The El Mocambo may not be closing, after all
On the very day the El Mocambo was supposed to be hosting its farewell show, the National Post reports that the legendary club has been rescued by a buyer who plans to keep the place open as a music venue indefinitely. Neil Warshafsky, the property’s listing agent, wouldn’t tell the Post the buyer’s name, but the rumour (as yet unconfirmed) on Twitter is that the mysterious investor is Michael Wekerle, a Bay Street mogul who was recently added to the Dragon’s Den roster, and who can never return to a certain hotel in Arkansas. (We profiled him last year.) Before this last-minute development, El Mocambo co-owner Sam Grosso had told reporters that he’d sold the property conditionally to a buyer who wasn’t in the music business—someone unlikely to leave the storied building as-is. Until a few days ago, the El Mo’s famous palm tree sign was up for grabs on eBay, but Grosso put a stop to the auction after hearing the pleas of would-be preservationists.
UPDATE: The CBC confirms that Wekerle is the buyer. He has put a deposit on the property, and the sale is expected to close in January.