Penticton is reaching the end of an era as the The Mule Night Club prepares to permanently close its doors following the September long weekend.
The night club first opened at 218 Martin St. 20 years ago.
The decision was not an easy one, but the right move for owner Bill Proznick, who purchased the club in 2000. He is proud of the changes and renovations The Mule underwent over the years under his ownership that lead to the establishment it is now.
“When we first bought (it), it was mainly a country club. But, as our clientele shifted slightly, they wanted a mix of music. That was when we became ‘Famous for Smiles and Music of All Styles.’” said Proznick. “It was a great formula for many years. We could see all generations enjoying the nights together on the dance floor.”
Proznick recalls that the biggest changes at the club occurred in 2008 and 2009 when “DJ’s became the popular thing in clubs.” Though this new trend didn’t impede The Mule’s numerous live shows over the years.
“From classic rock acts to country and to rock, we have done it all. Dr. Hook, Chilliwack, Trooper, Loverboy, Nazareth, Emerson Drive, George Canyon, Aaron Pritchett, Kenny Shields and Streetheart, Bif Naked, Colin James, Rumble 100 to mention a few … and even a night with Billy Bob Thorton and the Boxmasters,” said Proznick.
“We had fun with the shows, although it became hard to compete with all the different music festivals so prevalent today.”
Proznick stated that while Penticton could still support a night club, he believes The Mule’s venue no longer suited the purpose. He thinks someone else will “step up” with another dance club in the area for locals to enjoy.
“With the closure of The Mule, although the business is still relevant, this building needed a new entity that could fully utilize its size and location. The mega-sized clubs of the past are no longer,” said Proznick.
With what will be taking The Mule’s place, Proznick stated “the new venture is made up of mostly local individuals (and) investors with fresh ideas and energy” who will “create a fantastic new destination for Downtown Penticton.”
Jennifer Vincent, economic development specialist with the City of Penticton, said there “has been a change in (the types) of businesses looking for opportunities within the city.”
“We’re always sad to see a family-owned business that’s been around for two decades close its doors, but it does sound like there is an opportunity on the horizon that will add the to vibrancy of downtown in a new and refreshing way,” said Vincent.
Still, Proznick would like to extend his thanks to those who made the nightclub such a success.
“To the thousands of patrons that stepped inside our room and the hundreds of staff members that joined our team over the years, we thank you all for your support and smiles. It has been a pleasure to have served our city,” said Proznick.
Randy Farmer and DJ Roberto Styles will be performing at The Mule Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, respectively. The club will also be open for an open house from 4 to 10 p.m. on Sept. 2, which will feature a goodbye performance from Penticton’s own Rumble 100.
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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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