Longtime Nelson bartender Joe 'Cheech' Richichi outside the New Grand.

Longtime Nelson bartender Joe 'Cheech' Richichi outside the New Grand.

Joe Cheech marks milestone

One of Nelson’s most colourful characters is celebrating half a century by helping others.

One of Nelson’s most colourful characters is celebrating half a century by helping others.

Joe “Cheech” Richichi is turning 50 in early October and to celebrate is hosting a party at the New Grand banquet room. Instead of gifts, he’s asking those who attend to bring food items for the Nelson Food Cupboard.

“I’m asking everybody who I’ve served drinks to over the last 30 years to come down and bring a can of food or two,” says Richichi.

For 30 years Richichi has been pouring drinks as a bartender. First at the Kootenay Cattle Company (in the basement of the current Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences building), the Hume Hotel and now the New Grand Hotel where he has been for the last 13 years.

Richichi will have food, music and door prizes for those that attend the October 6 party. It starts at 7 p.m. and Richichi says if you can’t make it, then still bring by some food items to the New Grand between now and then.