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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cleaning out the Attica

Megan Wennberg browses for business news.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 27, 2006 at 5:16 PM

Attica house wares and furniture store is moving uphill, from 1652 Granville to 1566 Barrington, in the space formerly occupied by Upcountry. “It’s double the size,” says manager Keir Lowther of the new space. “We have lots of great clientele and lots of great products but we’re just not able to showcase what we carry .” The extra room will allow Attica to display a fuller range of products offered by their suppliers, while also giving more room to each display. “We’re really looking to grow, and there’s a lot more visibility and traffic in that area,” says Lowther. “We still get tons of people coming by and being like ‘Oh, this is such a great store, how long have you been here?’ And they’re thinking we’re here for like, a year, and actually we’re here for nine years and before that we were on Gottingen Street.” Attica plans to be open for business on Barrington in early August.

Veggies in a wrap, with a twist

The Soup’er Sandwich at 1820 Hollis is changing its name to Twisted Greens, and will celebrate its new identity on August 8. Catering manager Carla George says the new name will allow them to “make more interesting food,” and “we can have more fun with it than we could have with the other name, it was kind of comfortable and safe.” New menu items include the “twisted life roll,” with guacamole spread on a wrap, and all-fruit smoothies. “If you want to add alcohol, you ask for it twisted,” says George. Original menu items will stay the same, as will the promise of all homemade meals. “Our main thing is healthy,” she says. “Vegans are welcome, vegetarians are welcome, meat-eaters are welcome. Whatever you’re eating, try to think healthy.” And twisted. “You got so many places where you can just get the same thing anywhere,” says George, “and we want to be that different place, where if you’re feeling like something with a twist, you come on down.”

De-Luxx

Luxx, a new restaurant in the former Birmingham Grill location in Parklane Mall, opened “very, very, very softly” last Saturday night. The location, with a large patio overlooking Spring Garden, is no stranger to owner Victor Fienberg, who was the original owner of Birmingham Grill. “I sold it, and here I am again,” he says. “It’s different, you know, you think it’s like riding a bike, but it’s kind of all new to me again.” Luxx will strive to be both comfortable and contemporary, in everything from decor to menu items. “It goes all the way through what we’re trying to do,” says Feinberg, “for example we have an incredible meatloaf: red wine, portobello mushroom sauce and wasabi mashed potaoes. So we’ve taken something kind of old and boring and really modernized it and made it comfort food with a contemporary flair.” As for the grand opening, Feinberg has yet to set a date. “I want to be careful, I want to be pretty close to perfect before we do any huge things,” he says. “If you do grand openings too quickly and they’re not good, you can kill yourself before you open.”

Coffee corner

Starbucks Coffee will open their long-awaited Spring Garden and Queen location in early August. Starbucks at Spring Garden and Robie has been open since May and is “doing great.” So why open a second store on the same street, only one kilometre away? “Our customers tell us that there’s a need for a second store downtown,” says Patrick Keefe, general manager of Coffee Vision Atlantic (the Atlantic division of Coffee Vision Inc., which holds the exclusive corporate license for Starbucks Coffee outlets across Quebec and the Maritimes). “There really are two separate neighbourhoods, there’s residential and university and hospitals west of Robie, and then the downtown shopping district.” Starbucks downtown will offer the same range of caffeinated (and non-) beverages, food and merchandise as its locations around the world, and Keefe expects the new store will be welcomed by the area. Including neighbours Second Cup, Timothy’s and Tim Hortons. “I think they’ll be quite pleased,” says Keefe of the competition. “It will bring more people to the area, more coffee drinkers. Our experience in other markets has been that when Starbucks opens a store it doesn’t necessarily impact other businesses. In other markets we’ve actually grown the specialty coffee segment.”

Odds ’n’ ends ’n’ things to come

And speaking of the building on the corner of Spring Garden and Queen, the long-rumoured American Apparel store is still supposedly on its way. The AA website says the Spring Garden location is “Coming Soon.”… A new gym is now open in Bishop’s Landing. PUSH Fitness Halifax can be found at 1475 Lower Water. … Check out the spiffy new sign on display in front of Just Us! Fair Trade Shop and Coffee Bar at 1678 Barrington. … Concepts School of Cosmetology has moved north, from Agricola to Commission, between Kempt and Lady Hammond. … Watch for a new shoe store, Soled Out, moving in to 5239 Blowers. … Nick n’ Willys Pizza now has a prominent business sign at 6169 Quinpool near the Superstore. A poster in the window says they’re now hiring, and will be opening soon.

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