One last blast for the Pioneer

It was one the last bash for The Pioneer, the landmark bar on the West Island. The patrons packed it in late Saturday night, July 21, to hear the bands for one last time.

The bar, which has seen dwindling sales over time, will now make way for condos. Pioneer owner Diane Marois accepted an offer to sell the property to Koebra Development Corp., which plans to build a condominium project on Lakeshore Rd. Some say condos don’t fit in with the area’s architecture. Over the last few months, there have been on-line petitions to save the club, but Saturday night’s fete was a sign-off.

Mitch Kastner organized festivities for the last day, lining up a slew of local bands. He said it was exactly what they were hoping for, “It was a big celebration, a little bitter sweet for some people, but, if you walked in here, it was like walking in here and seeing what it was in the 80’s, it was just monstrous last night.”

Pointe-Claire Mayor John Belvedere said the condo project fits into the city’s plan to revitalize the neighbourhood.

The Pioneer (or Le Pionnier) opened in the 1970s, later became Clydes, before reopening as the Pioneer again in 2011. It originally opened as the Hotel-Charlebois in 1901, and later became the Pointe-Claire Hotel in the 1960s.

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