The Station Music Hall on Campbell St. (Photo by Josh Boyce)

Era Of Entertainment Ends On Campbell Street

The Station Music Hall in Sarnia, known for attracting big-name entertainment, has hosted its last act.

Stuart Manchee, who has operated the venue originally known as the Campbell Street Station for the last three years, says the building has been sold.

He says while he’s heard it will be converted into warehouse space, he’s not sure of the future use but knows it won’t be a bar.

Manchee says he considered buying the 50-year-old building but decided against it for financial reasons including the need for essential repair work estimated at $200,000.

“Our first two years were record-breaking,” says Manchee. “We were doing over a million dollars a year in revenue. But it’s really hard to sustain in a city the size of Sarnia. There’s only so many nights people can go out and their disposable entertainment budget is spread around all the restaurants and bars and entertainment venues.”

Also known over the years as Rustic and the Stubborn Mule, the nightclub has attracted hundreds of bands including top acts like The Tragically Hip, Arkells, Sam Roberts, April Wine, Nazareth and Sarnia’s Kim Mitchell.

Manchee says he hates to be the operator that has to pull the plug.

“It’s bittersweet for the community. There’s a lot of history in that room and I was proud and certainly honoured to be a part of that entertainment legacy,” says Manchee.

He says he’s living part-time in Toronto now where he’s starting an entertainment agency with a few partners out of Vancouver and Toronto, that’s going to launch later in 2018.

-With files from Dave Dentinger