton’s was known for its cozy, home-like atmosphere — the log cabin decor helped — and popular near-nightly boozy events featuring live bands, DJs and more across different rooms.
Though many are understandably devastated about the news, there is a glimmer of hope in how its social media statement ends: with a plea for an investor to step in and hopefully save it from shuttering.
83 years, gone overnight. Im at a loss for words. Clinton’s closing is just another way Toronto is losing its soul, one rent hike at a time. Calling on any and all investors to get in touch with them. pic.twitter.com/w7NXdf6Mcv
— vkibs (@vkibs) February 22, 2020
There is a lot to be said about a business that is able to stick around for so long in a city that is seeing drastically skyrocketing rent and housing prices, rapid development and a cost of living that is becoming untenable for many.
Though it seems that Clinton’s, like others among the city’s staples, has been unable to keep up, hopefully an interested party will step in to revive such an important Toronto institution.
Until then, all scheduled events at the venue have been cancelled. A fundraiser for staff who are now out of work and apparently owed “a lot of money they may never see” will be held on February 24 at a venue TBA as part of Clinton’s regular Choir! Choir! Choir! night, according to the singing event’s official Facebook page.