DJs in a Chinese restaurant is hardly a conventional Asian dining experience, but then again neither is an Italian running a Chinese restaurant.
Its this unconventionality, however, that has been the recipe for success at Joey Chans Bistro in Creekside.
Since opening in December last year, the restaurant has seen a steady increase in popularity, particularly with the younger population of Whistler.
"Originally we had DJs play at our grand opening party in February. The atmosphere was amazing and we received so much positive feedback that we realized there was a real need for this sort of environment here in Creekside," said general manager Nadio Hachey.
"The kind of music we have playing in the restaurant is mainstream. Its progressive and its what young people are into. Most importantly, it gives people in the area an opportunity to have a good night out, without having to travel into the village."
Since February, the restaurant has designated two nights a week to music. DJs are on the decks starting at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, and on Saturday nights local musician Kostaman entertains the crowd with his energetic reggae performances.
The response from the Creekside regulars prompted Hachey and marketing co-ordinator Stephen Richards to think of new ways to cater to the growing demand.
"Last month we ran our first DJ showdown competition. The standard was great and weve had so much interest DJs literally lining up to compete that weve decided to run it three Tuesdays out of every month now for the rest of the year," said Richards.
Each showdown runs over three weeks. Eight DJs are selected through a screening process conducted by Tuesday night resident DJ duo Monkey Funktional for the competition. The first two weeks feature four DJs per night with the top two from each night going through to the final in week three.
The DJs are evaluated by a three-member judging panel and by crowd response, with cash prizes of $250 for first place and $100 for the runner up thanks to competition sponsor Kokanee.
The next Showdown will get underway on Tuesday Oct. 4 at 9 p.m.
Said Hachey: "Basically its the most fun youll ever have with chopsticks."