Tag Archives: Commercial Drive

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

 

 

 

 

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Weekly Stories At The Drive Coffee Bar

3 Jan

WeeklyStoriesIf you love storytelling, whether watching or listening to it in an intimate venue, then you may wish to check out Weekly Stories at The Drive Coffee Bar, 1670 Commercial Drive located near 1st Avenue.  This 1 hour storytelling show is hosted by local organizer extraordinaire Jo Dworschak of Story Story Lie and Coop Radio’s Fruit Salad.  You will hear tales from some seasoned storytellers, but each week they do try and get a new face up to take a turn.  The venue is a favourite of ours for the great coffee, selection of Cartem Donuts and some of the best sandwiches in the City by La Grotta del Fromaggio plus they also serve wine and beer.  Event runs from 7:30 to 9:00 pm every Wednesday night.  Admission is by donation. If you have a story to share, stop by and sign up or email Jo in advance at e: storystoryshows@gmail.com.

Super Valu – 24/7 365 Days A Year

21 Dec

FruitColourfulWho has not been stuck preparing for Christmas dinner and realized you forgot that one thing you needed for a recipe, or had unexpected company and you don’t quite have enough of something. Did you know that the Super Valu at 1st Avenue & Commercial Drive is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? Yup, that means on Christmas Day when everything else is closed, Super Valu is there for you in your hour of need to save the day.  After stopping in last year shortly after Christmas, we learnt that people travelled quite a distance from outlying areas just to pick up a few needed items.  For those making the trip by car, there is free underground parking for the first 45 minutes, you just need to register your license plate at a machine near the elevator in the parkade which will issue you a receipt. If you need to grab some fresh flowers as a hostess gift, they’ve got you covered there as well.  If you are a senior, take note on Wednesdays, you can do your shop and have your groceries delivered to your door within a 5 KM radius FREE of charge. If you are a senior you can get your groceries delivered any other day of the week for $5.50.   If you are a non-senior, delivery is an option for you as well for $10 they will deliver them to you within a 5 KM radius.  Note, they will even be doing deliveries on December 24th, but not December 25th and 26th.  We think having a grocery store open 24/7 365 days a year is a pretty cool thing to have in one’s back yard. Nice to know they are there if you need them.

Shop Local With These East Van Shops

19 Dec

WhiteChristmasFinished your Christmas shopping? If not, the countdown is on. We recommend skipping the craziness that is the malls. Why not stop into one of these great local businesses that will a) not only appreciate the business, but b) offer some truly great service.  We’ve set out a few of our favourite spots we think are great for gift giving. Note, many of the stores have extended hours this week to help you with your Christmas shopping.

Les amis du fromage – 843 East Hastings Street

For the cheese lover, this is a great spot, but that’s not all they have.  They have a host of kitchen accessories and gourmet condiments perfect for giving gift.  Add to that, they are hosting a Sweet Pop Up Shop with delish items from Lisa Lou’s Chocolate Bar until December 24th.  If you know a true cheese lover, take note of their upcoming Wine & Cheese Tasting classes in the New Year.

Gourmet Warehouse, 1340 East Hastings Street

Who does not love to receive great food at Christmas?  There is such an array of delectable food items in store at Gourmet Warehouse whether for entertaining over the holidays or gift giving.  You can find just about everything here whether it’s small appliances, knives, condiments, baking items or maybe a gift certificate for an upcoming cooking class. There are lots of great gift ideas in store.  This week, they are making it easy for you. Gourmet Warehouse is open 10:00 am to 8:00 pm until December 22nd. Saturday, December 23rd 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and December 24th 8:30 to 4:30 pm.

Bird On A Wire Creations, 2535 Main Street

Bird On A Wire Creations is located near Kingsway on Main Street and features a host of new as well as established Canadian artists. They have an amazing selection of one-of-a-kind items.    If you missed artisan markets and craft fairs, you will find many of local makers in this store.  They are are open 10:00 am to 7:00 pm this week.

Giving Gifts Co., 4570 Main Street

Giving Gifts is a unique concept store made up of 5 rooms with items from over 70 local artists and small businesses in one lovely boutique shop.  The items are also eco-friendly and fair trade made. This store also has a great selection of gifts for kids and toddlers.

Little Mountain Pop Up Shop, 4386 Main Street

The Little Mountain Pop Up Shop is currently hosting ‘Holid-eh!’ featuring over 20 Canadian makers.  A few participants include Fox & Fancy, Bar Skin Bar, True North Trading Post and more.  They are open for holiday shopping until December 24th from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and for those last minute shoppers, December 24th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Olive & Wild, 4391 Main Street

If you are looking for some beautiful unique home décor items for gift giving this year, we recommend checking out Olive & Wild. Lots of beautiful items in store sourced locally and globally.

Second Nature Home, 3565 Commercial Street

Second Nature Home is great little shop just steps away from the Commercial Street Café in a great little stretch of road nestled next to the Toso Wood Gallery.  It boasts an array of eco-friendly items from Canadian artisans many of them local.  There is a wide selection of products and we might add great knowledgeable service. This week, they are open Monday to Saturday from 10:30 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday, December 24th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

Doctor Vigari Gallery, 1816 Commercial Drive

Doctor Vigari on The Drive boasts quite a collection of art from BC and Canadian artists whether you are looking for large or small pieces, there’s lots of choose from including tiles, prints, jewellery, sculptures, furniture, ceramics and much more.  Also framing is available in store to finish off that perfect piece of art whether purchased in store or elsewhere.

Lala’s On The Drive, 1748 Commercial Drive

A newer addition to The Drive, Lala’s has an array of gift giving items, some silly, some sassy, many just plain fun.  Lots of unique items for gift giving.

Wherever you shop, we hope you will continue to support our local businesses.

 

Oh Man! At Havana Theatre December 8 & 9, 2017

4 Dec

OhManOh Man! is coming to Havana Theatre this Friday and Saturday.  Jo Dworschak, creator and producer of Story Story Lie, has put together a multimedia monologue about a mom trying to overcome her fear of men before having one.  With some assistance from TJ Dawe, a respected playwright, actor and director, Jo Dworschak has put together this autobiographical production which features some problematic relationships with men in her family life, to learn she’s pregnant and having a boy.  The production won Best Solo Show at the Montana Fringe Festival and this week’s show will be the first showing in Vancouver and possibly the last.  Jo bills this show as “humorous, heart warming and the perfect night out for the parent”.  You can catch her show Friday, December 8th and Saturday, December 9th at Havana Theatre. Tickets are $10 and available through Eventbrite or at the door. Show kicks off at 8:00 pm. Partial proceeds will be given to “Together We Can”, a support group to help me in need.

New In Town: Gatley On Commercial Drive

28 Nov

IMG_1587We recently stopped in to check out another new addition on Commercial Drive recently, Gatley.  Well the store isn’t entirely new, but it has been taken over by a new owner, Erin. She has a background in interior design and was planning a different career trajectory, but was a fan and regular customer of Gatley.  After several conversations with the previous owner, a plan formed for Erin to take over the store. You can certainly see the evolution of the store and the new additions. The store previously was a bit on the sparse side, but that is no longer the case.  Erin has curated a great selection of Canadian made products, many local which include clothing, shoes, accessories, some bath products, jewellery and a bit of home décor.  Speaking of décor, you will find Erin’s interior design touches throughout the store which make for an inviting space.  Gatley is located at 1136 Commercial Drive just steps away from the Portugal Club of Vancouver.  Stop in and see what’s in store.

 

 

New In Town: Your Open Closet On Commercial Drive

21 Nov

We stopped in to check out a brand new store located at 902 Commercial Drive called Your Open Closet.  The store may be new, but the owners are not new to business, as they also own Womyns’ Ware just down the street.  We learnt that customers were coming into Womyns’ Ware looking for undergarments which they didn’t have, so this new business was born.  Having said that, Your Open Closet is not your everyday lingerie store.  Although they do carry panties, lingerie, boxers, stockings, socks, bras and the like, something does set them apart. Your Open Closet has created a body positive space for their customers of all genders and orientation with an emphasis on zero judgment.   There are no harsh bright lights in store, they have some very cool subdued lighting. If you are paying attention when you walk in, you will see a case of records off to the side and a record player which is their sound system. The undergarments chosen have a local and Canadian focus which we always love to see.  This is a great space, perfect for the upcoming shopping this holiday season. Your Open Closet has only been open 3 weeks as of this writing and if they don’t have what you are looking for, let them know.  They are open to suggestions as to what you’d like to see in store. Stop by and check out this new space located at the corner of Venables & Commercial Drive.

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