Q&A With The Biltmore’s Zakary Pashak

This is the 38th interview of what will eventually amount to 500 profiles of people who have made life in BC that much more interesting. At the rate we’re going it’ll take three years, at which time we’ll probably just start shooting for 1,000.

Once or twice a week Scout poses 60 questions to a different individual. They pick and choose which ones they’d prefer to answer, with a minimum response rate of 20. It’s some sort of Rorschach test, for sure…

Zakary Pashak, owner of the Biltmore Cabaret, is an entrepreneur in the fickle world of live music venues. After bringing Calgary back from the brink with Broken City, some Vancouverites believe he could well be the Messiah the local indie music scene has been waiting for.


Scout Q&A

Default drink: If I have a good cocktail bartender I’ll get a Champs Elysees. If not, I like small batch IPAs.

Best Vancouver patio: That one that you get to through the green room at the Railway Club.

One thing you’d like to change about Vancouver: I’d like to see the police make efforts to not allow drug dealers to prey on the people who are addicted to their products. I’d like to see some drug busts every now and then. I’d like biker gangs to have less prominence. I’d like people who are criminals to be treated like criminals – not kids who like music and have few legal options to see it played live. I’d like to see the police go after the people who are getting rich off of the drug trade – not just the people who are getting poor because of it. Well, I worked a few things in there I guess, but it’s all related.

Favourite place to see a band: It depends on the show/crowd. Shows at the Railway are still special.

Cheap place for dinner: Peaceful Noodle.

Last place traveled: I drove across the Southern US (and ate really well).

Biggest fear: The finality of death freaks me out pretty much every day.

Most under-rated Vancouver band: There’s a lot of great jazz (it’s actually not an oxymoron) in Vancouver that no one really seems to pay any attention to.

Your ancestry: My last name is Czech, most of my ancestry is Irish though.

Best bar stool in the city: Any of the ones at the Alibi when Nigel is working. Same at the Whip when Dustin is working.

What are you proud of: My bars and the festival. I think they’ve made the places they are in better for people who live there.

What is it about your job that gets you in to work everyday: The festival office is also my house.

Favourite sports team: The Flames.

Local person you admire most: I admire Libby Davies. I think Gregor Robertson has taken on a pretty huge box of problems and considering how huge that box is I think he is doing well.

In what way has The Biltmore changed your life: It has made me nervous. I never really know if the rug will get pulled out and I will lose my investment and Vancouver will lose a pretty great venue. I do everything I can to follow all possible rules, but it doesn’t always matter. In Vancouver the unionized bureaucrats seem to be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want for whoever they want to work for. It’s pretty sketchy and there aren’t that many people who live in the city who seem aware of it. Maybe people assume that that’s the way it’s supposed to be – but it really isn’t. Small business owners walk on eggshells in Vancouver because there is an element of lawlessness amongst the over-regulation – you never really know what’s allowed and what isn’t. It’s not common sense based. I’m pretty sure it’s highly corrupt. Why are so many bars in Vancouver actually restaurants? Where does all the drug money get cleaned up? Who are the powerful bar owners in the city? Why are the laws different for different places? Why are there so many problems in the city? How does Hastings happen in Canada? What’s up with the massive rich/poor divide in a city that thinks it’s left wing? I have a lot of questions like that about Vancouver.

What are you listening to as you answer these questions: The Flames vs. The Blues.

The career path you considered but never followed: Lawyer.

Three websites you visit every day: RBC, Facebook, Officepools.com

Luckiest moment of your life: I am an exceptionally lucky person. I should be dead by now about 8 times over – instead I get to live the greatest life I could imagine. I have a guardian angel. Everyday is a gift.

Favourite book as a child: My mother read me the Iliad when I was a kid and I liked it. I liked Shel Silverstein too. Having an English professor for a mother meant I had great books to read. It made school seem very boring though.

—————————– photo credit: www.lindsaysdiet.com

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