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Thursday, June 29, 2006

If you build it…

Megan Wennberg browses for business news.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 29, 2006 at 11:07 AM

…They won’t always come. Robert Stevenson learned this the hard way with The Donut Machine. Both locations closed June 10, pulling the plug on fresh, homemade donuts on both sides of the harbour. The Donut Machine was open for three and a half years at 269 Windmill in Dartmouth, and for 13 months at 5986 Spring Garden. “Windmill Road was not profitable but it paid for itself,” says Stevenson, “and everybody was saying, ‘Go to Halifax, go to Halifax.’ So we did and that was the end of the business. We lost money every single day we were open on Spring Garden Road. And of course that had to stop at some point.” Stevenson’s donuts were made with local and organic ingredients where possible, including flour from Speerville Mill in New Brunswick. “There were a lot of good things about the business, but somehow it had to make money and it never did,” says Stevenson. “The way I summarize it is, I can make and sell really good donuts and not enough people care.”

Sunday tea and biscuits

Biscuit General Store at 1661 Argyle is now open Sundays. “Basically some other people were, so we thought we’d give it a try and it actually has turned out pretty good for us,” says manager Chris Pasquet. “Even when it was rainy we were pretty busy yesterday.” Biscuit’s first Sunday was June 17, and they plan to remain open Sundays from 1 to 5pm for the foreseeable future.

Taste of Lebanon

Tarboosh Lebanese Cuisine opened Monday at 5566 Fenwick, between Fenwick Flower World and Subway. “We’re stressed out,” said owner Melissa Khoury-Mitri, laughing. “No, it’s really good. Things are going really well and steady.” Khoury-Mitri co-owns Tarboosh with husband Roody Mitri, and the two hope to give customers a good meal, and a feel for the country of Lebanon. An educational documentary about Lebanon will run on a small TV in the restaurant, and the space has been “designed to look a little like what you would see in Lebanon,” says Khoury-Mitri. “To kind of take you there and give you a little taste of the food.” The menu comprises a variety of BBQ skewers, salads and dips, available for both eat-in and take-out. Tarboosh is open daily from 11am until 9pm.

They haven’t found your cat. Or mittens.

Lost and Found will celebrate an art opening this Saturday, with a shop opening to follow on July 7. The new art gallery/clothing boutique is located at the corner of Agricola and Harris and is owned by Sherry Jollymore and Jayson Milanson. Saturday’s art opening will feature 13 paintings by Jay LaPierre, then the space will close for another week while Jollymore and Milanson put the finishing touches on the store. In addition to art, Lost and Found will offer clothes by independent clothing designers, “choice” vintage clothing, vintage collectibles and old vinyl. Items from Jollymore’s own clothing line, Fancy Pants Designs, will also be for sale. “I do a lot of re-purposing of vintage pieces,” says Jollymore. “I add new buttons, put stencils on it; I kind of just mess around with it.”

Cuban circus

Trapeze restaurant opened June 1 in the former home of TGI Fridays in the Casino. “It’s going good so far, people are raving,” says front-of-house manager Annette Nippard. “The whole atmosphere has changed—it’s not so loud and boisterous now. We like to call it upscale casual.” The menu is also new, though some items remain, like burgers, ribs and chicken fingers, while others have been replaced by pastas, a lobster dinner and an all-day breakfast. The restaurant features “the best patio in the city,” according to Nippard. As for the name, it’s loosely tied to the Cuban-style theme featured throughout the Casino. “Trapeze was based on the first newspaper that Ernest Hemingway edited, and Hemingway was very big on Cuba,” explains Nippard.

Simple plan

King Pin Dermagraphic Studio opened Monday at 8A Oland Crescent in Bayers Lake. Owner and tattoo artist Jody Kinghorn used to own East Coast Ink in Dartmouth. The new studio offers custom tattoos designed to meet clients’ wishes, and Kinghorn especially enjoys working with grayscale and realism. “I like making people happy with their tattoos,” says Kinghorn.

Short snappers

Shop Talk jumped the gun last week, stating that UpCountry furniture store at 1566 Barrington is closed. UpCountry is still open, but will close for good at end of day on Saturday, July 1. Sorry for the confusion.… Syn restaurant on Blowers is now closed. It follows hot on the heels of The Cavern. Neither business could make a go of it in the once-successful former location of La Cave.… Last Tuesday, June 27, jane’s on the common unveiled a modest expansion, adding 10 seats to the perennially packed dining room. jane’s is closed Mondays, so construction happened over several weeks of Mondays. That way, the restaurant didn’t have to shut down for the renovations.… In Quinpool Road news, Taishan Asian Grocery opens this week in the ex-Candy Bowl space near Beech. Later this summer, Nick-N-Willy’s World Famous Pizza will open in Quinpool Centre, in the former home of Bare Necessities Day Spa.

Make your business world-famous. email tips to: shoptalk@thecoast.ca

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