hard luck toronto

Toronto bar asks community to help raise $35k to save it from closing

The owners of a Toronto bar known for incredible live music are asking for help from the community this week in order to survive the lockdown, and they're hoping to raise $35,000 to cover accumulating rent and other expenses. 

George Diamantouros, owner of The Hard Luck, a bar and music venue located on Dundas West, started a GoFundMe campaign earlier this week asking for support from the community. 

"You know who we are. We've spent the better part of a decade trying to create a space where everybody feels welcome," wrote Diamantouros in the campaign's description.

"Our unique booking policy made Hard Luck a place for a wide range of musical genres and a home to diverse groups of people. We've fostered local bands, hosted international acts, and have helped launch musical careers. We don't need to go into how deeply Covid-19 has impacted all of us, but we do need your help."

The owner said the costs of maintaining a business that has been 
closed for the better part of nine months have simply grown too great, and he added that every time they've tried to pivot to a new model, it has simply resulted in even more expenses. 

The decision to ask for help was not an easy one, said Diamantouros, but it was truly the only option if there's any hope of reopening Hard Luck once the pandemic ends.

"If you believe in live music and you believe in the future of this city, please consider donating," said Diamantouros. 

"Even just sharing this post can go a long way in preserving some of the cultural landscape that's been decimated by this pandemic and the government's anemic response to the economic needs of this city and its citizens."

As of 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 18, the campaign has raised $6,713 of its $35,000 goal.

In a video posted to Hard Luck's Instagram, Diamantouros gives a short tour of the empty bar before reiterating some of the same sentiments included in the GoFundMe.

"Like everybody else, we're experiencing some difficult times and we would really appreciate any help that you guys can give," he says in the clip. 

"This wasn't an easy thing for us to do, but in order to save this place and what live music means to us and what we think it means to this community, we need your help."

Lead photo by

Danielle Griscti

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