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Thursday, January 19, 2006

New face(s)

T.C. Demaresq browses for business news.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2006 at 12:34 PM

Georgio’s restaurant in the Prince George Hotel at 1725 Market closed January 2 for renovations. The restaurant is expected to re-open in three months, after a thorough overhaul. “Absolutely everything’s changing,” says operations manager Craig Norton, “the menu, the decor, the wine list. It’s going to have a new name, a new identity, a total new face.” One of the Prince George’s employees is less enthusiastic, and says the renovations cost a number of former employees their jobs. “They’ve been planning the refurbishing, the re-construction of the place and the re-naming for a few years, and they finally got around to it, and they told people they would have to re-apply for their own jobs,” says the employee. “As soon as they closed it, they called up a couple of people who’d worked there over 10 years, and just said ‘you’re done, you don’t have a job anymore,’ and that was that. It’s kind of an issue for the whole hotel now, because everyone’s feeling, ‘Well, who’s next?’ People are afraid for their job security.” Norton declined to comment on the situation—”I’m just going on the fact that we have a new identity coming in three months”—but says some employees, including chef Ray Bear, will continue at the new “much more modern” restaurant.

Hair lift

Anni’s Hair Oasis at 2657 Agricola re-opened Tuesday after two weeks of renovations. “I put new flooring in, new walls, new lighting, new cutting chair,” says owner Anni Isenor-Culligan. “How can I explain what I did? I gave it a make-over. Not an extreme make-over, but a make-over.” Isenor-Culligan has been doing hair for 27 years, the past four of which have been out of her home salon, where she offers clients one-on-one private hair services, including all chemical work and cuts. The renovations are intended to reward loyal clients, and in the summer the salon windows overlooking her back garden will give a true “oasis” feel to the new space. “I think it’s important to keep your place fresh,” says Isenor-Culligan, “people are coming in to your environment, you’re creating an experience. I think it’s important to maintain your business and not let it get tired looking, and it was getting tired looking so it was time.”

Community caffeine

Local Jo Cafe and Market at the corner of Oxford and Liverpool celebrates one year in business next month. Co-owner Jennifer Corson attributes the cafe’s success to its surroundings: “All the cross-sections in our neighbourhood in the west end,” she says. “There are people who are working here, people who are living here, people who drive past here on their way downtown.” Starting January 1, Local Jo is now open at 7:30am as opposed to 8am, and also offers activities including an Irish Music Night, Knit Night and Vegan Day. “There are lots of people just wanting to get out, and it’s comfortable for all ages,” says Corson. “We’ve got seniors coming in to do their crosswords, parents meeting with their five strollers, kids after school coming in eating cookies and cappuccinos.” For a complete calendar of events, visit localjo.ca.

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