Moonshiners drains the barrel and closes after five years

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“This was my favourite place to go when I actually got a night out,” wrote Candi Berehula.

“That’s to [sic] bad,” added Kevin Powis on Facebook of the recent closure of Moonshiners in Stony Plain which has left another stage silent and dealt another blow to the local business community and economy in a year which has had many of them. The bar and performance venue began operating in the Tri-Region in 2015, re-opened about two months ago after a COVID-19 closure but the future was not to be.

“We had to test the water and see how things were going to go,” former owner David Goetz said. “We did not make the decision until the week just before the shutdown happened. We did not foresee much of a change economically for the better part of next year and even when things open back up it was really going to be another dogfight again to get business to where it was and avoid years of growing pains.”

Goetz will now focus on other ventures and added it was smooth and yet hard to describe the process of letting his staff at the site go. When one has to be fired for clear reasons it sometimes is perplexing but putting someone out of work during the COVID-19 era was varied.

“This one for us … the fact it was COVID-19 maybe it was not as much of a heavy burden as if we just decided to close suddenly,” he said. “Within 24 hours we had thousands of comments on the decision, hundreds of direct messages from musicians, patrons and everyone else saying this was a major loss. We had no negative comments and just got an outpouring of appreciation for what we worked to build up.”

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