Call the Office co-owner clarifies future of venue with lease up for grabs

In a Facebook post, owner Darren Quinn says he hopes to resume next year, but is uncertain what the future will bring. Google Street View

Call the Office has been a fixture at the corner of Clarence and York Streets for over 30 years.

READ MORE: Call the Office on the market

Global News Radio 980 CFPL reported on Monday that a listing on a real estate website said the owner was retiring and offering a full turn-key operation for lease to the right individual.

On Tuesday, co-owner Tony Lima said other shareholders want to see what else is out there.

He says while they are looking for someone to take over the business, Lima and the other owners would continue to own the property, and would essentially become landlords.

“We’re not looking to turn Call the Office into, you know, a chain coffee restaurant or anything like that. We’re dedicated to live music. If somebody comes in that wants to lease it and is along those lines … there was a Call the Office before us, maybe there will be a Call the Office after us.”

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Lima says the building is almost 150 years old, and maintenance costs, coupled with a tough industry, have made it difficult to make ends meet.

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“It’s an old building. They require a lot of constant upkeep,” he said.

“A lot of places like Call the Office, in cities across Canada and the U.S., a lot of places that were around when we started, they’re gone. It’s tough, and you need someone with a passion for it.”

Anything the venue has booked will go ahead, with Lima saying shows are currently booked into November.

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