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“With everything happening and the Calgary downtown being almost completely empty, it’s created sort of the perfect storm for restaurant killing and hospitality killing.”

Ranchman’s has been synonymous with Calgary cowboy culture for nearly 50 years after it first opened its doors April 27, 1972.

The country nightclub was a popular spot during the Calgary Stampede and throughout the rest of the year, being named the “Country Club of the Year” by the Canadian Country Music Association 11 times.

The venue temporarily shut its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 17, and it has remained closed since. Nightclubs such as Ranchman’s are not permitted to reopen until Stage 3 of Alberta’s relaunch, and public-health officials have said there is currently no timeline for when that might happen.

The bar was founded by Harris Dvorkin and Kevin Baker but ownership traded hands in 2017, following Dvorkin’s death. Calgary bar scene mainstay Doug Rasberry purchased the property alongside a group of local business owners.

Members of the Ranchman’s ownership group did not respond to numerous requests for comment from Postmedia.

Campbell said owners were only talking to “a select few people” about the situation.

“This was a heartbreak for him. Doug (Rasberry) was the first guy, when I took Ranchman’s to the market three and a half years ago, Doug lit up like a kid at Christmas. He was so excited to have an opportunity to take this history on,” he said.

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