About Us

aboutusA Kiwi, an American and two Aussies met while traveling in Europe.  Here is their story:

In 1987, a 27-year old American, Joel Springman, packed his “world traveler” suitcase and began his venture throughout Europe.  It was in Kitzbuhel, Austria, where Joel exited the train and was sought after by an Australian Bloke named Andy Flynn, age 20.  Flynn insisted that the American, Joel, stay at the youth hostel that the Aussie was representing with his mate, Glenn Sheil, age 20.  It would, of course, reap rewards for the young Flynn.  Joel was sold by the Aussies’ sales savvy and agreed to further join them at the Londoner pub that evening.  That night marked the beginning of their adventures in Europe and a lifelong friendship.

It was the spring of 1989 that Joel, Andrew and Glenn moved to London, England.  They all worked at Kensington Place, voted by the London Times as “Restaurant of the Year.”  Joel and Glenn struck management with their boyish good looks and were hired as bartenders.  Flynn, although equally good looking, was more suited to the dish pit.  The American-Aussie combination managed to torment a young Kiwi waiter, Stuart Need.  It is reported that on numerous occasions, Stuart was often found “in the weeds” due to “missing” drink tickets.  To no avail, Stuart found knee-slapping humor in the incidents and would eventually reunite with the trio in North America.  In the fall of 1989, Joel, Andy, Stuart and Glenn parted, and went their separate ways.

Andy flew to North America and continued his travels throughout the United States.  It was in Whistler, British Columbia that he decided to settle.  Joel, at the time in Wisconsin, was called by Andy and ordered to come “check out” Whistler.  Joel brought an investor affiliate, Mitch Garfinkel, to Whistler, who bought Club 10 and founded Garfinkel’s.

Meanwhile, Stuart and Glenn, cold and hungry living in a box of a flat in Scotland, get a much needed phone call from Joel and Andy in Whistler, inviting them to help open the bar.  Stuart and Glenn asked, “Where do we fly in?”

The first Garfinkel’s opened in 1990.  After huge success, Joel and Stuart moved to Vail in 1993 and opened the second Garfinkel’s.  Andy stayed in Whistler.  Joel left Garfinkel’s in 1995 for new ventures, and Glenn returned to Australia and joined the right side of the law.

In 1999, Joel, Andy and Stu reunited to open their own nightclub, Moe Joe’s Cabaret in Whistler, British Columbia.  Glenn made a visit to Whistler and was immediately put to work.  In 2001, Moe Joe’s was voted in the Whistler Pique Locals Poll as “best place to feel at home.”  In 2002, Moe Joe’s was voted “Best Place to Cut a Rug,” “Coolest Staff,” and “Number One and Number Two Bartenders” in town.

Lakanuki opened in April 2003.  Be sure to check out their Nuki Events, they are a don’t miss!