Lee's Palace, one of Toronto's longest-running live music venues, is about to get a major make-over.
After months of speculation and on-again, off-again rumours, the folks behind the Horseshoe have finalized their deal to buy the venerable but shabby club.
Long-overdue renovations begin in September, when new washrooms will be installed, the main-floor bar will be moved, proper dressing rooms will be built and, eventually, a Horseshoe-style bar will be created in the front of the room, with live music remaining in the back. Programming will stay the same: eclectic.
This can only be good news for live music fans, considering that Lee's was about to be turned into a Mandarin buffet restaurant and that the dingy decor of the club hasn't changed in years.
"There was the possibility that the building was going to be bought by a restaurant," Horseshoe and new Lee's Palace co-owner Kenny Sprackman confirms. "We just wanted to carry on the name. It's too good a venue for the city to lose.
"We want to make this into a first-class entertainment facility, one where the toilets don't overflow every night and bands can have a shower after their set.
"It's also good because the Horseshoe has become a stepping stone for a lot of bands. This will really be the next level for bands coming to Toronto."