Site of the 2010 Olympics Uprising!
Olympia Restaurant on Denman, under the ownership of Mosi Alvand and his partners was rolling along peacefully in Vancouver’s Westend community for seventeen years . . . until the Olympics came to town.
When Vancouver won the 2010 Winter Games it caused a flurry of excitement in Canada's West Coast communities. Unfortunately, when the IOC learned of the Olympia on Denman they became worried the bistro would upstage their event so they set about to shut the little restaurant down.
Even though Olympia on Denman was properly licensed and considered a good community neighbor, plus had paid taxes for over two decades, John Furlong, the CEO of VANOC, attacked the little Olympia demanding the restaurant cease and desist all operations. The community was aghast.
Mosi and his partners felt bullied. They had operated for many years as good neighbors and didn't understand why they should shut down just because a pack of high priced Olympic lawyers demanded so. They bravely stood their ground.
Very quickly the community rallied behind the restaurant and told Olympic organizations to leave their favorite restaurant alone. As soon as word hit the streets that VANOC was bullying Olympia, Maurice Cardinal of Area46.com jumped into high gear and launched a public relations campaign that attracted support locally and around the world. Tens of thousands of people, some from as far away as Seoul Korea, home of the 1988 Olympics, used local news and social media to tell John Furlong and the IOC to BACK OFF!
Marie, a long-time loyal customer of Olympia, started an in-house petition that collected thousands and thousands of names from people who visited the restaurant. It also didn't take long for world-renowned lawyer, Joseph J. Arvay, to offer his support and advice.
When all the dust settled, and after years of VANOC intimidation, Olympia on Denman won, and is now recognized as the first and only little company to successfully defend itself against the big Olympic corporation that tried in vain to bully them into submission. Over the years many companies felt the wrath of the IOC and gave in, but Olympia still thrives and is going strong.
Olympia on Denman is a modern day David & Goliath saga, but without the support of all our friends near and far . . . we would not be here.
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
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