Prohibition-Style Raid Goes Down at Fets Whisky Kitchen on Commercial Drive

Look what happened at Fets Whisky Kitchen on Commercial Drive yesterday. According to the venerable establishment’s Facebook page, a bunch of government nabobs (with cops) showed up and seized 242 bottles of whisky from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the lot valued in excess of $40k.

I’m not privy to the writ (the story is developing), but it’s very likely about selling/storing booze that wasn’t purchased via the government. If that’s the case, it doesn’t make it any less awful. It’s equally bad for the affected establishments in Victoria. The sold out Victoria Whisky Festival started last night. It’s almost as if the agents chose the date of the raid to coincide with the festival.

Jesus. Never mind the opioid crisis…

There are 15 comments

  1. “It’s equally bad for the Affected establishments in Victoria” – Affected!! not Effected!

  2. So lemme get this straight, its cool for private entrepreneurs to operate “medical marijuana” dispensaries using product sourced from criminal enterprise but not ok for this? cool beans.

  3. I think that the product was purchased through a private liquor retailer…….so tax was paid at that point, and when they sell a shot of whiskey, tax is charged as well……the man is getting his piece of the pie a couple of times…………this is just about our Liquor Monopoly telling us what we can drink and not drink. Agreed with other comments……they must have bigger fish to fry than this.

  4. Let’s figure out which minister to complain to. I just bought my ticket for a Dram come true. This. Is ridiculous.

  5. Truly scandalous.
    David Eby is the minister responsible for BCLDB – I hope he hears a lot of noise over this one…
    And it sounds like they actually invited the media to be there, which means this was not about ensuring compliance (no matter how outdated the rules, a conversation might have been in order before a raid), but about making a big show of flexing muscle.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-whisky-bc-liquor-laws-1.4494499
    This signals a major step backward for anyone hoping the new government might update and improve liquor distribution laws in BC.

  6. They need to AUDIT them, I bet they had no court ORDER or subpoena to legally raid. If you know anyone from this establishment. tell them to Seek a lawyer. If the bottles where closed and on the shelf. you can win with just a (we didnt plan on selling those select bottles they where there for decoration) You’re welcome.

  7. @Xai Tourney: You’ve watched waaaaay too many TV crime dramas.

    They DON’T need a court order or subpoena (their whole job is making sure liquor licensees are in compliance with the laws!), and the bottles in question would have been offered on the menu (which they undoubtedly took a sample of for evidence).

    I’ve dealt with the liquor licensing branch too many times to count in my life. They win 99% of the time. In this case Fet’s and the other places mentioned in the article were clearly not in compliance with the rules imposed on their liquor licenses. You HAVE to buy the liquor through the LDB (either government stores, or as of a few years ago private stores). There’s no way they’re getting out of this one.

    The exact same thing happened to De Vino (now Merchant’s) up the street a few years back. $10k fine, if memory serves me, for serving wines either brought over from Italy or made by the owner himself. No sympathy from me on this one. Learn the rules of your license, or get out of the biz!

  8. @No Sympathy

    But SMWS bottles are legally imported into Canada and all LDB taxes and duties were paid. If you’re a SMWS Member, you can buy any of these bottles, legally, in Vancouver through Legacy Liquor Store down in Olympic Village.

    Is this still the same situation as bringing in wines from Italy (which is essentially commercial resale of grey market liquor)?

  9. A question coming from a Scotch Malt Whisky Society Member. Has the Legacy Liquor Sore also been raided and the SWMS bottles removed from their shelves?

  10. Rather than enforcing, the government should be working with businesses to help them offer more products to guests as opposed to prohibition-style enforcement. They have essentially a monopoly on supply to restaurants and hotels which is very anti-business and limits offerings and selection available in our marketplace. Time for the government to change with the times, eliminate the ‘monopoly’ and stop wasting time enforcing laws that are overdue for change!

  11. Considering what the BCLDB charges us for scotch (and wine) it’s no wonder they want to keep a lid on things, we in BC are totally ripped off price wise by the liquor stores.

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