COVID-19 Claims Second New Brunswick Music Venue

Category: community 469

Sackville’s Thunder & Lightning has announced its permanent closure after suffering insurmountable losses resulting from forced closure due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Matt Carter 

Sackville’s Thunder & Lightning Pub is no more. Owners of the popular music venue announced last week they would not be among the many restaurants and bars to reopen as New Brunswick enters its fourth week of its COVID-19 recovery.  

In a message posted to the business’s Facebook page on May 14, owners Glenn Barrington and Anne Herteis thanked patrons, past owners and staff for their support over the past four years. 

If you were to tell us that what started as a casual offer in a “welcome home for the holidays” conversation with our friend and barkeep at our favourite little pub in Sackville would turn into what our last 4 years have become we’d say “no way, you have to be joking.” We had no experience bartending and no experience running our own business, just a desire to be a part of something that we could truly make our own in a community like no other in the world. We feel so proud of everything we’ve done and how we did it- we wouldn’t change it for anything. What a weird little thing we ended up with and what a wild ride it’s been. 

Unfortunately, the present is complicated and the future is unknown – we don’t know when small pubs like ours might re-open, and if we would be able to operate again serving drinks and sharing a small space without fear and stress for each others’ safety.

We’ve come to the very hard decision to close the pub. Despite accessing the supports made available to small businesses we are still unable to meet the expenses for the pub long enough to re-open – especially knowing that reopening will mean reduced capacity and increased overhead. We really feel that by putting this little pub away for a while we can wait until we’re able to one day do what we do best without restrictions and fear. 

We want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts to Jon Claytor & Paul Henderson for originally opening this weird place for weirdos; our staff Klarka Weinwurm and Rebecca Blankert for their amazing work and friendship; Geordie Miller and his roster of hosts always keeping things moving; all our previous staff for working out the kinks with us; our regulars that keep us grounded; our friends for all your skills we exploited; our friends who are dogs; artists who displayed their art on the walls; poets and writers that read out loud to the room; and to every musician we had the pleasure of hosting and providing the best possible experience we could no matter who you are, thank you. Thank you so much.

See you soon, Love Glenn and Anne. 

Two weeks earlier, Santos Ruyan, owner of Taco Pica on Germaine Street in Saint John, announced his business would not be reopening. Taco Pica was the city’s main venue for all-ages music performances.   

Thunder & Lightning was an important New Brunswick venue hosting intimate concerts by some of the country’s tops folk and indie acts including Great Lake Swimmers, Daniel Romano, Greg MacPherson, Weaves and Jennifer Castle to name a few. Nearly every touring New Brunswick musician also graced the venue’s stage over the past couple of years including Motherhood, Julie Doiron, Pallmer and so many others. 

Thunder & Lightning will be missed. 


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