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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Guided Tour - Dartmouth

Once the sleepy neighbourhood across the water from Halifax, Dartmouth has become a destination in its own right, with a vibrant downtown that might just be the cool centre of the whole city.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 3:42 PM



Nothing unites people together in quite the same manner as a sporting event, and there is no livelier place to watch the big game than Dave Doolittle's Sportsbar & Grill. With nine TVs—including two big screens— there's something for fans of every sport, as well as the biggest pay-per-view events too. A full kitchen with local favourites and traditional pub fare make Doolittle's a great pick for an evening of fun. If the sporting scene wasn't exciting enough, the stage at Doolittle's features local live entertainment every Friday night and Saturday afternoon, with special events always a possibility. Dave Doolittle's Sportsbar & Grill, 90 Tacoma Drive

After the wildly successful ventures that are Brooklyn Warehouse and Ace Burger in Halifax, Leo and George Christakos decided to take their talents to the other side of the harbour with Battery Park Beerbar & Eatery. A community-based space, with communal open seating, more than 35 tapas-style items on the menu and 15 rotating taps (with a strong emphasis on locally sourced), guests at Battery Park can enjoy a completely different experience each time they visit. The team also partnered up with North Brewing Co., which operates a beer store and growler-filling station on the bottom floor, so guests can take some delicious beer home after dinner too! Battery Park Beerbar & Eatery, 62 Ochterloney Street

Celtic Corner has become “the local” in the truest sense of the word. With a vision from the beginning to establish an old-country Celtic pub: Warm, inviting, friendly and charming—matching the community of downtown Dartmouth. It was to be a place to meet with family and friends at a wedding, a wake or on the weekend and a place to welcome new friends to the neighbourhood. It has become that and more. It constantly changes but it remains the same—a true local institution. Celtic Corner, 69 Alderney Drive

Grown from a feeling that the downtown Dartmouth renaissance wouldn’t be complete without a casual dining spot, great cocktails and glasses of wine, Seventy3 Canadian Fusion was born. Located in the space that formerly housed Dartmouth favourite La Perla, the new tenant had to be something special. Incorporating the old brick and arches of its predecessor, but dressed in a modern, casual and clean fashion, Seventy3 has grown from the old into the new. The food and drink are new-world-dominated and capture the anything goes feel of cuisine in Canada, while embodying the downtown Dartmouth vibe—respect for the past, but a look to the future. Seventy3 Canadian Fusion, 73 Alderney Drive

Hustling classic baked goods, delicious coffee and well-crafted espresso—all with a fresh spin—Honey & Butter is the edible part of the Emporium at New Scotland Yard. The cafe/bake shop is run by Cait Holmes and Alex Babineau, with an ever-changing selection of treats based on what’s seasonally available and whatever mood the duo are in. Their cookie sandwiches may be the most popular item in the shop, but when it comes to fresh-baked might need to try more than one thing (just to be sure). Honey & Butter also offers custom cakes and catering for events, so you can put their spin on any event you need! Honey & Butter, 45 Portland Street

A taste of Southern Italy in Dartmouth, Il Trullo Ristorante draws its inspiration from its ownership; two of which are true Italians that were raised knowing the pleasures of great southern Italian cooking. Boasting a patio that takes full advantage of the waterfront views from the Dartmouth side, Il Trullo bases its menu on four key components—using the best quality ingredients, the fantastic simplicity of southern Italian cuisine, the healthiness of Mediterranean cooking and the emphasis on tradition. The Italian way of cooking and preparing dishes are very special from one community to another, and when you have experienced eating great food in have to share it with everyone. Il Trullo Ristorante, 67 King’s Wharf Place


Elk's Haircutting isn't just your average barber fact if you ask Chris Pennell, it's not a barbershop at all! "I'm a hairdresser, so I do cuts and colours for both men and women." One-third of the trio of businesses that inhabit the Emporium at New Scotland Yard, Elk's essentially is an open-concept hair-cutting shop, with a vinyl store and a cafe as well. While Pennell understands that quality products are a must for any hair salon, the biggest draw to Elk's is the unconventional space, and the dedication he has to creating a comfortable, patient environment where people can get a quality haircut and receive great customer service. Elk's Haircutting, 45 Portland Street

Jillana Burgess founded the Dartmouth Yoga Centre in July 2015 as a home base for herself and other independent teachers. Today, it's a growing collective of six independent yoga instructors, each with the freedom to design their own classes and create an atmosphere that supports their chosen style of yoga. This structure allows teachers to offer affordable yoga classes in smaller, intimate class sizes and provide quality instruction to students. Eager to expand and offer more classes to the community, the DYC is always welcoming new students and instructors to their unique studio loft. Dartmouth Yoga Centre, 122 Portland Street

Urban, waterfront living on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, but in the heart of a city. It almost sounds too good to be true, but that is the beautiful reality residents of King's Wharf get to enjoy every day. More than just a condominium, King's Wharf is a 20-acre development; the residential aspect came first, but a restaurant, coffee house and other services have made the development their home—with much more commercial and retail space to follow! Ferries, buses and King's Wharf's own water taxi provide easy access to downtown Halifax, and pets of all sizes and breeds are welcome. King's Wharf, Prince Street

To establish a generation of skilled athletes in any sport, it starts with fundamental training at the grassroots level. But for Canada's top-rated grassroots soccer program, the training goes far beyond the pitch. Royal City Soccer Club is making its debut in Dartmouth this summer after successfully teaching young Canadians the sport across the country since 1993. Providing youth aged five to 13 years with a focus on soccer skills in a day camp setting, the RCSC also puts an emphasis on communication, teamwork, problem-solving and other essential life skills. Offering free early drop-off and late pick-up, as well as an early bird discount with enrollment before June 1, the RCSC is a new, yet proven, way for children of all ages and abilities to enhance their soccer—and life—skills! Royal City Soccer Club,

It's no secret that the Dartmouth resurgence has included a wide variety of locally-owned shops, boutiques and restaurants, but there is one guiding force that has worked as a support for each and every new member to the Downtown Dartmouth team—the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission. The executive director, Tim Rissesco, has served as a mentor to a great number of entrepreneurs, but the Commission as a whole serves as a collective voice in marketing, event planning, development and municipal issues.It's not just the economic development that drives the DDBC, but seeing your home improve right in front of your eyes is what really makes everyone smile. "It's inspiring to work in downtown Dartmouth and be part of this incredible growth. Our business owners and residents believe in downtown's potential. Downtown Dartmouth is youthful, creative and original—it's one of the most exciting places to be right now." Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, 163 Portland Street

A family-run franchise for more than a decade, Global Pet Foods Dartmouth, welcomed new owners in August 2015—but kept the same dedication to providing healthy pet food options. Now under the guidance of Paige Ryan, the store continues to focus on pet specialties; working independently with Canadian-made private labels, offering the highest quality pet products available. If you're looking for Acana or Orijen pet foods, Global Pet Foods Dartmouth is one of the few locations to carry it. They're also the exclusive retailer of Canine Caviar, the only alkaline-based food that prevents cancer. The store is having a grand reopening May 19-21, giving a chance for customers to meet the new faces of healthy pet food in HRM! Global Pet Foods Dartmouth, 100 Main Street

After rapid growth during the rise of the craft beer revolution, Peter Burbridge made a big splash by jumping across the Halifax Harbour and having his North Brewing Company become the force behind the liquid side of Battery Park Beerbar & Eatery. In addition to being part of the restaurant, Burbridge opened a North Brewing retail store on the bottom floor of the building, which has been just as busy—if not busier—than the original Halifax location. All of North's brews are available, including any sure-to-be sensational one-offs created this summer, plus there is incentive to dine upstairs at Battery Park—any guest who presents their receipt from the restaurant will get 15 percent off their purchase from the retail store. Battery Park Beerbar & Eatery, 62 Ochterloney Street

A yoga studio inspired by tradition, Yogaheart is more than just exercise—it emphasizes improving your overall health and well-being. Established by Mandee Labelle in 2001, classes at Yogaheart feature breathing and meditation intertwined throughout, allowing participants to maximize the benefits of what yoga has to offer. Also considered a Yoga Lifestyle Education Centre, informational workshops on food and nutrition, chakras and energy work, mandala drawing, meditation and more are available to help reinforce a healthy lifestyle beyond the class. Yogaheart also offers an internationally acclaimed 200-hour yoga teacher training program, for more information visit Yogaheart, 61 Dundas Street


Nancy Rector has a simple goal when it comes to her business. "I want to make life easier for parents by carrying awesome products and always being there for them!" A senior of the downtown Dartmouth business scene, Fiddleheads Kids Shop has been open for more than five years, providing customers with products that share one common denominator—providing exceptional value for your money. "Whether it's a stroller that makes getting and out of the house a breeze when you have a newborn," says Rector, "or handmade wool booties from British Columbia, you can see the value in all those things." Plus, Fiddleheads carries I Heart Dartmouth onesies. It doesn't get any cuter than that. Fiddleheads Kids Shop, 300 Prince Albert Road

The direct musical component of the Emporium at New Scotland Yard (aside from the whole Joel Plaskett-ownership thing), Taz Records Dartmouth brings a reputation that has been fortified in the vinyl community for more than 30 years. The selection at Taz Dartmouth is condensed—meaning the focus is on high-end used vinyl and popular new records—but still eclectic. Looking for a Grimes record? Check. Johnny Cash box set? That's there too. Native North American Folk Music box set (in a beautifully crafted box)...yes that's currently calling Taz Dartmouth its home right now as well. But surely not for long. Taz Records Dartmouth, 45 Portland Street

One of the pillars of the craft brewing industry in Nova Scotia, Propeller Brewing Co. ran into a problem at their Halifax location that any business would be happy to have—they grew larger than their building could hold! That prompted a second production and retail outlet, and an opportunity to reach an entirely new clientele, and a chance to become neighbours with a whole new business community. Both locations offer all of the Propeller selections, including the wildly popular IPA, Rye IPA and Extra Special Bitter, in addition to Propeller's always-interesting one-hit wonders and the summer return of the Hefe Weizen. Propeller Brewing Co., 617 Windmill Road

When Korayne Romanchuk designs a bouquet of flowers, it's guaranteed to be artistic, playful, modern...and passionate. "What makes me different is my intentional flare. Approaching a design requires consideration of where the flowers are going and who's receiving them," says Romanchuk. "Each arrangement has a nod to the elements of design with intention to spark some kind of interest." Customers stepping into Koko Mod Floral Design not only are opened to whimsical flowers and valuable flower education, but also a variety of local hand-crafted gifts. A veteran of the film industry, Romanchuk's store allows her to combine her artistry, passion as a florist and willingness to support her community inside the same four walls. Koko Mod Floral Design, 158 Portland Street

Finding the right gift for someone isn't always the easiest task, and thinking outside-the-box —the specialty of Kept Shop—is sometimes the best approach. Charlotte Jewer and the staff have worked to find the best in gift ware from both local and international providers. "With a nod to the sea, we look for items that are well crafted, imaginative and just plain special," she says. "The details are important to us, because we know they are important to you." With a unique blend of items, Kept essentially has something for everyone on any occasion, a result of their passion for mixing timeless pieces with modern items to create an eclectic and one-of-a-kind display. Kept Shop, 75 King Street

A clothing and accessories boutique that specializes in unique items and classic styles, Bodega Boutique houses everything from local and Canadian designers to interesting pieces from the UK, Sweden, Germany and beyond. The fulfillment of a dream by Dartmouth native Kate Hamilton, Bodega Boutique also houses local jewellers and a house brand of costume jewellery—a lot of exclusive options under one roof! Hamilton is also dedicated to improving the community: Her new location now houses The Elizabeth Brown Common Space, which is a permanent space for up-and-coming entrepreneurs to hold pop-up shops and began the quest to fulfill their dreams just as Hamilton did. Bodega Boutique, 63 Portland Street

There's always a bit of apprehension when it comes to making your own wine—mainly, will it turn out well or "Did I just create three cases of cooking wine"—but when you have sommelier Alan Hatton helping you out, assume the wine will be liquid gold. Hatton brings more than 30 years of winemaking experience to his shop Winecrafters, which he describes as "Your own personal winery." The process is simple: start with Hatton and get the process underway, then he handles the hard work, and four-to-six weeks later you've got 30 bottles of wine ready to drink. There's a wide variety of grapes available, but malbec seems to be en vogue—and April 17 was Malbec World Day, so why not keep the trend going! Winecrafters, 590 Portland Street

Celebrating 24 years in business this week, it has been nearly two years since P'LOVERS added its Dartmouth (52 Queen Street) location into the mix. Described both as a lifestyle, and a Maritime institution, P'LOVERS has worked hard to offer Maritimers access to only the best eco/socially conscious alternatives. At this time of year, eco fashion springs into action. "There's something about a new linen outfit or beautiful bamboo dress that puts the bounce in one's step," says owner/operator Shelby Lendrum, who's spent 20 years with P'LOVERS. P'LOVERS remains committed to make mindful living and mindful giving easy for our communities. P'LOVERS, 52 Queen Street

Bold. Clean. Simple. That is the mantra for Kevin and Scott Saccary and their clothing line, New Scotland Clothing Co. With an understanding of the value of community and the pride that comes from representing where you call home, the Dartmouth-raised brothers have created a clothing line that is Canadian-made (with projects in the works for local clothing manufacturers too) and strives to promote where you're from. The brothers are opening a flagship retail outlet, which is expected to launch in early May. "Customers were asking us when we were opening a store, so we decided to listen...and now we're looking forward to meeting them—and new customers—in downtown Dartmouth!" New Scotland Clothing Co., 20 Wentworth Street

Whether you're new parents, soon-to-be parents or just looking for cool mom-centric items, Hazelnut & Rose has you covered. Genny Shaw's boutique provides many classes and events alongside great clothing options for stay-at-home and professional moms alike. The only locally-owned store East of Montreal it finds brands internationally to provide a collection that focuses on style, quality and versatility: all their jackets are 3-in-1; they can be worn through pregnancy, while wearing your baby and the insert can be removed to have a simply stylish jacket as well. She understands that maternity clothes which are useful beyond pregnancy are very important...and tres cool. Hazelnut & Rose, 46 Queen Street


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