A historic Canadian nightclub that has hosted U2, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, Billy Idol and others has new owners with plans to resurrect the venue’s rock ‘n’ roll legacy.
El Mocambo in Toronto, Ontario, now belongs to Sam Grosso, owner of the Cadillac Lounge, and his business partner Marco Petrucci, who owns the 99 Sudbury event facility.
The sale follows lengthy negotiations with previous owner Abbas Jahangiri, who took over the venue in 2001. He decided to sell El Mocambo to support his ongoing missionary work, according to Now Magazine.
Grosso and Petrucci plan to return the two-story facility to its glory days of the ’60s and ’70s.
“I’m a big live music fan,” Grosso told Now. “This place needed to be brought back to life, back to its heyday.
“We’re going to breathe some life into it, put some Cadillac style in the El Mocambo.”
Upgrades will be made to the exterior, air conditioning and heating, lighting and bar areas and a dinner menu is in the works. Another priority is revamping the second floor, which Jahangiri had turned into a dance studio.
“The second floor is a major project,” Grosso said. “The plan is to resurrect it to what it looked like back in ’77, with the stage in the middle, cool sightlines and two bars on each end of the venue.”
One thing that won’t change is veteran talent buyer Yvonne Matsell, who will continue to book the venue as she has for more than 10 years.