Lorenzo’s Cafe will be filled with zombies, ghouls and other walking-dead types this weekend to help the Enderby music venue come alive for one last night.
The Cafe is closing its doors after being a pillar in the North Okanagan’s intimate live music scene for the past 24 years, and its grand finale – a Halloween costume party hosted by the Legendary Lake Monsters on Saturday, Oct. 26 – is already sold out.
“It’s going to be a lot of people having a good time, a lot of great costumes and people letting their hair down and enjoying the last hoot at Lorenzo’s,” said Lorne Costley, the owner of the Cafe who built it out of a 100-year-old school house on Mabel Lake Road and equipped it with lanes from an old bowling alley to serve as the dance floor.
Costley’s feelings have remained more or less the same since he announced he was closing doors a month ago. He’ll miss regularly seeing the cafe’s faithful following and the musical acts that came from all over the world to play the venue, but he’s content with having more time to travel and enjoy life in the Okanagan.
What’s different now in the final week before closing time is that the reality of the lifestyle change he’s heading towards has more firmly set in.
“It’s becoming more of a reality instead of just an image in the future, where now I realize I’m actually going to do it,” he said.
On the other hand, there are elements of running the business that he won’t be missing – elements that attest to the difficulty of keeping such a business running for decades on end.
“The regulations and the permits and all that is monumental,” Costley explained. “The building codes keep changing, the Regional District has got different demands on me and the Department of Health is always adding new demands and regulations.”
“The bureaucracy and the regulations are immense, and they occupy a lot of your money and your time,” said Costley, who also had to promote the venue endlessly despite regularly having renowned musical acts to offer, due to the remoteness of its location.
“Every business has got challenges and this one has its share,” Costley said.
From musicians and customers both, he’s been receiving a lot of kind words and support.
“Lot’s of people have been responding saying they’re sorry to see it go, but they can see why because they’ve been here enough and they know that there’s been full nights and there’s been empty nights, and that’s the reality.”
Costley hasn’t yet sold the building (which happens to have the ideal architectural style for a Halloween party). While it’s a difficult area to run a business, he could see it being the future home of a large family.
“Especially if the kids are into gymnastics or ballet, since the dance floor would be a big area to play on.”