Winnipeg's Royal Albert Arms rocks again

A Winnipeg punk and metal music institution re-opened Friday night as the Royal Albert Arms Hotel got back into business for the first time since shutting down in May 2011.

"We are a little nervous, we haven't done it in a long time," said the man behind the bar, Quentin Towns.

"We lived and slept in the place to try to get it re-opened."

A water pipe broke in May 2011, forcing the old watering hole to close. Then the boiler ceased to function and later that year the water lines and sprinklers froze.

But Friday, within hours of re-opening it was standing room only, musicians and music lovers happy to be back.

"I don't think anyone would ever want this place to be closed forever. It would be a real stab to the heart," said guitarist Johnny Sizzle.

Ryan Suche's band Hoarfrost was supposed to play the night after the pipe burst. "I'm looking forward to playing as soon as possible," he said.

The Albert turns 100 years old in November and organizers have plans to bring back bands from the 1980's and 1990's for the celebration.

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