Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Former Gio's bar damaged by fire

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Crews respond to a fire at the former Gio's Club and Bar at the corner of Smith Street and York Avenue Saturday morning. The business closed in February.

DAVID COLLINS / FOR WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Crews respond to a fire at the former Gio's Club and Bar at the corner of Smith Street and York Avenue Saturday morning. The business closed in February. Photo Store

FIRE damaged the former Gio's Club and Bar in downtown Winnipeg Saturday morning.

Firefighters responded at about 7:15 am to the scene at Smith Street and York Avenue. The fire was out and streets were reopened by 8:40 a.m.

A cause of the fire has not been declared, but a neighbour said kids were frequently breaking into the back of the closed nightclub. Police were regularly at the site chasing the youths away.

Gio's was one of North America's longest-operating gay-lesbian-bisexual-transexual community-owned pubs. It closed in February 2013 after 31 years of continuous operation.

The charred interior was visible from the street through an open door and shattered windows. One passerby was spotted taking photos with his cellphone "for posterity," he said.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 27, 2013 A3

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