So Long, El Mocambo

Owner says club will likely close, citing lack of cash flow


A somewhat cryptic Facebook post from Toronto club owner Sam Grosso has left Toronto music fans and media speculating that the historic El Mocambo at College and Spadina is shutting down for good.

Reached over the phone, Grosso, who owns 50 per cent of the venue, is vague about details but suggests that the El Mo is, in fact, closing its doors.

“In the sale of commercial buildings, things could go down the tubes at the 11th hour. There are a lot of ‘what ifs.’ So, right now I’m planning a potential last show for the El Mo, and it’s going to be Thursday, November 6.”

The concert in question is Grosso’s annual fundraising show for the charity Light of Day, which raises money for Parkinson’s disease.

Grosso originally scheduled it for the Cadillac Lounge (which he also owns), but decided he needed more space.

“It just kind of worked out, with the El Mo’s closing date being November 7th, potentially. I thought, ‘How cool would it be just to move this show to the El Mo?'”

The event’s headliners are John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band, Wally Palmar and Alex Ligertwood. Vinny Pastore of the Sopranos and CP24’s Steve Anthony will play hosts.

Grosso doesn’t say exactly why the iconic nightspot is shutting down, but does suggest it’s something he does reluctantly.

“All I can really say is I’m not interested in selling it. I just don’t have the finances to continue it. I would love to have investors and all that stuff, but it’s just a lot of work, and I have a really young family, so it’s hard. But I would love to keep it going. I just need money.”

Fans of the club for nostalgia reasons need not despair completely, however.

“My main objective right now is to make sure that we can save the sign and maybe the city can use it. That’s what the post was about.”

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