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Lo Pub closing its doors

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The popular downtown Lo Pub is closing its doors.

"(Saturday) is our last day," said manager Jack Jonasson inside the Kennedy Street tavern that’s become a meeting place and a launching pad for Winnipeg musical acts.

Still Lights, Pop Crimes and Warsaw are the last three bands that will take to the stage at the Lo Pub and Bistro located in Hostelling International’s Winnipeg Downtowner.

Jonasson said he’s not prepared to talk about the closure that happened on short notice. He said he’s looking for a new location.

Last month, The Forks-North Portage Partnership put the downtown property up for sale.

The 120-bed Ellice Avenue hostel served as Hostelling International’s only Manitoba operation for the past four years.

In 2008, The Forks-North Portage Partnership purchased the former Downtowner hotel on behalf of Hostelling International Manitoba, which converted the low-end establishment into a backpacker hostel.

The purchase and renovation cost was $3 million. While grants covered a portion of the tab, revenue from the hostel — which signed a 50-year land lease — was supposed to make up the difference. The hostel couldn’t because it was half empty most of the time.

Jonasson said last month he hoped the Lo Pub would be able to stay under a new owner. Saturday, he said the building is still for sale and there’s no buyer as far as he knows.

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