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Old Posted Aug 3, 2009, 12:03 PM
H2O H2O is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 612
Private Clubs

Originally Posted by H2O View Post
There was another private club on Broad Street (around 14th?), above some store or restaurant (I don't remember which). The Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange Society "The Exchange" hosted local singer songwriters like Bob Evans. I think I remember it burning down in the early eighties, and there is a drug store or something there now. I think the Exchange moved to the warehouse district around Lorne and 6th? and is now where the Regina Jazz Society holds events.
Forgive me for continually quoting my own posts. This thread is jarring loose a lot of old memories from my middle-aged brain (one that saw its share of 70's brain damage).

Now that I think about it, private clubs were once quite common in Regina. I think the reason is that at one time in Saskatchewan you could not buy alcohol of any kind on Sundays. (I think restaurants, at least, serve beer and wine on Sundays now, right?) If you were stocked up at home you could drink, of course, and private clubs that restricted entrance to members and a limited number of guests were treated like an extension of the home, rather than a business.

The Assiniboine Club restricted membership to Regina's (anglo) business elite, but working class ethnic groups also had clubs, some with looser entrance policies than others. One that comes to mind is the Serbian Club near 11th and Winnipeg. My grandfather frequented it (probably as a 'guest') my friends father managed the bar for many years, one of my uncles bar tended bar from time to time, and none of us are Serbian. I think some of the early punk / hardcore shows were put on at the Serbian Club as well, perhaps after Schnitzel Haus closed?

I could be wrong, but the more I think about it, I think Schnitzel Haus was actually a private (German) club in its punk rock heyday. The obvious reason is the name, but there are a couple other reasons why I think this might be the case.

Schnitzel Haus was notorious for swan dives off the balcony onto the dance floor (I don't think mosh pit was in common usage yet). I seem to remember someone breaking their neck or some other serious injury, and the place closed very suddenly. I'm wondering if in the ensuing investigation it was revealed they were operating without proper permits (punk rock style!).

Another reason I think this might be the case is that there was a time that it operated as a restaurant only (Hamilton Cafe?) in the front of the building while the double-height back room was closed off for 'storage' (and the occasional 'private' party). The explanation for this was 'permitting problems'. I know this because one of my sister's first jobs was at the restaurant, and she always lamented that she was too young too attend her bosses' private parties. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure my sister was even old enough to be working in a restaurant.

Can anybody else think of any notorious underground private clubs?
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