Restaurant Community Rallies To Help Bartender Beaten In Gastown


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As many readers might already be aware, local bartender José Rafael Borges was jumped and badly beaten in Gastown while en route to a friend’s house in the early morning of July 11th. I’m told there were no witnesses to the assault and José remembers next to nothing of what happened. He apparently came to the next day after reconstructive surgery to his face. In addition to losing three (possibly four) teeth and having to endure his mouth being wired shut for the next month and a half, he suffered a broken nose, a broken maxilla, neck injuries and a severe concussion. Alas, he’s evidently in good spirits and joking about the prospect of him now resembling Javier Bardem. He’s no doubt buoyed by the response of his peers in the restaurant community, many of whom have donated what they can afford to an online fundraiser that aims to aid him on his path to a full recovery. The goal is set at $20,000. To help it along, chef Jefferson Alvarez has quickly arranged a special one-off feast at Kitsilano’s Cacao restaurant on July 30th from 1pm to 6pm. Vij’s Jay Jones will be mixing drinks and all wine is being donated by Lionel King, Jeff Curry and Tom Doughty. Tickets are $50 a head, with all proceeds going to help José. Details here.

There are 7 comments

  1. Honestly this is what can be expected when the violently mentally ill are allowed to roam the streets

  2. Make sure the BC Hospitlity foundation is made aware of this, maybe they can help financially as well. Best wishes on a full recovery.

  3. “Alas, he’s evidently in good spirits and joking…” Why “Alas?” Is this a bad thing?

  4. “Alas” is defined as “an expression of grief, pity, or concern.” I misused it. “Despite it all” was what I was going for.

  5. This reminded me of the story of Serge, a delightful young man with whom I worked at the Granville Island Hotel.
    Serge was one of those fellows who brightened your day. He would show up with a cheerful “My friends! Isn’t it a beautiful day!” and no matter how glum you’d felt, his enthusiasm would bring a smile to your face and a spring to your step.
    One night, Serge was walking from his downtown apartment to the corner store. He heard the screech of tires behind him and two thugs emerged from a pick-truck.
    They beat him so badly that he suffered a fractured skull, several broken ribs, a punctured lung, the loss of too many teeth…
    Serge recovered from his injuries, but what these bastards took from him was his joy. He was never the same bright spark.
    I sincerely hope that Jose can recover fully. Kudos to the folk that are helping him.

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