Metro / Katie Turner (from left) Jeremiah Jurcic, Doug Rasberry, and Omar Polyniak form the new ownership group that will transform the Back Alley into a new concept. The bar has a final bash planned for this weekend.

Party-goers were dismayed to learn that after more than two decades, the popular Calgary nightclub the Back Alley has quietly closed their doors.

While the bar officially closed last weekend, according to Jeremiah Jurcic, one of the club’s owners, one last blow out bash will be hosted on Saturday where customers are invited to the “Drink The Alley Dry.”

“The Alley will be closed forever,” said Jurcic.

Doug Rasberry has owned the infamous Macleod Trail club since 1986 when it was Denny Andrews American Bar. In late 1991, it was renovated and renamed the Back Alley Nightclub.

“About six months ago, we felt that we were getting old and tired and after 23 years, we certainly needed to do a renovation and update,” said Rasberry.

“We thought that it would be appropriate, if we were going to spend the type of money that you need to renovate 13,000 square feet, that we would bring an updated concept to the market.”

Without revealing much about the new concept, Rasberry said they hope to reopen under a new ownership group in five to six months as an “entertainment venue.”

“The response, obviously, from our customers is that they don’t want to see us close but the time has come for us to bring a new updated concept to the market.”

Patrons took to the bar’s Facebook page Tuesday asking the owners, who kept the closure under wraps, if it was really true that they were closing.

“I, like so many, also had some of my best and most memorable (surprising) years at The Alley, met all of my best friends, husband, coworkers, and also some very memorable odd people too that have made for some very colorful stories over the past 13 years,” reads one Facebook post. “I am sad to see it go but so lucky to have been a part of such a legend.”

Rasberry thanked their loyal customers for the “marvelous success” they’ve had over the years, adding he hopes they’ll be patient enough to wait for the new venue.

BACK BEAT

  • Cover will be free on Saturday, March 2 for the Drink The Alley Dry event.
  • “Be sure to come [Saturday] and be the first people in Calgary to hear about the new and exciting concept coming soon!” reads a post on the event page.

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