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Thursday, September 1, 2005

A bigger barking lot

T.C. Demaresq browses for business news

Posted on Thu, Sep 1, 2005 at 9:16 AM

After a dog’s age in one location, the Halifax Veterinary Hospital is moving on to greener pastures. The pet care clinic plans to move its operation to the old Lawton’s space at Quinpool and Beech (6485 Quinpool), next to Great Ocean. “It’s got a great parking lot,” says Shelley Flinn, who was working the front desk at the hospital earlier this week. Construction hasn’t started yet at the new space, so at this point, that’s the most compelling detail there is. Of the current space, Flinn says “It’s an old building, there’s not a lot we can do with it any more. But this new place, we can build from scratch, put in things that we can’t do here. We’ve been here so long, and we want to expand, and that’s the only way to do it.” In fact, the Halifax Veterinary Hospital has been at 6293 Quinpool for 50 years, even longer in dog years. Speaking of dogs, the hospital doesn’t board any, though cats often board there. Flinn says the move will happen on a weekend. That way, regular appointments can still go ahead, and the few cats in residence will be moved last of all, for a minimum of upset. Look for the caravan of cats to get on the road around November 1, if the renovations go as planned.

No place like Homesense

You can ask the manager at the new Homesense at Mic Mac Mall how opening day was, but he probably won’t tell you. For that info, you’ll have to call Natalie Jikerjian, a spokesperson in Mississauga, Ontario. Or, you could just keep reading; Shop Talk took care of that heavy lifting for you. Jikerjian, who was in Dartmouth for the August 25 opening, says the day was “very successful. We had a large crowd lined up prior to the store opening. I’d say that’s successful, given that it was raining.” Jikerjian says folks were lined up out front for at least an hour before the doors officially opened. “The carts were gone in the first 20 minutes. We had the mayor there too, handing out carts.” The store, which is a division of discount darling Winners, stocks furniture, linens and various household tchotchkes. The Bayer’s Lake location is scheduled to open October 25. “The existing Winners will stay there,” Jikerjian says, “and we’re adding a stand-alone Homesense. It will be a little bigger than the one in Dartmouth, because it’ll be a store on its own.” Call it a Homesense Alone. Meanwhile, Jikerjian says other local locations could sprout in the future. “Our real estate department is constantly looking for opportunities. And judging from the first day and consumer response in Halifax, it seems to be a perfect fit.”

Liquid assets

Perhaps if Shop Talk spent less time at the bar, we wouldn’t be so late getting this tidbit to you. Liquid, purveyor of potently designed potables accessories, has slid into a better spot in Park Lane Mall. The move happened in early April. But Simone Larder, who owns the shop, is still pretty buzzed about it. “We have the same amount of space,” she says, “so that part’s stayed the same. But it’s better traffic here, and that’s important.” The new spot is on the main thoroughfare on the main level, instead of tucked away in the gloomy recesses of the mall. “That spot at the back, they’ve had to close the entrance at Dresden Row, so no one uses that back escalator anymore. So it’s mostly destination shoppers who go there,” rather than casual walk-by shoppers. “It’s not so bad for a chain,” Larder says of her old space, next to Wicker Emporium, “because people already know the name. But for a new store, an independent store, you’re trying to build your name at the same time, so the more exposure the better.”

Park lame

Speaking of that Dresden Row exit, what gives over there, anyhow? It seems like that construction’s been going on forever. A representative at Park Lane management has a somewhat lukewarm answer. “We don’t have any idea when it will reopen,” she says. “We do have plans to reopen it. Sometime.” But for now, no idea when that construction for CDI will be finished, or when that exit—and the return to an unencumbered flow of commerce—will reopen.

To do: eat candy, work out, buy clothes, get massage

Aerobics First (6166 Quinpool) has a very snazzy new awning. It’s black and red and aerodynamic all over. In fact, Shop Talk can’t walk past it without bursting into a sprint for a moment. Which is cool. Interval training is all the rage, we hear. If you’re looking for new clothes to pour your parts (interval trained or not) into, Girly Peep Show is open for business now on Barrington Street, right next door to its sweet sister store Freak Lunchbox (1723 Barrington). A couple of blocks over, the Argyle Street spot that used to host Kathleen Dunning Designs (1584 Argyle) now promises Banana Clothing is coming soon. Hope that they’ve simply misplaced the word Republic from that sign. And finally, Shop Talk would like to extend happy first birthday wishes to Violet Spa (91 Woodlawn, Dartmouth). Co-owner Leah Dauphinee, one of two massage therapists at the spa, says the success of the first year has “been beyond expectations.” The best thing this year? “Being busy enough to hire a second esthetician,” she says. Nadia Hiller is the newest Violet femme to join the team to help keep up with the demand for pampering in Dartmouth and beyond.

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