It’s the end of an era for a Vernon art supplies shop by day and music venue by night, which built and fostered an entire community in just two years.
But while Local Losers will soon no longer be a physical downtown space, its owner says it will live on in other forms.
Local Losers is closing its doors as of June 1, exactly two years after it first opened on 30th Avenue. The shop garnered a faithful following in that relatively short time. It was geared towards a younger demographic but brought all ages together for live music, with the goal of livening up Vernon’s nightlife, which was in want of more dedicated spaces prior to its opening.
Owner Noah MacLeod says it’s been a good run, but it’s time to move onto the next chapter.
“It’s been wonderful really, I’ve been able to become a part of this arts community and music community, and just this whole scene that I think didn’t fully exist before, and I think it brought a lot of different groups of people together,” he told The Morning Star. “I’ve had a ton of fun, we’ve had some incredible events, we’ve had some really incredible artists that have come through and just being able to meet all these people and engage with them creatively has been amazing.
“I’m super excited to do that more.”
Ultimately, fatigue from running the business 24/7 led to MacLeod’s decision to step away from Local Losers.
“There’s a lot of issues but at the end of the day the big one I think was just I’m pretty tired, and I think there’s a lot of things I want to do in the future and to be able to do them I just want to be in a bit of a different position to pursue them,” he said.
MacLeod, who is only 24, says there have been a lot of learning experiences along the way. Local Losers was his first business venture, and he was new to the music scene and had to learn the ropes on the fly.
“It’s definitely been crazy. I’ve never done anything like this before, and there’s been a lot of lessons I’ve had to learn the hard way,” he said.
One thing he’s learned is the cost of doing business in a space as big as Local Losers, which was formerly home to Five Fathoms Tattoo.
“For what it is, a small art space, the size of it is pretty large, and the overhead that comes with that is pretty significant, and it ended up being one of those things that’s a pretty heavy weight,” MacLeod said. “So I’m looking forward to just being a little lighter and moving around a little more and having a little less commitment to one thing day after day.”
MacLeod isn’t ruling out the possibility of opening up a store or music venue again some day, but his future is very much up in the air.
While the store may be gone, the brand will live on in the community.
“Local Losers definitely isn’t dead, it’s just kind of reforming,” MacLeod said.
MacLeod explained he plans on partnering with a bunch of local places and is working with the Vernon Towne Theatre to create events starting in June. He’s also working with a group of people to put together a large music festival at the end of summer or into the fall.
“We’re going to be doing some pop-up shops and still being really community involved,” he said.
And there’s still one more event to come at the 30th Avenue venue before the doors close for good. On Friday, May 19, starting at 8 p.m., a final night of music will be held as a chance for fans of the space to say goodbye to Local Losers in person. Live music will be on all night from “many fan favourites.” Tickets are $15.
“Come celebrate the weirdest two years downtown Vernon has ever seen!” Local Losers said on Instagram.
It will be a bittersweet night for MacLeod, who has put everything into making Local Losers a fun space for creatives to gather and do what they love.
“I’m extremely appreciative of all the support we’ve gotten over the years,” he said.
“We’re not going away for sure.”