Those curious about whether the reborn and rebranded Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret, now the SBC Restaurant, will revert to being a music venue need wonder no more. After a couple of low-key trial runs, the Downtown Eastside venue will play host to Taco Fiesta! on February 22, with punk bands Bishops Green and Full Leather Jacket setting the Marshalls to stun.
The event is the brainchild of punk-rock cheerleader Billy Hopeless. “The old Smilin’ Buddha means a lot to me,” says the former underage habitué of the original bar. “Now there’s a skate ramp in there, and a café, and I think it’s great because the city needed a good, positive all-ages venue. So when they asked me to do something, I went, ‘Wow, I’ve done Taco Fiesta! the last two years, and I haven’t even thought about doing one this year, but it makes sense.’ ”
Hopeless is especially excited about being able to host Bishops Green before the local quintet heads out on a European tour. “Lars Frederiksen from Rancid just actually stated on the Rancid web page that Bishops Green is one of the best bands out there,” he notes. “I’d say they were the best band in Vancouver.”
The veteran singer adds that “cheap tacos” are sure to be another draw, and he’s got a good answer to the all-important question “Hard-shell or soft?” “Well, see, that’s the thing,” he says. “With the last two I went soft-shell, but I figured since we’re going back to the Smilin’ Buddha, we’ve got to do Hardcore Taco ’84. Kids love tacos and kids love skateboarding, so I think it’s going to be a really great night!”