Fets Whisky Kitchen

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Southern Inspired. Whisky Infused.

We’re still fighting the government for the release of the 242 bottles of extremely rare whisky that was unlawfully seized by the government last year but we still have more than 1,000 on our our shelves!

The lengthy Liquor Control and Licensing investigation, code named “Operation Barley Malt”, culminated with the January 2018 whisky raid here at The Whisky Kitchen. We have received a ruling from our May 2019 enforcement hearing relating to the raid and the seizure of 242 bottles of some of the world’s rarest whiskies, and it isn’t in our favor. Read the 64 page ruling here

We have submitted our request for a “reconsideration”. The Reconsideration will be conducted by another adjudicator who also works for the same government agency that conducted the investigation, the raid and that ruled against us. Due to the relationship of the parties involved our lawyer, Dan Coles, is not confident that it will be overturned. We are required to appeal the ruling if we want to see this through and get it heard in The Supreme Court. The question here is: Should the Provincial Government and its agents be required to follow their own rules, regulations and policies as well as The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? We believe they should.

The overturning of this ruling is paramount to our industry’s future, we are all aware of what’s on the shelves of the bars and restaurants all across our province. There are literally thousands of cocktails that are illegal to be made, served and sold in this province as we are not allowed to have the ingredients on our shelves. In other words, the government wants us to all sell the same cocktails, wines, spirits and the same beer because our government does not believe in choice or competition. The ruling goes deeper than this, this ruling sets a dangerous precedent whereby the government declares their right to ignore The Canadian Charter and the Rule of Law. The Government is supposed to be the people and for the people and we are tired of the power and control this regime yields over us in this regard. For a delegate of our government to state that; “A licensee does not have the same expectation of freedom from search and seizure as a private citizen in other contexts may have – because of the very nature of the liquor control and licensing regime” is, frankly, quite disturbing.

Re: Fets Whisky Kitchen, Case EH18-003: Why it matters to you

On the morning of January 18, 2018 three liquor inspectors attended Fets in a rented Uhaul van, filled with empty boxes. They entered the premises, requested the attendance of the Vancouver Police Department, and after briefly interviewing one of the owners of the establishment, they seized (over a period of several hours) 242 bottles of Scotch whisky. They did so without a search warrant, and they did not advise the owner that Fets was being investigated for an offence, for which she could be jailed if convicted.

Earlier this summer, on June 6, 2019 a delegate of the General Manager issued a 64 page written decision confirming that the actions of the liquor inspectors were lawful, and ordered a monetary penalty against Fets in the amount of $3,000. Fets has applied, under the Act, to have the decision reconsidered.

The General Manager’s decision, if not varied or rescinded, will set a dangerous precedent for all liquor licensees in British Columbia. In summary, the decision confirms as acceptable the following practices of the Branch and liquor inspectors:

• When a licensee is faced with enforcement action, the Branch only needs to disclose to it the documents that help it prove the contravention. It is not required to produce any other documents from its files that may assist the licensee in avoiding the contravention;
• The General Manager’s delegate is not required to maintain an “open mind” during an enforcement hearing. It is acceptable for he or she to make up their mind at the very outset of the hearing, before evidence and submissions are made;
• Liquor inspectors who observe liquor that in their opinion is kept contrary to the Act, can return at any time without a search warrant to seize it;
• The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees individuals the right to be free from unreasonable (warrantless) searches and the right to be informed of their jeopardy when detained by officers of the state, does not apply to the enforcement of British Columbia’s liquor licensing regime; and
• Liquor inspectors can rely on the “mandatory cooperation” powers contained in s.42 of the Act to conscript evidence from licensees that may be used in a prosecution of an offence for which imprisonment is a potential penalty.

All licensees should take notice of this dangerous and potentially precedent setting decision. Although currently it is only Fets dealing with the fallout, soon it will be other bars, restaurants and LRS’s who may face warrantless searches of their premises, and procedurally unfair hearings. British Columbians deserve better.

If you wish to better understand how the decision could impact your establishment, or are interested in participating or assisting in a potential judicial review of the decision please contact our lawyer Dan Coles at bcliquorlaw.com

Mark Gillespie from WhiskyCast.com has been following this story from the beginning and has written an article regarding the ruling, it can be found here: Fets Whisky Kitchen loses SMWS Legal Battle with British Columbia Regulators

Allura and Eric thank everyone for their continued support through this ordeal.

We love our whisky and cook with it every chance we get: Southern Fried Chicken with whisky chicken gravy, Maker’s Mac’n Cheese and our organic steak with bourbon demi are a few of our whisky infused entrees. How about one of our other Southern influenced dishes; Jambalaya or Rosemary French Toast with Fried Chicken and Canadian maple syrup or our newest dish; biscuits and gravy with fried chicken.

We use local free run chicken and eggs, house made organic burgers and Oceanwise seafood.

We’re now 32 years in! Thanks to everyone who has helped us meet this milestone!

We’re always looking for passionate individuals to join our team! Drop a resume via email info@whiskykitchen.ca

Wow and there’s more going on here we host to the monthly Hand Crafted Spirits Radio Show with Joe Leary and Darryl Lamb. Tune in to BNN Bloomberg Radio 1410 at noon on the first Saturday of each month. Click here for details

Our Partner Scotch Malt Whisky Society retailer is Legacy Liquor Store in the Olympic Village and host to our monthly Society Outturns on the first Tuesday and Wednesday of the month.

We are located at: 1230 Commercial Drive, Vancouver BC

604-255-7771
info@whiskykitchen.ca

Fets Whisky Kitchen Map

Southern Inspired. Whisky Infused.

We’re still fighting the government for the release of the 242 bottles of extremely rare whisky that was unlawfully seized by the government last year but we still have more than 1,000 on our our shelves!

The lengthy Liquor Control and Licensing investigation, code named “Operation Barley Malt”, culminated with the January 2018 whisky raid here at The Whisky Kitchen. We have received a ruling from our May 2019 enforcement hearing relating to the raid and the seizure of 242 bottles of some of the world’s rarest whiskies, and it isn’t in our favor. Read the 64 page ruling here

We will be appealing the ruling by requesting a “reconsideration”. The Reconsideration will be conducted by another adjudicator who also works for the same government agency that conducted the investigation, the raid and that ruled against us. Due to the relationship of the parties involved our lawyer, Dan Coles, is not confident that it will be overturned. We are required to appeal the ruling if we want to see this through and get it heard in The Supreme Court. The question here is: Should the Provincial Government and its agents be required to follow their own rules, regulations and policies as well as The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? We believe they should.

The overturning of this ruling is paramount to our industry’s future, we are all aware of what’s on the shelves of the bars and restaurants all across our province. There are literally thousands of cocktails that are illegal to be made, served and sold in this province as we are not allowed to have the ingredients on our shelves. In other words, the government wants us to all sell the same cocktails, wines, spirits and the same beer because our government does not believe in choice or competition. The ruling goes deeper than this, this ruling sets a dangerous precedent whereby the government declares their right to ignore The Canadian Charter and the Rule of Law. The Government is supposed to be the people and for the people and we are tired of the power and control this regime yields over us in this regard. For a delegate of our government to state that; “A licensee does not have the same expectation of freedom from search and seizure as a private citizen in other contexts may have – because of the very nature of the liquor control and licensing regime” is, frankly, quite disturbing.

Re: Fets Whisky Kitchen, Case EH18-003: Why it matters to you

On the morning of January 18, 2018 three liquor inspectors attended Fets in a rented Uhaul van, filled with empty boxes. They entered the premises, requested the attendance of the Vancouver Police Department, and after briefly interviewing one of the owners of the establishment, they seized (over a period of several hours) 242 bottles of Scotch whisky. They did so without a search warrant, and they did not advise the owner that Fets was being investigated for an offence, for which she could be jailed if convicted.

Earlier this summer, on June 6, 2019 a delegate of the General Manager issued a 64 page written decision confirming that the actions of the liquor inspectors were lawful, and ordered a monetary penalty against Fets in the amount of $3,000. Fets has applied, under the Act, to have the decision reconsidered.

The General Manager’s decision, if not varied or rescinded, will set a dangerous precedent for all liquor licensees in British Columbia. In summary, the decision confirms as acceptable the following practices of the Branch and liquor inspectors:

• When a licensee is faced with enforcement action, the Branch only needs to disclose to it the documents that help it prove the contravention. It is not required to produce any other documents from its files that may assist the licensee in avoiding the contravention;
• The General Manager’s delegate is not required to maintain an “open mind” during an enforcement hearing. It is acceptable for he or she to make up their mind at the very outset of the hearing, before evidence and submissions are made;
• Liquor inspectors who observe liquor that in their opinion is kept contrary to the Act, can return at any time without a search warrant to seize it;
• The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees individuals the right to be free from unreasonable (warrantless) searches and the right to be informed of their jeopardy when detained by officers of the state, does not apply to the enforcement of British Columbia’s liquor licensing regime; and
• Liquor inspectors can rely on the “mandatory cooperation” powers contained in s.42 of the Act to conscript evidence from licensees that may be used in a prosecution of an offence for which imprisonment is a potential penalty.

All licensees should take notice of this dangerous and potentially precedent setting decision. Although currently it is only Fets dealing with the fallout, soon it will be other bars, restaurants and LRS’s who may face warrantless searches of their premises, and procedurally unfair hearings. British Columbians deserve better.

If you wish to better understand how the decision could impact your establishment, or are interested in participating or assisting in a potential judicial review of the decision please contact our lawyer Dan Coles at bcliquorlaw.com

Mark Gillespie from WhiskyCast.com has been following this story from the beginning and has written an article regarding the ruling, it can be found here: Fets Whisky Kitchen loses SMWS Legal Battle with British Columbia Regulators

Allura and Eric thank everyone for their continued support through this ordeal.

We are located at: 1230 Commercial Drive, Vancouver BC

604-255-7771
info@whiskykitchen.ca

Fets Whisky Kitchen Map