Local business and consumer news. Openings, closings, deals, sales, what to buy and where to buy it, we round it all up and give you an insider's shopper's special on small business in Halifax. Contact shoptalk@thecoast.ca to send a tip.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Goodbye, my P’lovers

Eco-friendly store closes all three of its locations.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 3:15 PM

The P'lovers South Park Street location, before it moved to the north end. - SAMSON LEARN
  • The P'lovers South Park Street location, before it moved to the north end.
  • Samson Learn

After 25 years, P’lovers is closing. 

In an Instagram post, owner Shelby Lendrum lamented her store: “Despite my best efforts, P’lovers is closing its doors permanently,” she wrote. “My deepest apologies to those who are caught in the turmoil of these sudden events.”

Lendrum was a P’lovers employee before taking ownership of the Halifax and Mahone Bay shops—originally owned by Ann Caverzan and Liz Crocker—in 2013. She opened an additional location in Dartmouth, which is now shuttered for good along with the Mahone Bay location. According to Lendrum’s post, the Halifax store (3059 Gottingen Street) will briefly re-open for a liquidation sale in February.

Lendrum continued: “I have devoted more than half my life to this company, some of which is recorded here in this virtual world of social media. For that reason, only the Instagram account will remain active. Having said that, it will switch over to a personal account unless I feel it’s time to let go of it as well. Otherwise, I will use this platform to remain connected to those interested throughout my grieving, and hopefully healing, process.”

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rock Candy to close after 15 years

Customers can still get their band merch fix online from Rock World East.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 2:22 PM

  • via Facebook

On December 27, Rock Candy Boutique’s (5189 Prince Street) 15 year run will come to an end—but owner Tim Crow holds no bitterness.

“I’m grateful, for the city and the people,” he says.

In a Facebook post that reads “We just fucking want to sleep in from now on!” Crow goes on to thank his employees and the city for years of loyalty. No finger-pointing involved.

“We feel like we’ve been given everything. We had employees that worked right through until they finished their law degree,” says Crow. “I’m very proud of them, they always took big risks and bettered themselves while using the shop as their foundation.”

It all started back when Sunday shopping was illegal: Crow met a friend on eBay that would sell him cheap shirts from Ontario and sold them at the Penhorn Mall flea market. People loved it, so after meeting a few friends, he decided to open a storefront.

“This was when Black Moore just started and Hellacaust was big. The nightlife was thriving people would window shop and come back the next day to get the shirt they liked,” says Crow. “And we got those windows kicked in a lot which is fine, no big deal.”

With about 30 t-shirts on the walls and a couple lunch boxes, Rock Candy opened its doors. And the city loved it.

As the music scene was booming, people swarmed in throughout the years for their favourite band merch. Crow acknowledges the changes in society and the rise of online shopping.

He also reminisces on some of the craziest days. He tells a story about when Metallica came to town, and with the rollercoaster weather, the temperature suddenly dropped.

“We had 150-200 people in Metallica t-shirts lined up to get Metallica hoodies,” Crow says with a chuckle.

This being just one of the many highlights he has throughout the years.

“It’s not the flashiest thing but I met my wife there now I have three kids with her and I love her like crazy,” says Crow.

Sister company rockworldeast.com is still in full operation, employing about 20 people in a 16,000 square foot facility in Dartmouth. Crow is proud that there will be no layoffs from Rock Candy closing.

“Another highlight is the people who helped me and the great things they are doing with their lives in places beyond working at a t-shirt shop,” he says.

As for Crow, an avid surfer, he will continue shredding waves and slinging shirts.

  • Via Facebook

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

The end of The Oxford

After 80 years at the movies, we say goodbye to a piece of Halifax history.

Posted By on Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 8:43 AM


It’s about the building, but it isn’t.

For some, going to the movies is just going to the movies. Those people are fine driving out to Bayers Lake or Dartmouth Crossing and stepping into a photocopied multiplex—if you entered a Cineplex-branded building in Edmonton or Barrie, you’d know exactly what to do—and enduring the flashing lights of the arcade, the lobby you could drive a tank through with no damage, the wide array of hot snacks served by frazzled teens. These same people think arena shows are the best way to see a band. It’s not an experience, it’s just a thing to do.

For others, to go to the movies is to engage with art. It’s an event. It can be the cultural highlight of a year.

For 80 years, that is what The Oxford gave to Halifax. As a building, bricks and mortar, it’s lacking in that way repertory cinemas have always been lacking: There’s the tiny lobby and the inefficient, downright befuddling bathrooms—in the women’s there is a full-on powder room next to three stalls circling a single tiny sink (why would the toilet be raised, anyway?). A few years ago, cosmetic renovations resulted in an uglier sign, less character and neither—never, as it turned out—air conditioning nor self-serve ticketing. Before the theatre went digital, the projector was so dirty that every movie looked like it was from the 70s, covered in bits of dust and detritus.

None of that mattered, because you loved it anyway. A movie house born in 1937 versus one printed out from a template in 2017—these two places don’t feel like they’re even on the same earth. The Oxford has high ceilings, wide aisles, ample space between rows, deep seats arranged in gently curving rows to provide good sightlines. Its biggest old-world flair is the balcony, high up and far back, with a narrow staircase. There’s still a moment where the curtains pull fully back.

In retrospect, we should’ve seen this coming. The Atlantic International Film Festival, in a year full of confusing moves, announced this summer that it would be taking place solely in Park Lane, eight screens handily located in the downtown core. (Since we’re here—our fingers have long been crossed for Park Lane.) But the Oxford premieres were the best part of the festival. No local filmmaker will ever again get to stand on a red carpet outside a single-screen movie house, with a line stretching down Oxford Street, in tandem with the trees, comprised of hundreds of people excited to see their art. No filmgoer will ever again get to witness something like Michael Moore introducing Bowling for
, a documentary that would go on to win an Academy Award for its Halifax-based producers.

Of course, film exhibition is not about art, it’s about business. Empire made half-hearted attempts to run the Oxford as a rep, but it’s too big, over 300 seats. (That’s why the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel could—needed to?—have an 11-week run.) Cineplex, since its acquisition of all Empire Theatres in 2013, has neither known nor cared what to do with it (although it kept running monthly classics until opening a dedicated Event screen in Park Lane two years back).
That The Oxford has fallen to development is what hurts the most. Stores and restaurants close all the time, sometimes because of condos and sometimes because of failure and it’s awful but that’s life. For a corporation to just sell off a piece of Halifax history, one that means so much to so many, that offers daily experiential art to citizens who will cheerfully, actively work for it—for a corporation to do something so fucking corporate—is not surprising. But that doesn’t make it any less devastating.

So it’s about the building, for a few. For the rest of us, it isn’t. It never was.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Oxford theatre will soon close

The single-screen theatre is offering final week of special screenings before it is turned over to Nanco Group.

Posted By and on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 10:28 AM

  • The Oxford circa 1957.
  • courtesy Nova Scotia Archives

A staple for film-lovers across Halifax is set to close its doors on September 13. Cineplex Cinemas Oxford—simply known as The Oxford—has been sold to Nanco Group (a local business owned by the Nahas family).

Nanco Group’s Norman Nahas has history on the block, too. His family’s other business, King of Donair has been a next-door neighbour to the theatre since 1973.

“I’d love to find another tenant who’ll be there for 80 years like The Oxford was. It’s a movie theatre, but it’s so much more than that—it’s a part of the community, it’s a gathering place and an iconic corner,” he says. “We want to try to have all of that in the next chapter, whoever ends up in that spot we definitely want to respect the heritage and respect the building and the history.”

Nahas admits it’s a bit premature to speak to exactly will happen to the building going forward, and he wouldn’t confirm whether or not it will be redeveloped altogether. He did, however, say it will be a mixed-use space, likely retail and residential.

“The building has undergone three facade alterations over the years, so we kind of have to peel back the layers and see what things look like and looked like, and determine the structural integrity,” he says.

The single-screen theatre has been operating since 1937, offering limited releases and throwback movies to Haligonians in recent years. It’s a time capsule in building form, complete with stadium seating and a balcony. No doubt it’s going to be a difficult farewell for many locals.

“Whatever the final project will look like we want to maintain as much history as we can, we’d even consider naming whatever it will be The Oxford,” adds Nahas. “I went to school around the corner at Tupper and lived around the corner, and my grandmother told me stories about going to that theatre. It’s definitely an institution now.”

Don’t cry yet. The silver (screen?) lining is that The Oxford will be offering a stellar final week of films, from a Marilyn Monroe classic to a recent Wes Anderson gem. All proceeds from these screenings will go to the IWK. Check out all the dates and titles below

Friday, September 8
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
Casablanca (1942)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Saturday, September 9
Wizard of Oz (1939)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Sunday, September 10
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Gone with the Wind (1939)
Maudie (2016)

Monday, September 11
Rear Window (1954)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Aliens (1986)

Tuesday, September 12
City Lights (1931)
Grease (1978)
The Graduate (1967)

Wednesday, September
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Titanic (1997)

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Abode Boutique is closing

Say goodbye with an Open City mega sale

Posted By on Thu, May 11, 2017 at 1:55 PM

  • via Instagram
Another business dedicated to quality is leaving the Halifax shopping scene—this time Daun Windover’s furniture and home decor shop Abode Boutique. After stints on Granville and Doyle streets, the source for mid-century modern pieces, Scandinavian designs and dishes and accessories settled into its current home at 5881 Almon Street in early 2016, which will close its doors at the end of the month. Windover is offering up mega deals until that point, starting with a garage sale this weekend during Open City (Saturday, May 13, 12-5pm) where she won’t just be selling off existing stock, but everything she has in storage as well. Everything’s got to go, so store fixtures, Christmas stock, shop decor and carpets are up for grabs, too.
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Preamable Footwear walks on

The downtown shoe store closes May 27

Posted By on Thu, May 11, 2017 at 1:23 PM

Five years after opening in the Trillium building, Preamble Footwear (1457 South Park Street) has announced that the end of May will also be the end of the store. A spin-off shop from the nearly 40-year shoe veterans at Aerobics First (6166 Quinpool Road), Preamble opened its doors in 2012, offering Haligonians fashionable footwear that puts practicality and comfort first. With its lease coming to an end, it’ll close permanently on May 27, but until then will be selling off everything at a discounted price.

All new shoes (Camper, Clarks, Fly and other solid brands) are currently 25 percent off, will be 40 percent off starting May 13 and from May 20 to the end, are half-price.
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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Big Pony's going out to pasture

The Gottingen Street boutique is closing in April

Posted By on Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 1:40 PM

It’s Instagram official: On Tuesday night, Big Pony announced its plans to close by mid-April.

“This has been a dream of both of ours,” says Lindsay Stewart, who co-owns the store with Emily Ross. “We met a lot of people, we made a lot of friends, lots of connections in the city—but I think we’re kind of just excited to start new adventures.”

The store originally opened on Brenton Street in 2013, moving its stocks of secondhand clothing and locally-made odds and ends to Gottingen Street less than two years later. Looking back, Stewart says many of her best memories were “after hours” events such as Christmas pop-ups and the North by Night markets.

“Any chance we got to open up the space to the community and get to do something special.”

While the store may be closing its doors, Stewart stresses that customers shouldn’t stop following them on social media, as they have plenty of future happenings their sleeves.

“Our favourite part of the store was organizing craft markets and doing pop-ups,” she says. “So like, going to unconventional spaces or music festivals and doing sales there—at this point, we’ve got it down to a science. It’s easy for us and it’s way more fun.”

Those are the kinds of things Pony fans can expect going forward.

“We don’t want to let people down, but we want to let people know that we’re excited for the next phase of Big Pony, and we’re excited for the next phase of Lindsay and Emily, honestly.”

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sugar Shok Treat Boutique to close

Downtown Dartmouth will say goodbye to the local candy shop by the end of November.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 1:41 PM

Sugar Shok's Stacey Cayea - ALLISON SAUNDERS
  • Sugar Shok's Stacey Cayea
  • Allison Saunders

After four years in the business, owner Stacey Cayea has decided to close Sugar Shok Treat Boutique in Dartmouth.

“The numbers talk and you gotta listen sometimes,” Cayea says of her financial troubles.

In the past few years, Cayea has had to sell personal belongings to get stock into the candy store.

“This year, there’s nothing left to sell,” she continues. “I need candy and I need Christmas items, and there’s no money to do it.”

Cayea says East Coast winters took a toll on the shop, as “nobody wants to go outside” and people are concerned about parking. On top of that, she feels there needs to be more support for small businesses like hers.

“It’s not just downtown Dartmouth – it’s downtown Halifax and everywhere that isn’t a mall or a big box store,” says Cayea. “People are kind of hooked on convenience and habit.”

Cayea went on to say there are lots of “new, awesome businesses” opening in Dartmouth every month. She hopes the Sugar Shok’s closure will open people’s eyes to those places.

“I’ve seen a couple of comments like, ‘I didn’t even know this place was here,’” says Cayea. “Just go downtown – take a drive around. You’re not supporting Walmart, you’re supporting the guy that lives next-door to you.”

Sugar Shok will remain open until the end of November, or until it runs out of stock.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Video Difference is closing

After 34 years in business, the iconic video store bows out on August 15

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 10:30 AM

The lights go out at Video Difference on August 15 - SAM KEAN
  • The lights go out at Video Difference on August 15
  • Sam Kean

“Well, all good things must come to an end,” Tom Michael, founder of iconic and enduring small business, Video Difference, says over the phone.

He announced today that after 34 years of helping to keep Halifax entertained and educated, August 15 will mark the end of the line for both the Quinpool Road and Bedford Highway locations of the video rental veteran.

Michael says he and and his staff—some of whom he’s been working alongside for upwards of 20 years—have been meeting regularly over the last year or so to discuss the fate of the stores in a changing consumer climate. “We said, as long as we can pay the rent and not lose money we’ll continue on. And the day it looks like we can’t we’ll make a decision,” he says, adding that Video Difference owns both of its buildings. “That day has come.”

A source for more than just mainstream blockbusters, Video Difference made a name for itself over the last three decades for being truly different. Its massive selection of foreign films, old classics, indie flicks, Canadian content, documentaries and TV box sets (the original binge-watch) are just as fun to browse through as they are to watch. Not quite the Netflix experience, to say the least. "It's like if you’re a reader, trying to find a book online isn’t the same as going to bookstore," says Michael.

But while internet did affect business, he says it didn’t make the difference.

“Really the consumer has changed as well, they don’t consume feature length motion pictures like they used to, they’ve moved to TV series and streaming does that very well,” adding that the past four or five years have seen the biggest change, with not just streaming but the upswing in cable subscription. “And I think the lack of competition. No one stimulating the market— we’re kind of an island on our own.”

“It was a perfect storm in all directions,” says Michael. "But having said that, financially we’re still strong. We’re not going out of business, we’re closing.”

In closing, Video Difference will be selling off everything it’s got. Starting August 20—and running through the seven weeks that follow—all inventory will be liquidated. Michael encourages cinephiles after a good deal to bring in non-perishable food items for the Parker Street Food Bank, eight will get you $5 off your purchase.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

The year in business: 2015's openings and closings

A look back at this year's arrivals and departures on the retail scene

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2015 at 10:34 AM

Lemon Tree opened on Queen Street - PHOTO BY MELISSA BUOTE
  • Lemon Tree opened on Queen Street
  • Photo by Melissa Buote

Good on ya, Halifax. A look back at 2015’s notable retail and restaurant openings and closings reveals some really good news: our hellos doubled our goodbyes this year. Ninety-nine brand new storefronts and eateries brightened our neighbourhoods since last winter and helped lessen the blow of the 49 dearly departed local businesses. That doesn’t even include the movers and shakers that saw renovations, expansions and new locations. (Sorry, there just wasn’t room for all them.)

High-fives and back-pats all around! And if we missed something major, let us know in the comments below.


Brenton Restaurant, 5677 Brenton Place
Fantasie Music Instruments, 5512 Spring Garden Road
FYidoctors, 5523 Spring Garden Road
Hong Yun Chinese, 5677 Brenton Place
In Spring, 5518 Spring Garden Road
Lemon Tree, 1532 Queen Street
Neighbour Witch General Store, 1526 Queen Street
Project Fit, 1456 Brenton Street
Primal Kitchen , 1463 Brenton Street
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, 5525 Spring Garden Road
Shanti Yoga, 5508 Spring Garden Road
WaxOn, 5475 Spring Garden

The Cellar, 5677 Brenton Street
The Clothes Horse, 1532 Queen Street
Fiasco, 1463 Brenton Street
Maritime Frame-It, 5512 Spring Garden Road
MidPoint Cafe, 5425 Spring Garden Road
Mills , 5640 Spring Garden Road
Nestle Tollhouse Cafe, 5475 Spring Garden Road
Ottoman Cafe, 5411 Spring Garden Road
Rogues Roost , 5435 Spring Garden Road
Saege , 5883 Spring Garden Road
Something Elsie’s , 1528 Queen Street


Bubba Ray’s, 1717 Bedford Highway
Cintimani, Sunnyside Mall 1595 Bedford Highway
The Compass Rose Health and Wellness, Suite 200-36 Brookshire Court
Flowers of Spring, 1149 Bedford Highway
Freeman’s Pizza, 552 Sackville Drive
Purdy’s Pub, 552 Sackville Drive
Made in the Maritimes, Sunnyside Mall 1595 Bedford Highway
The Makinso, 1129 Bedford Highway
Mezza Lebanese Kitchen, 753 Sackville Drive
Spa-Dee-Da, 1175 Bedford Highway
Thai Ivory, Sunnyside Mall 1595 Bedford Highway

Goji’s Bedford, 620 Nine Mile Drive
Purdy’s Pub, 552 Sackville Drive

Long Alley Bicycles opened on Quinpool Road
  • Long Alley Bicycles opened on Quinpool Road


Burrito Jax, 287 Lacewood Drive
Courtside Sneakers, 6247 Quinpool Road
Golding Lighting, 6238 Quinpool Road
Forged in Vinyl, 6351 Quinpool Road
Fruition, 6389 Coburg Road
Happynest Antiques and Home Store, 6448 Quinpool Road
La Piazza Resto Cafe, 6430 Chebucto Road
Long Alley Bicycles, 6164A Quinpool Road
Ray’s Lebanese, 120 Susie Lake Crescent
Scallywags Barbershop, 6513 Chebucto Road
Yanjing Chinese Restaurant, 6430 Quinpool Road

Brewdebaker’s Tap & Grill, 287 Lacewood Drive
Garden of Eat’n, 6293 Quinpool Road
King’s Palace, 6140 Quinpool Road
King Wah, 6430 Quinpool Road

The Old Apothecary opened on Barrington Street - PHOTO BY MEGAN TANSEY WHITTON
  • The Old Apothecary opened on Barrington Street
  • photo by Megan Tansey Whitton


OPENED: Captured Escape Rooms,1649 Barrington Street
Canook Trading, 1669 Barrington Street
The Chameleon, 1587 Barrington Street
The Old Apothecary, 1549 Barrington Street
Pars Persian, 1261 Barrington Street
Temple Bar, 1537 Barrington Street
Urban Outfitters, 1650 Barrington Street

Ace at Bearly’s, 1269 Barrington Street
Halifax Feast,1505 Barrington Street
J&R Grimsmo, 1533 Barrington Street
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, 1715 Barrington Street
Night Magic, 1711 Barrington Street


Burrito Jax, 121 Ilsley Ave
Blossom Shops, 958 Cole Harbour Road
Get Air Trampoline Park, 612 Windmill Road
Goodies Thrift Store, 202 Brownlow Avenue
Heng Fung Chinese Restaurant, 179 Wyse Road
Paradise Syrian Cuisine, 171 Wyse Road
Pita Pit, 15 Cuddy Lane
Smoke’s Weinerie, 393 Pleasant Street
Spindrift, 21 Frazee Avenue
Truckside, 600 Windmill Road
Twiggz, Mic Mac Mall 21 Mic Mac Boulevard

Absolutely Delish, 635 Portland Hills Drive
Brewdebaker’s Tap & Grill, 612 Windmill Road
Eats Urban Lunch, 250 Baker Drive

Portland Street Creperie opened on Portland Street - VIA FACEBOOK
  • Portland Street Creperie opened on Portland Street
  • via Facebook


Battery Park Beer Bar, 62 Ochterloney Street
Custom Curves, 135 Portland Street
Dartmouth Yoga Centre, 122 Portland Street
Food Noise, 158A Portland Street
Humble Pie Kitchen & Lemon Dogs Lemonade, 77 King Street
il Trullo, 67 King’s Wharf Place
King’s Pier, 13 King’s Wharf Place
King Street Cafe, 65 King Street
New Scotland Emporium, 41 Portland Street
North Brewing Company, 62 Ochterloney Street
Portland Street Creperie, 55 Portland Street
ReFound Furniture, 5 Thistle Street
Sailor Bup’s Barbershop, 7 Pleasant Street
Seventy3, 73 Alderney Drive
Souper Duper, 156 Ochterloney Street

Nectar Restaurant & Wine Bar, 62 Ochterloney Drive

Black Book Collective opened on Kaye Street, but is now on Cunard - PHOTO BY LENNY MULLINS
  • Black Book Collective opened on Kaye Street, but is now on Cunard
  • photo by Lenny Mullins


24 Carrots, 3200 Kempt Road
Blackbook Collective, 5571 Cunard Street
Crossfit Ironstone, 2631 King Street
Chi Bistro, 5687 Charles Street
Dime Salon, 5525 Cornwallis Street
Good Robot Brewing Co., 2736 Robie Street
The Floatation Centre, 2631 King Street
Halifax Buy and Sell, 3081 Gottingen Street
Hali Cuts and Spa,3180 Isleville Street
Hometown Furniture, 6054 Almon Street
Hue Design, 5558 Sullivan Street
The Local, 2037 Gottingen Street
Rockhead Beer + Wine, 2651 Windsor Street
Seven Bays Bouldering, 2019 Gottingen Street
Studio East, 6021 Cunard Street
Unfiltered Brewing Co., 6041 North Street

The Carrot, 2063 Gottingen Street
Chrysalis Spa, 5521 Young Street
Formally Yours, 6029 Cunard Street
Honeybee Bridal, 2130 Gottingen Street
Nauss Bicycle Shop, 2533 Agricola Street
Pat’s Kitchen, 5530 Kaye Street
Quantum Frontier, 3132 Robie Street
Steve-O-Reno’s Drive-Thru, 2854 Robie Street
Tess, 5687 Charles Street


Alexa Pope, 1477 Lower Water Street
Basha Lebanese, 5361 Inglis Street
Beaver Sailor Diner, 1820 Hollis Street
Cass Burr Designs, 1574 Argyle Street
Dave’s Lobster, Queen’s Wharf
Dandelion Cafe, 5228 Blowers Street
East Coast Lifestyle, 1009 Marginal Road
Heartwood, Queen’s Wharf
Indian Maple,1873 Granville Street
Johnny K’s Donair, 5246 Blowers Street
Lot Six, 1685 Argyle Street
Noreaster Barber, 1574 Argyle Street
Pearl & Daisy, 1869 Upper Water Street
Shawarma Stop, 1588 Argyle Street
Stillwell Beer Garden, 1617 Lower Water Street
Tony’s Donair, 1735 Grafton Street

Blowers Street Paper Chase Cafe, 5228 Blowers Street
Boutique Joliette, 1870 Hollis Street
Canadian Bacon Cookhouse , Queen’s Wharf
Cass Burr Designs , 1574 Argyle Street
Grand Taj , 5175 South Street
Indian Maple , 1873 Granville Street
Lighthouz , 120 Troop Avenue
One More To Go Chinese , 1820 Hollis Street
Pizza Pizza, 1735 Grafton Street
Salvation Army , 5280 Green Street
Soled Out Sneakers, 1587 Dresden Row
Sushi Jet , 5171 Salter Street
Unicorn Trading Company, 1477 Lower Water Street
Vinnie’s Pasta Bar, 5361 Inglis Street

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Nauss' last ride

After 46 years as Agricola Street’s bike fix, Nauss Bicycle Shop closes its doors next week.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 1:03 PM

Nauss Bicycle Shop’s second-generation fixer, Dave Nauss. - DYLAN CHEW
  • Nauss Bicycle Shop’s second-generation fixer, Dave Nauss.

Dave Nauss is in Canadian Tire. He picks up some rust inhibitor in automotive and makes his way to paint. He needs some varnish to finish a project for his daughter. He scans the many cans and under his breath whispers, “Oh god. I didn’t realize there’d be so many kinds.” Help materializes. Len Russo has been the go-to guy for paint advice here for 15 years.

“You’ve helped me so many times,” he says to Dave, “please let me help you.” Dave allows it. Len asks how things are going at the shop and Dave gives Len the bad news.

“Oh no!” cries Len, distressed. “It can’t be!” He throws himself at Dave. “I’m going to chain myself to the door!”

This is the reaction of everyone who has heard the news, first delivered via Facebook in mid November: Nauss Bicycle Shop is closing. There has been a Nauss working on bicycles in this town for time out of mind. Dave’s dad, Jack, worked years at Calhoun’s before opening his own shop in 1968. Dave has been bike fixing for 43 years. He is 63.

Back at the shop Dave is in a version of his uniform: Two black T-shirts and loose blue trousers with oil-stained pockets. He has a bike suspended on hooks and he’s replacing the brakes. He limps. “No meniscus in my knee,” he says. “Did something stupid last year.” Being a firefighter wears a body down. “Carried more gear than I should’ve and jumped off tailgates. Anybody picked up the end of a wet couch, I would too. I got these hearing aids from sitting alongside that diesel for 35 years.”

The building is sold. There is one last piece of paper to sign so Dave won’t talk about what is going in the space. It didn’t have to be now, but now is a good time. “I don’t want it to be a job anymore,” Dave says. “I’ve had to get up in the morning too many years.” His wife Sharon is happy about this. Between the decades of firefighting and bike-fixing, Dave has been out of the house, all the time. “It’s going to be as big a thing for Sharon as for me,” he says. “But I’m going to stay out of her way. She’s been an angel: I evolved as a man very slowly. At least I put my underwear in the hamper now.”

Many parts and tools in the shop are going to Roger Nelson and Jenna Molenaar at Halifax Cycles on Almon Street. Some new bikes are going to the IWK and Dave is keen to get some bikes to a group collecting them for Syrian refugees.

He’s taking a few favourite tools home. “This frame tool,” he says, pointing at a big thing, “that was Dad’s.” Dave Nauss is a sentimental man who loved his father. For no particular reason he says, “Dad was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

This is it; there will be no bike-fixing in the basement. “I had someone come up to me and ask if they could bring their bike up to the house.” Dave mock-scowls over the top of his glasses. “No,” he says, “no.” December 15 is supposed to be the last day but Dave doesn’t have to be out by any particular date. Go on by. Step in onto the worn wood floor. Look around. Stick your head into the cavernous back room stuffed to the gills with parts and tools from every decade of cycling. You will not see the likes of this place again. Say a little something to Dave. Maybe shake hands, if only to feel the rough hand of a soft-hearted man who for so long has kept bicyclists on the streets of Halifax. You will not meet the likes of Dave Nauss again.

Nauss Bicycle Shop
2533 Agricola Street

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

J&R Grimsmo says goodbye

Barrington Street's women's clothing boutique signs off

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 5:04 PM

Women's boutique, J&R Grimsmo
  • Women's boutique, J&R Grimsmo

Sad news alert. Local entrepreneurs and designers Jessy Lacourciere and Rachael Grant announced yesterday via Facebook (see below) that after four years of bringing downtown Halifax Canadian-made fashions, local jewellery and their own designs, their Barrington Street women's clothing store, J&R Grimsmo (1533 Barrington Street), was closed permanently. We miss its presence already.

To all of our dear customers, supporters, friends, family and community,After 4 years in the heart of our beloved...

Posted by J&R Grimsmo on Monday, May 25, 2015
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Friday, April 10, 2015

The Paperchase closes next week

But a mysterious new cafe will rise from its ashes

Posted By on Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 12:01 PM


Pizza Corner is about to get a little less literary.

Blowers Street's Paperchase Newsstand and Café will be closing its doors, out front and the garage ones up top, as of April 21. Management confirmed the new owner plans to keep the space a cafe and will reopen a few weeks later, but as a new business. Fingers crossed for discounted issues of Gentlewoman and Under the Radar, amirite?

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Boutique Joliette says its goodbyes

The six-year-old accessories store closes April 8

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 4:00 AM

Alexis Mahoney in Boutique Joliette, 2012 - SCOTT BLACKBURN
  • Alexis Mahoney in Boutique Joliette, 2012
  • Scott Blackburn

It was back in 2009 that Alexis Mahoney first opened the doors at Boutique Joliette (1870 Hollis Street), an indie jewellery and accessories shop that has since grown to offer a wide range of beautiful things. But this week is your final chance to get your mitts on any of them—with a move to Toronto on the horizon, Mahoney will close up shop after April 8. But until then, she’ll be keeping regular hours (Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm) and everything must go—all the vintage and locally made jewellery, Canadian clothing, wedding-inspired accessories, hats, bags, scarves as well as vintage furniture and lighting is for sale. Joliette is also clearing out fixtures, display cases, cabinets and (attention small biz owners) shop supplies. “The outpouring of support with my closing announcement has been astounding,” says Mahoney. “I’m really going to miss all my amazing customers, they feel like an extended family and it makes me sad to know that it’s ending.”

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

South Park YMCA set to close in May

The new YMCA Centre for Community will open in 2017

Posted By on Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 1:01 PM

The proposed new Y
  • The proposed new Y

We all knew this was coming, but for some reason it still feels shocking—the South Park facility of the YMCA will be closing its doors permanently as of May 30.

The aging 1564 South Park Street has been home to the Y for 60 years, growing an engaged community of regulars (disclosure, myself included) along the way. While this closure isn't a new development— it's the beginning of the new YMCA Centre of Community which will be built at the corner of Sackville and South Park, the current home of CBC—it will leave a three-year-gap for Halifax YMCA members, with the new facility slated to open in 2017. The YMCA's childcare centre will continue to run though, moving its homebase to the Saint Thomas Aquinas Church Community Building (6350 Cornwall Street, on the corner of Oxford Street).

Today's post from the YMCA's president and CEO Bette Watson-Borg reads:

The YMCA continues to work through negotiations with a selected development partner that will allow us to build a new 70,000-square-foot YMCA Centre of Community on the corner of South Park and Sackville Streets. In spite of the time these negotiations are taking, we remain extremely encouraged with the progress to date and the commitment of the various parties involved. As soon as information is available regarding the successful development partner, we will make a public announcement.

As we move forward with plans to build a new YMCA Centre of Community, the South Park YMCA facility will close on May 30, 2014. Based on the state of the aging infrastructure of this facility, it can no longer serve the interests and needs of the community. It is extremely important to us to provide our employees, members, volunteers and child care families with as much notice as possible so they can make future plans and we can provide support to them through this transition.

Here's a handy link that addresses member questions and concerns.

CLICK HERE for our expanded feature on the YMCA's closing.

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Vol 27, No 16
September 12, 2019

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