The Good Will Social Club
625 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg MB
The Good Will Social Club is a cozy, welcoming venue doing their part to support the growing arts scene in Winnipeg and promising a safe, accessible environment for all patrons. It opened in 2014, occupying a West End space that has a reputation for high turnover of fledgling businesses. The owners of the Good Will hope to stick around, and aim to make their bar/eatery/live music venue a hub for the diverse musical community in the city.
The bar is composed of three different rooms on the ground floor, interconnected yet with distinctive vibes. There is a performance space with live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, mostly occupied by smaller touring bands but occasionally by established names like PUP, Living with Lions, Dangercat, the Dirty Nil, the Strumbellas, and local favourites John K. Samson (of the Weakerthans) and Animal Teeth.
The in-house eatery Have a Nice Day offers global street food snacks to scarf at a long communal table, and a rec-room-esque lounge with unique 1950s furniture connects the two spaces, a chill buffer zone between dancers and diners — at Good Will, you can eat, drink and be merry without leaving the building. For folks who don’t imbibe alcohol, a barista is on hand to keep you caffeinated, and the owners try to keep drunken antics down to a dull roar. Capacity is 200 — sizeable for the city — and the bathrooms are gender-neutral.
Neighbouring the University of Winnipeg, the bar hosts Student Night on Tuesdays, with happy hour prices all evening long, as well as Karaoke Wednesdays, monthly Drag Queen Bingo and a Spelling Bee, plus live vinyl nights featuring local DJs (and Good Will part-owners) Co-op and Hunnicutt.