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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Mumford's the word

T.C. Demaresq browses for business words

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2007 at 2:20 PM

The shelves are different (and piney!), and the porn's gone. Indeed, change is in the air at Mumford Video (7037 Mumford). Why the make-over? As of June 1, the store's had a new owner. "We're reviving it; we're re-doing it. We're renovating," says Judith Gavin, the new owner in question. "It's like we're rescuing a puppy." The video store is the first business that Gavin has owned. "I've been looking for something, and when this came up, I was like, "Oh my god, it's in my neighborhood,'" she says. In addition to being a fan of the store's convenience, Gavin's also a fan of its content—she's been a movie fan for years, and took some film courses as part of her undergrad degree. Since taking over the store, Gavin has repainted the store, rearranged its shelves, and updated its computer inventory. Track lighting, spiffy black-and-white floors, and new section signs are also on the way soon. The store's selection has expanded, too. Gavin's brought in tonnes of documentaries and foreign flicks, and she's beefed up her collection of boxed sets. All the store's renovations should be finished by October. That's also when Gavin is hoping to give the store one final fancy update: a new yet-to-be-determined name. "I have one in mind, but I don't want to say anything yet...It's gotta be the right name," she says. Contact Mumford Video at 454-9000.

Marquee mark

Whip out your hankie, rock show fans, and get ready to cry tears of joy. As of Sept. 28 The Marquee Club will re-open as a regular music venue. Starting then, the club will be open four days a week, every week, from Wednesday until Saturday. The club's opening weekend will feature shows from Slowcoaster and Broken Social Scene founder Kevin Drew, who will be playing songs from his recent solo album Spirit If (backed by members of Broken Social Scene).

Tea, times two

If you've spent the last few months mourning the demise of the Starr's Bakery and Dessert Cafe in Dartmouth, perk up. The Queen of Cups Too, a sister cafe to the beloved Queen of Cups, is set to open in the former Starr's Bakery space (at 55 Portland Street), sometime during early September. Before Chantelle Reid, the owner of Starr's, moved to the Valley, she took steps to ensure that her store space would be put to good use. "We made an agreement that I would buy her equipment and take over her lease. Because neither of us wanted to see what she had brought to the downtown disappear," says Shelley Goodson, the owner/manager of both Queen of Cups locations. Goodson put up a sign recently on the new cafe's door, announcing the her plans; since then, she's gotten over 200 enthusiastic calls and emails from people looking to find out a more concrete opening date. "I think people are really looking forward to it...I am sort of working 24/7 so that they aren't disappointed," says Goodson. Like the Queen of Cups, the Queen of Cups Too will be offering delicious food made from scratch and a mind-boggling assortment of organic teas and Fair Trade coffees. But the new location's smaller, less formal and only has seating space for 10 to 12 people, so its main focus will be providing visitors with yummy take-out, quickly. The Queen of Cups Too is also equipped with a schmancy espresso machine, which means specialty coffees will abound. Plus, there's talk of "killer brownies" and "really great homemade soup." We're on the ferry already.

Speaking of royalty...

Sushi Nami Royale, the downtown core's newest sushi restaurant, is now open for business at 1535 Dresden. The sushi-savvy may recognize the Sushi Nami name—there are Sushi Nami kiosks in both the Sunnyside Mall in Bedford and the Pete's Frootique on Dresden. Sushi Nami Royale owner Dae C. Jon, who no longer owns the Bedford kiosk, has always planned to open a sushi restaurant; he's just been waiting to find the perfect location to house it. He's also got big business plans for the Sushi Nami empire: "Within two or three years, we're going to have at least...three or four more restaurants around the greater Halifax area—and then, we're even moving out of the province," says Jon. Sushi Nami Royale's menu is extensive, and among its offerings, it features unique fusion rolls, created exclusively for the restaurant by Jon and head chef John Sam, a 23-year veteran of the sushi business. If this all sounds a little too fancy and pricey for you, drop by the restaurant during its daily Tsu-Nami hours (3 to 5pm and 9:30pm to midnight). That's when sushi-loving penny-pinchers can order from the store's special Tsu-Nami-hour menu for 20 percent off the menu's listed prices. Learn more at www.sushinami.ca.

Shop Talk-lets

The new cafe moving into the former Vivo Bistro (Windsor and Almon) has a name: The Brooklyn Warehouse. The cafe's set to open in the next two weeks...Random Play on Barrington has moved...but not far. Over the weekend, the used CD store moved two doors over, from one side of The Pogue Fado to the other. The store's already open in its new location...The new Thai joint at 1546 Queen, Chabaa Thai Restaurant, opened for business last Saturday. Want to learn more about what they've got cookin'? Check back next week.

Email me at shoptalk@thecoast.ca. We’ll talk. About shops.

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