One of Saskatoon’s most beloved watering holes will soon be closing its doors.
After more than 100 years of serving cold beer to its patrons, The Sutherland Bar on Central Avenue will toast its last drink on Oct. 30.
Trevor Mawson has owned the bar for the last 32 years, the last few of which have turned to finding a way out.
“At 30 years, I was thinking about getting out of it and then it just took about a year-and-a-half (to find a buyer),” he said.
“Doing anything for 32 years, you kind of want a change.”
Mawson has sold the building to nearby Rayner Agencies, which will convert it to office space.
While many bars have come and gone in recent decades, the Sutherland Bar seemed to avoid the closures of its nearby counterparts.
Mawson said it’s all part of the bar’s ability to adapt.
“This place has been here for over 100 years,” Mawson said. “It’s went through lots of different changes, lots of different laws. There’s more lounges, there’s more beer stores and liquor stores now. Things just keep evolving all the time.”
He said the bar seemed to transform every few years to suit changing tastes.
“In my time here, we’ve went through everything from live bands (in the mid-’80s to early ’90s) and then that changed to country, and then we changed it to what it is still today — the DJ music and dance club kind of thing.”
Some of the notable acts to grace the Sutherland stage include The Tragically Hip, Lee Aaron, Allanah Myles, Haywire and Harlequin.
While the Sutherland was always able to adapt, it couldn’t remain impervious to the changing landscape around it as live music venues and dance clubs across the country strive to remain relevant and viable.
“Now people are going more foodie,” Mawson said. “It seems to be across Canada — the nightclubs are less busy.”
Now that the end it is in sight, Mawson can’t help but reminisce at the highlights of owning a Saskatoon staple.
“We had lineups around the block,” he said. “Over the years, we had a ladies night that was lineup for 10 years. Not a lot of bars can say that.”
“Just a lot of good memories, a lot of people around here, just a lot of fun.”
—With files from 650 CKOM’s Keenan Sorokan