Barkerville Brewmaster – Nicolas Cunio

Barkerville Brewery

Barkerville Brewery

Nicolas Cunio was known as the brewmaster of Barkerville. In June, 1865, Cunio and Chancellier established a saloon where they also sold Cunio’s beer and porter. 

“Pronounced by the best judges to be of the Finest Quality; it is sold at the following rates: Wholesale, per gallon, $3; Retail, per gallon, $4; half gallon, $2; quart, $1.”

Unfortunately, Cunio and Chancellier’s saloon developed a reputation as a place of disreputable characters. W.G. Cox, who presided over the Cariboo Police Court remarked that “he regretted to say that rows were of frequent occurrence in Barkerville, especially in the house of Chancellier and Cunio, and he was determined to stop them…by withdrawing their license and shutting the house up…”

Eventually, Cox got his wish and on May 23, 1866 a notice appeared in the Cariboo Sentinel:

“The co-partnership heretofore existing between Messrs. J.B. Chancellier and N. Cunio has been dissolved today by mutual agreement. Mr. Cunio remains sole proprietor of the Barkerville Brewery.”

In September of the same year, Cunio joined forces with Thomas Barry, owner of the Gazelle Billiard Saloon in Camerontown. Together they purchased the “Fashion Saloon” where they sold liquor and cigars and hosted “first class music and dancing every evening.”

On December 12, 1866, Cunio and Barry dissolved their partnership. Barry assumed ownership of the Fashion Saloon with Sam Addler.  This was the site of the great Barkerville Fire less than two years later.