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Friday, December 21, 2018

Taking care of business: 2018's standout openings and closings

A highlight reel of small biz news

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2018 at 2:34 PM

Clockwise from top left: The Has Bin, Zakka Mart, Cafe Good Luck, Darling Tattoos, Rasa - DYLAN CHEW, MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON, IAN SELIG, LENNY MULLINS
  • Clockwise from top left: The Has Bin, Zakka Mart, Cafe Good Luck, Darling Tattoos, Rasa

A year isn’t a year until you start making lists, checking ’em twice and remembering all of the good, bad and ugly things that came together to make and/or break it. In the world of local business, we saw lots of growth—especially in Dartmouth and north end Halifax—dealt with some really bad bosses and thanked god the old Oxford Theatre hasn’t been knocked over, yet. A lot of cool stuff happened, but here are the Coles notes about how 2018 went down.

Despite bidding neighbourhood haunts like The Anchor (3625 Dutch Village Road), La Cave de Strasbourg (3104 Highway 2), Canadiana Restaurant (15 Lakelands Boulevard) and Epicurious Morsels (5529 Young Street) adieu, the food and drink scene did pretty well for itself. Dartmouth scored big time with Lake City Cider and Brightwood Brewing’s (35 Portland Street) shared swilling space, Aly Mae’s Bread Basket (11 Mount Hope Avenue) reminded us the Mary’s Bread Basket cinnamon bun is still alive, Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse (612 Windmill Road) gave Burnside a saucy spot to hangout and Cafe Good Luck (145 Portland Street) made us all feel like we won the god damn lottery.

The Little Oak family brought The Ostrich Club (5529 Young Street) to life in the Hydrostone, Deeksha Bhaskar debuted Rasa (1542 Birmingham Street) in the former Fireside, The Exchange on Hollis (1579 Hollis Street) went big with its 200-plus seater while Yoshi Suzuki encouraged take-out from his tiny Tokyo Roll (1598 Argyle Street). You didn’t live if you didn’t Instagram your tayaki ice cream cone at Taiyaki 52 (2009 Brunswick Street) or visit Shivani Dhamija at her new Shivani’s Kitchen at the Seaport Farmers’ Market, probably died when you heard Vandal Doughnuts (2605 Agricola Street) was closing and can’t stop taco-ing (sorry) about the Rinaldo brothers’ Taco Lina’s which took its place in Gus’ Pub. Hopyard Beer Bar (2103 Gottingen Street) kept it interesting with rotating menus while Kam Moon (2013 Brunswick Street) introduced us to Egyptian flat bread, and Cha Baa Thai (5813 Demone Street), Lemon Tree (805 Bedford Highway) and Morris East (1984 Vernon Street) multiplied.

Coffee drinkers had to keep caffeinated to follow all the action: Pro Skates lost Anchored Coffee (6451 Quinpool Road) and gained The Atomic Cafe in its place, four of six Smiling Goats went out to pasture after labour issues went public and Glitter Bean (5896 Spring Garden Road) gave us a reason to believe good things happen to good people. Coffee Matters opened three locations, The Nook (936 Bedford Highway) doubled up, Cafe Marco Polo (15-105 King’s Wharf Place) brought some buzz to Dartmouth’s condo strip, Cafe Lara (2347 Agricola Street) brightened a bleak abandoned laundromat, The Tare Shop (5539 Cornwallis Street) went waste-free and Lion & Bright (2534 Agricola Street) faded to black.

We got a Rage Room (2820 Isleville Street), a pussy palace (Lily Pad Cat Lounge, 590 Portland Street) and a meditation space (Flo, 1574 Argyle Street). Bib ‘N Tucker (6423 Quinpool Road) bowed out after over 40 years while Flower Child (5189 Prince Street) and Baby Chic (1139 Bedford Highway) welcomed little ones and their caretakers to try something new and Coffin Skate Shop (2456 Agricola Street) rolled into town full steam ahead. We said hey to Blue Collar Barbershop (2272 Gottingen Street) and Darling Tattoos (2590 Oxford Street), later days to longstanding gems P’Lovers and Gedde’s Furniture (2739 Agricola Street) and poured one out for Liu’s Formosa House (278 Wyse Road).

There was a lot of action during this blur of a year. We haven’t even touched on bakeries—The Bread Lounge (5880 Demone Street), Dina’s Sour Dough (3540 Novalea Drive) and Halifax Bread Factory (800 Windmill Road)—The Has Bin (269 Windmill Road), Zakka Mart (2180 Robie Street) or when everyone freaked about Kelly’s Deli’s (30 Farnham Gate Road) $3.50 subs. For a more fleshed out look at 2018’s arrivals and departures, KEEP SCROLLING.

What you won't find here are big-box chains, mall shops, renovations or locations that have moved and re-opened. If your favourite spot has been forgotten or overlooked, feel free to comment or email and we'll add it.

Special thanks to tipster/Best Blogger @HalifaxReTales for keeping me both in-the-know and on my toes, as well as our amazing intern McKenna Giffin (from Sir John A. MacDonald High) for all of her top-notch fact-checking.



Aly Mae’s Bread Basket, 11 Mount Hope Avenue

Brightwood Brewing, 35 Portland Street
Brown Bag Lunch, 20 Wright Avenue
Cafe Good Luck, 145 Portland Street

Cafe Marco Polo, 15-105 King’s Wharf Place
Coffee Matters, 33 Alderney Drive
The Cottage Cafe, 300 Prince Albert Road
Delectable Desserts, 12-50 Eileen Stubbs Avenue
Fish & Chix, 600 Windmill Road
Halifax Bread Factory, 800 Windmill Road
The Has Bin, 269 Windmill Road
Lake City Cider House, 35 Portland Street
Lily Pad Cat Lounge, 590 Portland Street
New Scotland Brewing,  91 Alderney Drive
Piez Bistro, 635 Portland Hills
Riot Pixie Boutique, 300 Prince Albert Road
Rossetto’s Italian American Eatery, 44 Ochterloney Street
Seam Work, 60 Queen Street
Urban Closet Plug, 196 Windmill Road
Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse, 612 Windmill Road


Bodega Boutique, 104 Portland Street
Cicero’s on the Water, 122 Post Office Road
Dartmouth Yarns, 122 Portland Street
Hazelnut & Rose, 45 Queen Street
Lady Luck Boutique, 118 Portland Street
Liu’s Formosa House,  278 Wyse Road
Ma Belle’s, 44 Ochterloney Street
P’Lovers, 52 Queen Street

Smiling Goat, 15-105 King’s Wharf Plaza
Sonia’s Stone Oven Pizza, 635 Portland Hills 

Thirsty Turtle Bar & Grill, 245 Waverley Road



Arisu Table BBQ & Japanese Sushi, 1645 Granville Street

Cacao 70, 1875 Upper Water Street 1875 Upper Water Street
Coffee Matters,
1496 Lower Water Street
Elwood Pens,
1574 Argyle Street
The Exchange on Hollis, 1579 Hollis Street
Flo, 1574 Argyle Street
Flower Child,  5189 Prince Street
Hali Mac, 1920 Brunswick Street

May Garden, 1983 Upper Water Street
Sniggily Wiggily’s, 1665 Argyle Street
Roxbury Urban Dive Bar, 1743 Grafton Street
Ruby’s Rhinestone Reception & Lounge, 5187 Salter Street
Sea Smoke Restaurant & Bar, 1477 Lower Water Street

Shivani’s Kitchen, 1209 Marginal Road
Taipan Express, 1588 Argyle Street
Taiyaki 52, 2009 Brunswick Street
Tokyo Roll, 1598 Argyle Street


Blue Apples Arts and Wellness Centre, 5228 Blowers Street
Ideal Bikes, 1678 Quinpool Road
Ko Doraku, Purdy’s Wharf, 1949 Upper Water Street
Pong Social Club, 1741 Grafton Street
Shawarma Stop, 1588 Argyle Street
Smiling Goat, 1583 Hollis Street



902 Restaurant & Catering, 1579 Dresden Row

Cheeky Cod, 1528 Queen Street
Captain Ma Noodles, 1480 Brenton Street
Chimney’s Cafe, 5466 Spring Garden Road
From Mild to Wild, 5640 Spring Garden Road
Glitter Bean Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road
Rabbit Hole Cafe, 1452 Dresden Row

Rasa, 1542 Birmingham Street


Better Than Her, 5640 Spring Garden Road
The Fireside, 1542 Birmingham Street
Go 2 Eat, 5518 Spring Garden Road
The Muse Cafe, 1252 Lemarchant Street
Suzuki Sushi, 1579 Dresden Road
Smiling Goat, 5896 Spring Garden Road
Smiling Goat, 5446 Spring Garden Road



Bliss Breakfast Buffet, 3619 Novalea Drive 

Blue Collar Barbershop, 2272 Gottingen Street
Bread Lounge, 5880 Demone Street
Brookside & Bliss, 5881Almon Street

Brown Hound, 2394 Agricola Street

Cafe Lara, 2347 Agricola Street
Cha Baa Thai, 5813 Demone Street
Coffee Matters, 1496 Lower Water Street
Coffin Skate Shop, 2456 Agricola Street
Dina’s Sour Dough, 3540 Novalea Drive
Geebo Device Repair, 2274 Gottingen Street
Guapa Boutique, 3059 Gottingen Street
Hopyard Beer Bar, 2103 Gottingen Street
Jill Stephenson Esthetics, 2459 Agricola Street
Kam Moon, 2013 Brunswick Street
MEND | RX, 3667 Strawberry Hill Street
The Ostrich Club, 5529 Young Street
Rage Room,  2820 Isleville Street
Taco Lina’s, 2605 Agricola Street
The Tare Shop, 5539 Cornwallis Street
Vandal Doughnuts, 2605 Agricola Street
Waffle Love, 2082 Gottingen Street
Young Pocha, 2400 Agricola Street
Zakka Mart, 2180 Robie Street


Gedde’s Furniture, 2739 Agricola Street
Epicurious Morsels, 5529 Young Street
Lion & Bright, 2534 Agricola Street
Plan B Merchants Co-op, 2180 Gottingen Street
Lola & Odin, 5881 Almon Street
P’Lovers, 3059 Göttingen Street
Fattoush Cafe, 2757 Gladstone Street
Vandal Doughnuts, 2605 Agricola Street



Aster Cafe, 3562 Dutch Village Road
Atomic Cafe,
6451 Quinpool Road

Bap House, 6172 Quinpool Road

Burrito Jax, 287 Lacewood Drive
Cheese Curds / Habanero’s, 277 Lacewood Drive
Darling Tattoos, 2590 Oxford Street

Kelly’s Deli, 30 Farnham Gate Road
Morris East, 1984 Vernon Street 

M&Y Asian Market, 2150 Windsor Street

Naughty Paw, 6298 Quinpool Road
Panada Pizza, 56 Supreme Court
The Raven Espresso Boutique, 14 St. Michaels Avenue
The Red Lunchbox,  6172 Quinpool Road
Sarah & Tom, 6448 Quinpool Road
Sushi Jet Dim Sum, 3481 Dutch Village Road
Wayne & Ricky's Diner, 16 Dentith Road


The Anchor, 3625 Dutch Village Road
Anchored Coffee, 6451 Quinpool Road
Bib ‘N Tucker, 6423 Quinpool Road
Canadiana, 15 Lakelands Boulevard
Joelee’s Cafe, 3481 Dutch Village Road
The Red Lunchbox,  6172 Quinpool Road
Riot Snack Bar, 6293 Quinpool Road

*For the purpose of simplicity, this section includes Quinpool, Fairview, Clayton Park



3A Restaurant, 264 Bedford Highway

Apartment 3, 833 Sackville Drive
Baby Chic, 1139 Bedford Highway
Everwood Avenue Brew Shop, 731 Old Sackville Road

Fourth Lock, 3104 Highway 2
Ice Patch Hollow, 1595 Bedford Highway
Lemon Tree, 805 Bedford Highway
Rowshan Seafood, 622 Sackville Drive
Raffi’s Kitchen, 601 Sackville Drive
Tang Shun Chinese Cuisine,  540 South Gate Drive
Jinloong Restaurant, 518 Sackville Drive


Backoos Korean To Go, 188 Bedford Highway
Board Room Game Cafe, 936 Bedford Highway
Cafe L’Acadie, 636 Bedford Highway
La Cave de Strasbourg, 3104 Highway 2
Limoncello Your Lifestyle, 1595 Bedford Highway
Nature’s Cove, 364 Bedford Highway
Koroni Pizza, 1312 Bedford Highway

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