Jak’s View: Follow Up To Fets Whiskey Kitchen Raid – Why Did It Happen?

6 Feb

FetsWhiskeyWe are adding another voice to ILiveInEastVan today. We would like to introduce you to Jak King.  If you don’t know him by name, he is a long time resident of East Vancouver. Jak is civic minded, has opinions on a number of issues some light topics, others not and a penchant for history particularly as it relates to Grandview Woodlands.  Jak has his own blog, which we invite you to check out called Jak’s View.  With his permission, we will be reprinting some of his posts here from time to time.  Today we’d like to share Jak’s View on the recent raid of Fets Whiskey Kitchen on Commercial Drive. This event boggles our mind. So many small businesses are struggling with increasing costs such as taxes, rent, attracting and keeping staff with rising costs in Vancouver, this antiquated raid was a slap in the face to small business. Instead of helping small business, this heavy handed approach to enforce antiquated laws seemed beyond fair or reasonable.   We invite you to check out Jak’s View on this recent event:

As I reported earlier, and has been widely reported since, Fets Whiskey Kitchen on Commercial Drive was raided last week and $40,000 worth of bottles were seized by agents of the BC government.

At the time there was some mystery as to why this had happened, but the reason has now been made clear — they were purchased from private liquor stores (which had purchased them legally from the BC Liquor Distribution Branch) rather than from the BCLDB directly. All required taxes had been paid but these bars are only allowed to buy their liquor from the BCLDB — even though the BCLDB won’t sell them these particular whiskeys.

It is worth repeating that all required taxes had been paid.  In other words, this is all about the bureaucratic nonsense that is BC’s liquor laws.

Apparently bars and clubs have been buying from private liquor outlets for years and liquor inspectors have allowed it to go on. Now, suddenly, the Ministry under David Eby has decided to stamp down on the practice. They could, of course, have changed the law so that BCLDB could sell these whiskeys to the bars but no, they wanted to play the heavy instead.

In a long article by Martyn Brown, he suggests that the “prohibition style” raids may have been occasioned by the money laundering crisis in BC casinos:

“It is in an interesting coincidence, I’m sure, that this crackdown has occurred only days after Attorney General Eby launched his own scathing indictment of the inept gaming policy enforcement and money laundering problems that transpired under the former government’s watch. No doubt, the last thing the general manager or others in the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch want to do is to leave the branch vulnerable to being accused of falling short in its enforcement responsibilities.”

However, as the same article notes, the raids have done nothing to enhance BC’s image as a tourist friendly Province. Perhaps more importantly for locals, Eric Fergie of Fet’s notes that his small business could suffer badly.

“Fergie said he’s now worried how his small business will absorb the cost. ‘If we are fined heavily for the infractions and we lose our product, then, you know, we’ve got 20-something people that work for us and it’s going to be difficult’.”

Eric and Allura Fergie have been mainstays of Commercial Drive business since opening their original Fettucini’s Cafe in 1987.

Reprinted With Permission (Jan. 21, 2018)

Photo Credits: Jak King & Fets Whiskey Kitchen






Broken Tailbone At The Cultch February 13 – 24, 2018

5 Feb


You are invited to come celebrate the irresistible sound of Latin music. Carmen Aguirre is a celebrated writer and performer who is bringing her production Broken Tailbone to The Cultch this February. Carmen will lead a live and interactive Latin American dance lesson. Music is provided by DJ Don Pedro which promises to get the most reluctant dancer up on their feet.  Carmen will interweave stories into the evening that touch on intimacy, politics, culture and the origins of salsa while taking you into the dance halls of Canada.   We invite you to check out what we expect to one fun night out.   This is one event we won’t be missing. Tickets are $35 and available online at The Cultch.

What’s On East Van: February 2nd Edition

2 Feb


Lots happening in East Van heading into February. Our weekly feature What’s On East Van sets out lots more cool events for the upcoming week.  Beyond the week, we invite you to check out our Event Listing which is updated daily and features events for the month and beyond.

Tinder Tales – Fox Cabaret – February 3rd

Anyone that has ever dated online will appreciate Tinder Tales and if you haven’t dated online, then you best check out what dating in Vancouver is truly like. Comedians and storytellers confess their funny, outrageous and very unusual Tinder dates. Event happens this Saturday at the Fox Cabaret. Tickets available at JFLNorthwest.com.

Super Bowl Viewing Party – Rio Theatre – February 4th

It’s Super Bowl 52 this Sunday, February 4th. If you are looking for some game day experience with a crowd, the Rio Theatre is hosting a screening and party. Admission is free, but of course, goodies behind the concession stand are not, but certainly available including beer, grilled cheese sandwiches and more.  Fun kicks off at 3:30 pm. Half time show is Justin Timberlake, fan or not, he bet he’ll have the stadium moving.

Body, Soul & Spirit Expo – Croatian Cultural Centre – February 2 – 4, 2018

The Body, Soul & Spirit Expo takes place at the Croatian Cultural Centre with a 2 for 1 special for Friday afternoon.  Lots on hand for the open minded spiritual person.  Tickets are $15 online for the day, or $20 at the door.  You can also purchase a weekend pass for $35 which gets you access all 3 days of the expo.

Earthquake Preparedness – Britannia Community Centre – February 6, 2018

The recent earthquake in Alaska and following tsunami warning are great reminders to be prepared in the event of an emergency.  The free workshops hosted by the City of Vancouver provide some great suggestions.  Even if you don’t master everything and take away a few tips, it’s worth it.  Next workshop is at Britannia Community Centre February 6th at 7:00 pm. It’s free and 12 spots currently remain.

What’s New In Town?

If you are out wandering on Commercial Drive, you may wish to check out some new businesses that have appeared. One that caught our eye was Babylon Tea Co. is located at 1740 Commercial Drive near 1st Avenue. Also just opened as of last week just off The Drive on Venables, a half block West is the new East Van Brewing Co. that opened last week with line ups down the street. If it’s food you are after, Aleph Eatery opened a couple of weeks ago with Middle Eastern Cuisine. They are located at 1898 Powell Street at the foot of Victoria Drive.

Comedy, Live Music & Entertainment

It’s Groundhog Dog in case you forgot and in honour of that, the Rio Theatre is showing the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ with Bill Murray Friday night 11:30 pm. Also this weekend of course are the Winter Farmer Markets happening Saturday at Nat Bailey Stadium from 10 am to 2 pm and Sunday at Hastings Parking 10 am – 2 pm.  To see more of what’s on in East Vancouver, check our Event Listing.

Image Credit: June Hunter



PuSH Presents Dublin Oldschool At The Cultch Until February 3rd

1 Feb

DublinOldSchoolTogether with the PuSH International Arts Festival, The Cultch brings Project Arts Centre’s smash hit Dublin Oldschool to Vancouver. This sharp and edgy play, written by Emmet Kirwan, will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. Impressively performed by Kirwan and fellow Dublin native Ian Lloyd Anderson to a sold-out crowd on opening night, Dublin Oldschool is as thought-provoking as it is witty.

Following the story of two estranged brothers, Dublin Oldschool jumps back and forth in time to weave a tale about fraternity set against the backdrop of modern day Dublin. During a wild weekend, Jason, a wannabe DJ, runs into his older brother Daniel, a washed up junkie. After years of not speaking, they reminisce about the tunes, the drugs, and the paths that led them back to each other. The 70-minute show requires your full attention; lose focus for a minute and you’ll miss something because this “spoken word odyssey” is spoken quickly! Nevertheless, this award winning show is exceptional – just maybe brush up on your Irish slang beforehand.

For tickets to this riotous show, on now until February 3rd at Historic Theatre, visit The Cultch.

By Contributing Writer Nicole Alivojvodic

Vancouver Story Slam At The Cottage Bistro February 13, 2018 With Contributing Writer Al Tee On Stage

31 Jan

sVancouverStorySlamFeb13If you love storytelling, be sure to check out Vancouver Story Slam. Their next event happens Tuesday, February 13th at the Cottage Bistro, 4470 Main Street.  These monthly gatherings are organized by Susan Cormier and hosted by Bryant Ross. Ten storytellers will take the stage and share their original stories with you. Those participating this February include Al Tee who wears a few hats including contributing writer for IliveInEastVan.com. The line up also includes Aneesah Jaffer, Arianne Robbins, Cory Thibert, Elisa Paczos, Griffin, James Long, Johnny Scoop, Marylee Stephenson, Mike Sheridan, and Rob Boffard. The show will open with a guest story by storytelling duo Sherry MacDonald and Jim Murray.  The event is $5 and that also gets you a ballot giving you the opportunity to vote on your favourite story.  There are cash prizes awarded to the winners.   If you wish to learn more about this event or participate in an upcoming event, email them directly at Vancouverstoryslam@yahoo.com. If you can’t make this one, future dates are posted on their Facebook page. Note, space is limited at this venue. So if you don’t want to miss it, best to get their early. 

Jabberwocky Comes To The York February 6 – 17, 2018

29 Jan

JabberwockyIf you like dark and disturbing, then we’ve got the show for you.  The Old Trout Puppet Workshop brings a brand new type of puppet theatre for adults to The York.  Beware the Jabberwock!  You are invited on the journey of  a young male hare who is weighed down by the pressure to grow up and slay the Jabberwock, whatever that may be. The hare believes it to be a monster, but what type of monster? It is furry, ferocious, fanged, formless. It is outside the door now waiting to eat you?  Not to fret my silly pet, a vorpal sword valiantly promises to save everyone from the things that haunt us in the night.  What monsters lie under the bed? Find out when Jabberwocky comes to the York Theatre February 6 – 7, 2018. Tickets available at The Cultch

What people are saying about Jabberwocky:

A piece of theatre inspired by Lewis Carroll that is, indeed, inspired” —
The Globe and Mail

Blew expectations out of the water, inviting the audience into a universe of unimaginable creativity and talent” —
Vue Weekly

Exultant and celebratory in the hands of this remarkable and gifted company” — GigCity.ca

A marvelous theatrical adventure…that leaves us breathless at every turn into dark corners where our fears lie waiting for us — along with our heart” —

Emergency Preparedness – Just Do It!

26 Jan

EmergencyKitThis week Vancouver Fire & Rescue sent out a tweet which summarized some recent events which we will now quote:

“We’ve had numerous “warning” events: ’15 windstorm, ’15 earthquake, wildfires, port fire, and the recent tsunami and railyard fire.  Have you started building a Grab-n-Go bag and 72-hr Preparedness Kit? Don’t wait for the next event, start TODAY.” 

So have you started yet?  We are fairly organized and have kits in various spots including the closet at home, a bag in the car, one at the office and after attending an Emergency Preparedness Workshop offered by the City, we now have a ‘Grab N Go Bag’.  Are these kits perfect?  Absolutely not, but they are a start? Yes.  Once you start, items can easily be added.

There are so many simple things anyone can do to prepare for an emergency such as keeping a pair of walking shoes in the car.  After that, add a first aid kit and a blanket. At work, again keep some walking shoes handy along with a change of clothes. The Grab N’ Go should have some essentials like medications, cash and your insurance papers.   We found keeping a typed list of the items in each bag printed out made updating and replacing items easier.   There are many other considerations such as for your pets, communication plans for members of your family, becoming familiar with disaster routes in the City.

If you haven’t already started a kit, we recommend some simple steps to get things started including buying and setting aside a bag, add a blanket and some water. Next grocery run, pick up some bottled water, add some food. While putting your kit together, keep your kids and pets in mind.  We find adding things as you go is more manageable cost wise and time wise.   What we highly recommend is taking the 1 hour and 1 ½ hours to attend a free workshop offered by the City of Vancouver.  These workshops have valuable information on things you may never have considered.  Workshops are geared to families, seniors and are even provided in different languages.   So whether an emergency is an earthquake, flood, fire, or something else, you are somewhat prepared. As the Nike slogan said so well “Just Do It!”

On that note, we are setting out some links to the City of Vancouver which include showing you how to Build Your Own Emergency Kit.  If you wish to get your pet prepared for an emergency, visit Pet Emergency Preparedness. Become familiar with the City’s Disaster Route Map. Did you know 41st Avenue and Boundary Road are 2 main routes?  We have listed some of the upcoming workshops hosted by the City at various community centres around East Vancouver.  If you live in a condominium with a number of units, we understand that the City will come to you to present to a group of residents.  Contact them directly for further information. Either way, if you haven’t already, get started on a plan .

February 6, 2018 7:00 – 8:30 pm  Britannia Community Centre           

February 7, 2018 7:00 – 8:30 pm   Renfrew Community Centre                   

February 27, 2018 7:00 – 8:30 pm  Champlain Heights Community Centre   

March 1, 2018 7:00 – 8:30 pm   Hastings Community Centre

March 8, 2018 1:00 – 3:00 pm    Hillcrest Community Centre    (For Seniors)
March 8, 2018 7:00 – 8:30 pm    Hillcrest Community Centre
(For Emergency Social Services (ESS) Volunteers

To sign up for one of the free workshops, or to see other locations where upcoming workshops are available, visit City of Vancouver.  If you are interested in volunteering in the event of an emergency, the City needs people to do that in all areas of the City. To learn more visit, How You Can Help In An Emergency.

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