Shortly before the Straight went to press last week, Hoko’s Sushi Karaoke Bar received its contravention notice resulting from a visit by liquor inspectors on August 22. The same visit had already prompted the restaurant to scrap live music. Three offences were listed: operating contrary to its primary purpose as a restaurant, allowing liquor on stage, and allowing patron dancing. A compliancy meeting between Hoko’s management and liquor inspectors was set for September 15, which could help the establishment to circumvent a fine or suspension.
Hoko’s manager, Jian Chao, told the Straight of her desire to meet the requirements of Hoko’s various permits, saying, “Our goals are the same as theirs.” But whatever the outcome of the meeting, which took place after the Straight had gone to press, Vancouver’s music community has reacted angrily to the situation, having lost a small but important venue. “It doesn’t seem like they’ve done anything except be the victim of shitty bureaucracy,” Music Waste organizer Cameron Reed told the Straight. “They are a perfect example of why our city needs to reevaluate its licensing.”