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Thursday, March 9, 2006

Grill powers

T.C. Demaresq browses for business news.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 9, 2006 at 12:13 PM

Deco Restaurant at 5518 Spring Garden is changing the theme of their downstairs cafe, which will now be focusing more on barbequed fare. “The place has got a facelift, and it’s now got all the right equipment to do barbeque properly,” says Deco owner Philip Levangie. Levangie describes the thought process behind the new space, which is set to open under the new theme on Friday: “When we opened the space as a cafe, we always intended to be open at night—we just never knew as what,” he says. “But so far, almost everyone we spoke to seemed excited about chicken and ribs.” The cafe will also have a new look to go with the new menu. “I landed some beautiful art deco lights from a Baltimore yacht club that was built in 1928,” says Levangie. “If you were in an old diner in the ’40s, this would be your basic bacon and eggs diner, but the fit and finish of the lights that went down the centre of that diner would be outstanding.”

Lofty ambition

A variety of new classes are now being offered at The Yoga Loft, all with one common goal: to make yoga more accessible. Owner Robert Webber says that he had always intended to open up the Yoga Loft to as many people as possible, even those who might not normally have a chance to participate. “Some people on are a lower income, some people are ill, some people are on assistance, some people just don’t have the time to get out as often,” says Webber. “We’re not just here to make money, we also want to create community. With these programs, we’re looking to cross the boundary between being a business and being a non-profit organization.” The new programs, which have all begun in March, include Yoga for Chronic Pain (the first class is free, and financial assistance available thereafter for students who require it), Yoga for the Young at Heart, which includes a discount for any students aged 60 and over, and a Moms and Babies class, during which the Yoga Loft will be offering professional child care. Details about all of the new classes can be found on the Yoga Loft’s website: www.theyogaloft.ca

Tasty hiatus

Phoenicia Speciality Foods is now closed, but the store will re-open in the fall. The store will keep the same address at 2594 Agricola, but not the same building—the old store is being demolished to make way for a brand new facility. “The building is quite old, and we had the opportunity to get a brand new commercial space,” says owner Sonia Menendez, “and we can also get a little bit bigger.” The new building will also house a number of new apartments, which will co-exist in the same building with Phoenicia. Menendez says that regular customers are looking forward to the change. “The customers, they were very supportive, saying ‘Oh, we’re going to miss you.’ But when they found out that all of this meant that there would be better services for them, they were fine with that.”

Raising the bar

Peddler’s Pub has been under new management for the past two weeks. Brad Hartlin is part of a group of minority investors who have taken over the downtown sports bar. According to Hartlin, renovations are in the works, but Peddler’s regulars shouldn’t worry about any drastic changes to their beloved bar. “We are going to renovate the entire place, straight through from the walls to the floors to the painting,” says Hartlin, “but we’re trying to keep the traditional atmosphere. The renovations are going to be cosmetic.”

Care package

A group of professional health care workers have started a business to assist clients who need a hand caring for their elderly relatives. “Right now, there are a number of people in the baby boom generation that are dealing with issues relating to their aging parents, and it’s not an easy thing,” says vice president Gail Bruhm, one-third of the staff at Care Management for Seniors. In addition to managing and advising on senior health care issues for locals, Bruhm also wants to help distant clients who have a senior relative living in Halifax. “One of our focuses is on people who don’t live here, but have their older relative living here. So, they often don’t know exactly what’s going on here, and that’s the monitoring piece that we will be getting into.” For more information, send Bruhm an email at: caremanagement.gb@ns.sympatico.ca

From the mouth of the cannon

Garrison Brewery has finished moving into its new location near Pier 21. This week, Garrison released the first batch of beer brewed in the new facility—a supply of Irish Red, which is already flowing in bars around the city. “It’s the same equipment, the same recipe, the same ingredients, the same guys brewing—it’s really just the same thing, just picked up and moved to a new location” says Garrison’s sales and marketing manager Todd Hoffman. “People shouldn’t notice too much of a difference.” Another exciting brewery development: Garrison has opened their new cold beer store at 1149 Marginal. Unlike Garrison’s old hours of operation, the new store will now be open seven days a week. “It’s a much larger retail outlet, and the brewery itself is much larger than before as well,” says Hoffman.

Got business news a-brewing? Email: shoptalk@thecoast.ca

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