In 1985, the neglected and abandoned Old Ashton Creek School was filled 3 feet deep with a collection of 20 years of receipts from the neighbouring store, old school decks, hubcaps, etc. when I rented the 20 X 25 foot building for a wood working shop. The old school house is located deep in the woods of rural Enderby.
While working on a project in the converted school one day, a curious gentleman drops by. He tells me that he attended the opening of this school at the 1919 Christmas Party!
Back then things were rough for the students of the classic one room schoolhouse with no insulation or plumbing, wood heat and originally no electricity.
The Ashton Creek Elementary School operated from 1919 to 1964, with the last day of school, chalked by the teacher, on the original blackboard behind the current bar. I’ve met many of the old students and teachers hearing lots of strange tales of “The Old School Days”!
In 1990 I bought the property and the idea evolved to transform it into a music venue capable of presenting live music, comedy and theatre at a level you’d need to be in the “Big City” to appreciate. Being from the City myself, I missed this kind of culture.
After major renos and adding a few thousand sq. ft., Lorenzo’s Cafe opened in 1996 and in 2006 we hosted a top notch out door music festival celebrating 10 years of operation with well over 1000 happy concert goers! We’re still going strong today! Since opening 18 years ago, we’ve had a parade of high caliber and award winning artist from across Canada and around the world, too many to list!
The eclectic and funky ambiance, with a 30 ft. ceiling and bowling alley floors and great acoustics, creates a comfortable and memorable experience for both the performers and audience.
Building and operating Lorenzo’s has been a rich and exciting adventure, at times near impossible, other times incredibly rewarding, plus I get to live in this beautiful country! Drop by for the Lorenzo Experience!
~ Lorne Costley, owner