B.C. pub cited after visit by Rob Ford
By James Keller, The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER - British Columbia's liquor regulator says a Vancouver-area pub that was apparently visited by Rob Ford during the Toronto Mayor's brief trip to the West Coast was cited for serving patrons after hours over the incident, but it won't face fines or suspensions.
The Toronto Star published a story in February that alleged the Foggy Dew pub in Coquitlam, east of Vancouver, served Ford drinks after the bar's last-call time of 2 a.m.
Ford, who was in the region for a funeral, generated headlines during his first night in town after he was ticketed for jaywalking by the RCMP in Coquitlam. Predictably, his night out was documented in photos posted to social media.
The Toronto Star report quoted an anonymous source who claimed Ford visited the Foggy Dew several hours after his jaywalking ticket.
The anonymous source said Ford entered a staff washroom at the pub in the early hours of Feb. 1 and emerged an hour later "talking gibberish." The source alleged Ford later ordered a round of beers, high balls and shots after the bar was closed.
B.C.'s liquor regulator looked into the allegations and on Friday confirmed the pub was handed two citations.
"In this case, based on that review, the inspector issued two contravention notices to the licensee — one for failing to clear the establishment within half an hour of the end of liquor service and one for allowing patrons to consume liquor beyond the time permitted by the terms of its licence," the branch's general manager, Douglas Scott, said in a written statement.
Earlier, the branch issued a brief statement that simply said there was insufficient evidence to support fines or suspensions, but did not mention the contravention notices.
Scott's statement said contravention notices are "notices of alleged non-compliance and are intended to give the licensee a heads up that there are specific concerns that will need to be discussed further."
In the end, an inspector did not recommend any further enforcement action, though the notices will remain on the pub's file.
Scott's statement, which doesn't mention Ford, said the branch doesn't comment on specific patrons.
A spokesman for the pub's parent company, Gibson Hospitality Inc., could not be reached. A supervisor who answered the phone at the bar declined to comment.
In February, John Teti of Gibson Hospitality refused to answer questions about what happened at the Foggy Dew or even confirm whether Ford was there. Teti said he couldn't comment because of a possible investigation.
Ford's chief of staff did not immediately return an email Friday requesting comment.
Ford vowed last year that he had given up alcohol — part of a campaign to rehabilitate his image after admitting to having tried crack cocaine while mayor.
In the months since, he has been repeatedly forced to square that pledge with his own behaviour. For example, less than two weeks before his trip to Vancouver, Ford admitted he had been drinking during an incident in which he was filmed using Jamaican swear words and other profanities at a Toronto restaurant called Steak Queen.
Ford is currently running for re-election in Toronto, where voters will cast ballots in October.