Wrong Piano, Great Ale in Oliver

agnes pianoA few weeks back I wrote a post about a piano we inherited with the house we bought in Oliver. It became a kind of journey through the history of Oliver vicariously narrated by my friends Vicki Huffman from ReMax and Bruce Fuller of Rustico Cellars, and got me excited about possibly finding Georgiana Evans’ lost piano of Fairview.

Now, I have to take it all back.

When we lasted visited the house in February, Vickie was kind enough to bring Georgiana’s daughter Agnes Sutherland over to identify the old piano. Agnes looks terrific for a woman of 96 and she took her time descending the stairs into the basement where the piano is living.

When she saw the white piano, the first thing she said was, “I don’t know where anyone got the idea it was mother’s.”


Turns out, her mother’s piano was a Heintzman. Ours is a Williams. And like a great wine going down the toilet, there went my historic lost piano story.

Of course, Bruce doesn’t want just another old piano at his winery. He wanted Agnes’s mother’s piano. So there goes my plan to have him move it to Rustico.

Unfortunately, the family who moved into our house is not musically inclined, so they don’t need it.

war services, tastingroomconfidential.com

So, does anyone want to buy a nice old piano?

Agnes did say it sounded good. It’s good looking, despite a few dings and the white paint job, and it does has a nifty plaque on the back that says “Property of Canadian YMCA War Services.”

We would let it go for a best offer from anyone willing to move it themselves. Please email me if you’re interested.

After that, Ivana and I needed a drink.

So we headed up to our new favorite hangout in Oliver, the Firehall Bistro, for dinner. This time we weren’t going to lose out by waiting too long. We arrived about 6:30 and it place was hopping. Still, we got a table near the imitation fireplace, which was very cozy.

ivana ribs

The main thing we were after was a frosty mug of Scorpion Double India Pale Ale.

Made by Tin Whistle in Penticton, this ale packs a punch like nobody’s brother. Weighing in at 8% alcohol, the Scorpion grabs you by the throat with its inviting aromas of citrus and orange rind, and puts you in a headlock of sweet, heady hoppyness. You almost don’t taste the alcohol, but one pint is certainly enough.

Plus, the Scorpion goes with food. We ordered cups of the creamy and savory clam chowder to start, and were nearly sated. Then we split a full slab of chef Bill Reid’s famous slow braised pork ribs after drooling over the sight of a rack going by on a tray.

The ribs were perfectly cooked, with giant pieces of meat pulling easily from the bones. I think we ordered the regular sauce, as they weren’t too, too spicy, but there were definitely juicy and rib-sticking. Perfect for cold weather and furniture moving. Perfect with the Scorpian.

The Firehall Bistro is an old firehouse near the corner of Fairview and Hwy 97. The interior is stylishly woody with three different seating areas. I can’t wait until Summer when they roll up the old garage doors and serve on the front patio. I hear they have misters.

This a great place to see a cross section of the local citizenry, which I have to say, looks startlingly like the crowd from Sonoma County.

There is also the Firehall Brewery downstairs, run by Jim and Sid Ruhland, whose ales I feel we should be drinking, being local and all. But when we come to the Firehall, we just want to drink the Scorpion on tap. We

were recently delighted to find it’s served at the FanClub in Vancouver, so maybe next time we’ll get a Firehall Ale.

So, if you want good grub and grog, go to the Firehall Bistro in Oliver. If you want a beautiful, white, antique upright piano, contact me here.

You’ll be happy with either.


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Wine of Canada

Mari Kane

Mari is a writer, blogger and WordPress consultant, living in Vancouver, BC, the most wine-soaked town north of the 49th Parallel. She also blogs about WordPress web design at Blogsite Studio.com. Follow her on Twitter or Google Plus.