R.I.P. Canvas Cafe (2007-2009)

A crowd mills outside Canvas Cafe.
Photo: Jacob Kepler

Recessionary economy + historical odds against running a successful Vegas venue = doom. They don’t teach that equation in Clark County schools, but if they ever start, Aaron Schropp can run the lesson.

Mike and Dasha Biggs paint on canvas inside the Canvas Cafe.

This weekend, the Canvas Cafe owner will shutter the doors of his eatery/arts hub/underground music center after 19 months filled with hope, promise and, ultimately, sorrow. “The economy finally caught up with us. It’s pure heartache,” Schropp says. “This place has become really special to a lot of people. Closing is like losing a dream.”

One Pin Short parties with fans inside Canvas Cafe.

Located in an innocuous Wal-Mart-anchored strip at the corner of Silverado Ranch and Bermuda, Canvas began life as a coffeehouse with damn good food. Then Schropp, a trained chef who once studied under Emeril Lagasse, fell in love with the local music scene and began staging small, and then big, and then pretty freaking huge events. And suddenly, Canvas had become an actual “venue” as much as a place to grab a tall glass of green tea.

Fittingly, Canvas will say goodbye with a pair of blowout shows, February 27 starting at 8 p.m. and February 28 beginning at 6 p.m. Even a partial list of participating acts speaks volumes about the impact the gathering place made in its relatively short lifespan: Holding on to Sound, One Pin Short, Dyslexic Duo, The Quitters (Friday); The Skooners, Afghan Raiders, Pan de Sal, Mob Zombie, Hungry Cloud, Army of the Red Sparrow (Saturday).

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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