The Nelson Music Scene Series, Part 2:
The Royal on Baker
Submitted by Paul
The Royal on Baker is turning 100 years old in 2012, and once again it’s becoming the home for live music in the Kootenays. For music lovers in Nelson, it couldn’t be happening at a better time.
Hosting a wide array of talented artists and performers, The Royal finds itself booming with life and activity, and filling to capacity for many shows. As exciting as that may be for music lovers around Nelson, this isn’t the first time The Royal has found itself at capacity night after night. Back in the days of yore, miners would fill the 40+ hotel rooms upstairs, and unwind in the street level pub with their hard earned pay cheques – blowing off steam and building a legendary bar in the process. Recently, an elderly gentleman visited the Royal to attend a concert, and told the staff of how he worked here over 60 years ago, mopping the floor and cleaning dishes. He felt that while the room has changed, the feel of the Royal certainly hadn’t. Honest, Authentic, and Alive. It really is a great room to socialize & dance any night of the week, and that’s something that has held true for 100 years.
Over time, the Royal became known as a blues bar, hosting live music and many a ruckus filled nights. Various owners came & went, but it was when Luke Menkes bought the bar in 2009 that the new vision for The Royal took place. Modern, clean & sophisticated, the Royal tried to shake the dingy image of a run down blues bar, and Luke and his team re-built The Royal one step at a time. Now hosting over 200 concerts a year with the likes of Alpha Yaya Diallo and Blue King Brown, The Royal is a fully modern and renovated room for Live Music. Even though Nelson is a town deep in it’s devotion for Electronic Music, The Royal gains support from all musical genres; hosting regular DJ nights, Open Jams, and everything in between. We’re thrilled to exist in a community that features such world famous festivals as Shambhala, and to be able to co-exist with all the wonderful people involved in making the Kootenays so musically unique.
We look forward to celebrating 100 years at The Royal with everyone next year, and as we slowly build towards the big birthday celebration, we must once again give big love to the music lovers in Nelson & the surrounding areas. Your support for venues, festivals & artists is second to none, and we look forward to growing with you as Nelson takes the next step in it’s musical evolution.
Thanks so much for including us, Christine. We’re honoured to be included in the mix.