Gastropod turns to Facebook and Frosting


Fiona Morrow of the Globe and Mail reports today that Liberation B.C.’s campaign against the sale of foie gras is hurting local restaurateurs. For the past five weeks, animal-rights group Liberation B.C. has put up TVs outside Kitsilano restaurant Gastropod and next-door eatery Fuel.

Liberation B.C. has targeted the businesses on Friday nights as part of its escalating protest against the production and sale of foie gras, screening disturbing and controversial footage taken at a Quebec foie gras farm and handing out leaflets to customers and passersby.

Whether it’s because of the alarming footage being played parallel to the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling window frontage, the general commotion generated by the protest or a concern for animal welfare, Gastropod chef and owner Angus An says his business is taking a real hit. Last Friday, for example, of the 45 people who had booked dinner reservations, only 22 showed up. Saturday – a protest-free evening – he served 82 diners. He is so concerned about the loss of revenue, this morning he is having his front windows partly frosted to obscure the view of the sidewalk. He has also made a plea on Facebook for fans of the restaurant to turn up this Friday and show their support.

Anyone interested in supported An and his side is encouraged to join their Facebook group. Ironically, next door at Fuel where the open kitchen faces the street and pedestrians are regularly treated to the sight of whole pigs being butchered, business hasn’t been affected at all according to chef Robert Belcham.

Angus An’s full Facebook plea after the jump.

Hi Gastropod fans,

As you may or may not know, for the past few months both Gastropod and Fuel have been the target of protests on Friday nights by Liberation BC (an animal rights group) for both restaurants’ use of foie gras on the menu.

Despite there being over 30 restaurants in Vancouver that sell foie gras, this organization has chosen to single out Gastropod and Fuel in an effort to harass and intimidate the restaurants’ owners, staff and customers.

Of course Gastropod makes every effort makes every effort to support producers of its products that are local, organic and follow the most humane and sustainable practices possible.

Coincidentally, we’ve noticed that on Friday nights, a very high number of reservations mysteriously do not show up. In fact, last Friday over half the restaurant was “booked” and sat empty. We suspect this is a tactic of the group to reserve seats and then have them sit empty to make their protests look more effective.

This Friday, we would much rather have the restaurant full of our friends and fans, than empty seats booked to intimidate the restaurant.

This Friday, we ask you to show your support of local chefs who support local suppliers (and produce great food), and we would love to see you at the restaurant.

If you would like to make a reservation, please call the restaurant (604 730 5579) or you can book on Open Table. Please let us know you are a Facebook fan. We appreciate your support and we will make sure the chef takes extra special care of you with some complimentary dishes and suprises.

Many thanks,


Last modified: April 23, 2008

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