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Royal Albert not re-opening this weekend

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The Royal Albert Arms won’t be opening up this weekend after all.

Owners of the historic hotel/music venue were trying to finish renovations to the bar for a grand reopening on Friday after being closed for more than a year -- but haven’t completed the necessary repairs and paperwork.

"Due to permit issues and outstanding work on our sprinkler system, we’ve agreed it’s not possible to make our September 7th opening," said a statement posted on the Albert’s Facebook page.

The statement goes on to say they are looking at re-opening in late September or early October and will start to host bands beginning next month.

"Once again we apologize for the pain in the (butt), to put it politely, it’s been to wait this long, and we thank you for your patience and understanding. We promise we won’t let you down. See you soon," the statement says.

The property has been undergoing renovations all summer. The historic Exchange District music venue and hotel has been closed since May 2011 when a water-line break flooded the basement. City crews helped control the leak, but left responsibility for repairs to the hotel because the break was located on private property.

Owner Daren Jorgenson disputed the account, claiming the city broke a valve on an abandoned pipe, and the property has remained closed ever since.

Pictures posted on the hotel’s Facebook site show new hardwood flooring and the exposure of windows behind the stage. A wall near the entrance has been removed so patrons will now enter directly into the bar. Visitors to the area will also notice a fresh coat of paint to the south side of the building, including the 'Royal Albert Arms Hotel' lettering.

A City of Winnipeg spokesperson couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon, but as of mid-August, the owners of the hotel had yet to apply for any permits or have its sprinkler system inspected by city officials.

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