Lower-level bar at Belgian Hall closed until further notice
By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer
DELHI, ON - Shareholders of the Belgian Hall in Delhi will have hard decisions to make when they gather for their annual general meeting Oct. 18.
The hall’s Shield & Friends Bar & Games Room closed until further notice on Monday because it is losing money. As a result, the hall’s general manager Warren Osear is no longer with the organization.
A sign posted on a front door says the facility’s hydro bill last month was $5,700. As well, the sign says the upper-level banquet hall needs a new heating unit.
Marc Vandenbussche, president of the Belgian Hall, gave a blunt assessment of the situation on Thursday.
Vandenbussche said the hall would be in better shape if its 900 shareholders made good on their annual $55 membership fee.
Vandenbussche said securing this revenue has been a chronic problem. He said the executive has spoken to shareholders about this in the past.
“This is not easy for us,” Vandenbussche said. “Shareholders just can’t continue relying on the people who’ve been supporting the hall for so long. They have to fish or cut bait.”
The Oct. 18 meeting will be called to order at 7 p.m. Vandenbussche and the executive hope the meeting produces a game plan for putting the hall on a sound financial footing. If the meeting fails to produce a sustainable direction, Vandenbussche says the executive will have to come up with a plan that addresses the realities of this challenge.
For the time being, events scheduled for the upper level banquet hall are not affected. A Girls Night Out is planned for the upper level on the night of Oct. 21. It will go ahead as scheduled.
Conversely, the lower-level closure has impacted the Delhi Archery Club. Archers in Delhi traditionally shoot in a facility on the lower level.
Euchre and other card games regularly held downstairs are also on hold.
The Belgian Hall opened in 1948. It went on to establish a legendary reputation for concerts.
The hall was a popular venue for rock music in the 1960s and 1970s. Numerous musical acts that performed there went on to become world famous.