Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

ENCOURAGING A DISHEARTENED BUSINESS OWNER – Antoinette Oliphant is seen in the patio portion of her restaurant.

Help cheers victim of endless break-ins

Antoinette Oliphant admits it took a few days for her to agree to let her friends Gary and Kristine Lachance launch a fundraiser to help her better secure her restaurant and install a security system.

By Stephanie Waddell on May 19, 2017

Antoinette Oliphant admits it took a few days for her to agree to let her friends Gary and Kristine Lachance launch a fundraiser to help her better secure her restaurant and install a security system.

After 14 break-ins over two years though, Oliphant said she realized she had to swallow her pride and accept the help being offered.

As she noted, going into the restaurant business is something she does because of her passion for food. It has not made her rich, and it can be difficult at times to find the money for major items like security systems.

“I love this gig,” she said Thursday afternoon of owning and operating Antoinette’s and sharing her love of good food with her customers.

And that support from so many in the community has been overwhelming, she told the Star inside her Fourth Avenue restaurant.

“I’m feeling the love,” Oliphant said, noting she was “totally blown away” when her friends said they wanted to do a fundraiser.

As of Thursday afternoon – the fourth day of the gofundme campaign – $6,555 had been generated. A live fundraiser is set to happen at the restaurant on June 16, when Oliphant rings in her birthday.

On the gofundme page, Gary Lachance described the reasons behind the campaign noting: “We love what Antoinette and her family have brought to the Yukon – their generosity, compassion, kindness and spirit.

“We appreciate the diversity and richness she has shared in the arts and business community.”

He goes on to highlight Oliphant’s work ethic, passion for food and dedication she puts into her restaurant “providing her customers with memorable dining experiences.

“We hate the thoughtless vandals, thieves and burglars who have struck her restaurant repeatedly and stolen her sense of security and disheartened and dismayed her personally.”

The money raised is aimed at putting in place protection for the windows at Antoinette’s, better securing the back deck and installing an effective security system.

“We want the vandalism and thefts to stop,” he wrote.

As Oliphant describes it, most of the windows have been smashed at some point by vandals who have broken in.

On the back deck, she points to a window that was boarded-up after the most recent incident.

“It gets pretty disheartening,” she said. “You start to feel targeted.”

After those feelings started to set in, Oliphant said, she had to shake herself and remind herself that those who are infiltrating and vandalizing places like the restaurant are angry, tired, hungry and have any other number of issues going on.

And it’s clear she has the community behind her to better secure her restaurant from vandals.

While the plans would see the windows of the restaurant secured, Oliphant said there will likely be a theme to the design of the window protection that fits with the restaurant. Perhaps, it will have something to do with limes or water.

Window protection won’t be “prison-like,” Oliphant said.

As the gofundme campaign continues, plans are also underway for the June 16 fundraiser and birthday celebration at the restaurant. Live entertainment and great food are planned for the evening.

Comments (7)

Up 7 Down 1

Name Withheld on May 24, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Hahaha. If you had any idea of what night shift looks like for M division, you'd know why it couldn't be any other way. Hahaha. Prevent crime? Hahaha

Up 12 Down 4

drum on May 23, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Who is the landlord? It is an old building and he/she is lucky to rent it for anything.
Wonderful that the community is coming to the rescue - but the landlord should be ensuring better security!!!!!!!! The landlord should have had alarms installed a long time ago.

Up 17 Down 4

yukonmom on May 22, 2017 at 9:06 pm

Where is the landlord on all this? is he/she stepping up to match the donations? I would think a lot of money has been made on the rent of this somewhat substandard building over the years, that Antoinette has nonetheless done an amazing job of decorating. Surely the landlord benefits from the safety improvements as well.

Up 16 Down 4

Josey Wales on May 21, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Vlad....three words, nefarious feral humans.
Three more...bleeding heart judges.
Perhaps M should get a net gun and round up some of these NFH?
...to that the BHJ's release them.
Lather rinse repeat, seldom gets the scum out.

Up 23 Down 9

ProScience Greenie on May 20, 2017 at 11:12 am

Great eatery and great owner. How about a gofundme campaign to have way more police walking the streets after last call to deter and arrest the thugs and vandals roaming the streets and back alleys of Whitehorse. Chasing the crack dealers that are everywhere out of the Yukon would also help.

Up 28 Down 5

vlad on May 19, 2017 at 6:19 pm

14 break ins, and it is almost next to the RCMP headquarters, What is wrong?

Up 27 Down 4

Lyle Lanley on May 19, 2017 at 5:31 pm

this restaurant is TWO blocks from the police station
seems like an internal alarm would have prevented SOME of those break-ins

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