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, April 18, 2019

Guided Tour - Dartmouth

No matter which side of the harbour you’re on, the shops, services and restaurants available in today’s Dartmouth are worth a special trip.

Posted on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 4:00 AM


You're Timeless to Me
John's Lunch is a 50-year-old diner, and they're not trying to hide the fact.

Why would they? John's has been a gathering place for families since the 1970s—kids have grown up on their food, and they've even brought their own kids in for their first French fry.

This legendary diner is known for their quality fresh-beef burgers, real turkey sandwiches and '70s-style thick-crust pizza. Their local clams and award-wining fish and chips have hungry Haligonians flying down straight from the airport after they've been away; John's is always is their first stop back because they know there's no other fish out there that will satisfy their maritime craving.

The quality of their food is the reason John's Lunch has won three Best of Food categories, including Best Seafood. These are timeless recipes, \guarded and passed down through their loyal staff. Maintaining the Dartmouth tradition is what sets them apart, and will keep people coming back another 50 years. John's Lunch, 352 Pleasant Street

Guilt-Free Lebanese Eats
Byblos Lebanese & Mediterranean Cuisine is the destination for incredible Mediterranean flavours. When you visit Byblos, you will not only enjoy the food but also the relaxing atmosphere. The chef and his team create a family-like welcoming that gives you the opportunity to learn about Mediterranean culture away from Lebanon. You will also enjoy watching the chef freshly cooking your meals right in front of you.

This restaurant ensures that they are fulfilling everyone's taste buds by serving a range of platters that suits both meat eaters and vegans. They are proud to be supporting local businesses, and share the list of their sources online and on their menu. Enjoy your meal in-house or take it home! It is not to be missed.

Look for the coupon in this issue of The Coast for 25 percent off the evening menu. Offer ends April 25.

Byblos Lebanese & Mediterranean Cuisine 644 Portland Street

All Vibes Welcome
Feel your energy shift the minute you walk through the doors of Into the Mystic—this spiritual shop is where you can come in and reconnect with your inner self. Through their psychic and intuitive services like chakra balancing, feng shui, palm readings and numerology, you'll walk out feeling more aligned than you have in a while.

They offer a salt halotherapy booth to help with breathing, skin and mood issues, as well as a jade infrared mat for circulation and pain issues like fibromyalgia.

The focus of Into the Mystic isn't just to help with your emotional and physical balancing, but also to bring light into the lives around you. Pick a gift for a loved one that has energetic meaning and has visual and emotional healing purposes. This shop houses the largest crystal collection on the east coast with one-of-a-kind imported treasures you will only find here.

Into The Mystic, 1082 Cole Harbour Road

We're Loving Them Apples
Cideries are so big right now, it's a good thing that apples do grow on trees.

Nova Scotia has some of the best apples in North America and Lake City Cider knows that it would be a shame to let our other fresh summer fruits go to waste. They build on the booming craft cider movement by playing with fun flavours and showing us that there is more to cider than the traditional apple.

With eight local taps on site, you'll spot a few unique flavours: Red Head, made with strawberries; Exit 6 Oxford, a blueberry cider; and if you're having trouble sleeping, the Tea & Honey chamomile cider is your ideal bedtime treat. For a limited time in June, you can even sip on their District Pride Rose, the sponsored cider for Halifax Pride.

Lake City Cider is where a love of Dartmouth meets a love of cider. These two worlds collide in an adventurous recipe that we're sure you've never tasted before.

Lake City Cider, 35 Portland Street

The Bar that Starts us off Right
The Watch that Ends the Night is where alternative meets comfort—just let your bartender know what you're craving, and they'll whip up something that's all your own.

Their cocktail presence is strong, but this Best New Bar is known for more than their innovative drinks. Their talented kitchen team brainstorms a rotating menu every other week, and there's constantly something new coming from head Chef Janie. On a bi-monthly basis, she collaborates with a featured NSCC culinary arts graduate to bring a six-course dinner series to life. You just need to sit back and let yourself be serenated by the live tunes of Barometer Rising.

Weekday adventurers are encouraged at The Watch—and they're even rewarded with special promos like a Dartmouth Neighbours discount on Mondays, burger features on Tuesdays and live jazz music on Wednesdays with no cover. Make a reservation, because a night at The Watch is a night you don't want to miss.

The Watch that Ends The Night 15 King's Wharf Place

A Delicious Neighbourhood Takeover
It's every sailor's dream to own a brewery, and retired navy cook Bill Pratt finally gets to live out his. Not only does he keep busy with Cheese Curds and Habaneros, but right across the parking lot you'll find his new Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse. Bill is taking over the neighbourhood with his clever recipes, and let's just say our mouths are watering already.

The slow-smoked brisket and ribs are tender, the beef is juicy, and the craft beer is the perfect balance of hoppy and malty. You can keep with the southern flair and break corn bread with your buds on a Friday night, and you won't regret ordering a pulled pork sandwich or the smoked jackfruit.

Bill continues to craft unique recipes, including ones for vegans and vegetarians. You can expect more plant-based menu items across all three of his restaurants this summer. We know that whatever he comes up with, he'll bring the same quality of creativity and innovation to our plates. 

Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse 612 Windmill Road

Dartmouth Expanded
Watching Dartmouth grow in the last year has been soul-fulfilling and hunger-satisfying. The area's ample restaurants keep surprising us with their unique flavour fusions, and the cideries and bars are constantly crafting something delicious. These new expansions to the HRM have been driving in both locals and tourists to see what all the fuss is about (and we promise, you won't be disappointed when you arrive).

Tim Rissesco, Executive Director with the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, says, "There is so much that you can only experience in downtown Dartmouth! Our compact district is home to some of the best independent shops and restaurants in the country.

"Two thousand nineteen is another year of growth for downtown Dartmouth, with two new fitness facilities—Queensbury Rules Boxing Studio and REBEL Studio and TicTacGo— setting a new standard for escape rooms in the region," he adds.

It's amazing to see how much there is to do on this side of the harbour—these are unique experiences that can't be found anywhere else.  

Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, 163 Portland Street

Designs through the decades
In their second year of business, Retrospekt is bringing even more mid-century modern furniture to the HRM. Dating back to the 1950s and '60s, these are one-of-a-kind pieces that you won't find anywhere else. With their new Best of Halifax status, Retrospekt has been able to build more of a local presence. The perk of purchasing more locally is that the owners never know what new product will pop through their doors.

With Retrospekt's rotating inventory, there's sure to be a piece of restored furniture suited for the collector and novice alike. Find excitement in furnishing your first condo or in redecorating your long-term home—there's never any sales pressure when you walk through their doors. They believe in taking the time to find that original piece that suits your style.

Whether it's a new sofa, accent chair, dining set or bedroom set you're looking for, you'll find your perfect match in a piece of furniture that is authentic, versatile and timeless.

Retrospekt, 166 Ochterloney Street

Taking The HRM By "Perfect Storm"
We've been drinking their locally made sodas for years, whether it's straight-up or mixed in with clever cocktails around town. Now, Propeller is taking the soda industry to the next level with their own brand: Windmill Craft Cocktails.

Their first batch back in September mixed locally blended rum and Dartmouth-made ginger beer for a "Perfect Storm" and the HRM went wild for it. This line of ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages are expanding to make more of your favourite easy-drinking cocktails.

This week, you can try the new a Vodka Soda with Grapefruit & Lime—it's what all the cool kids are doing. It's clean, light and refreshing with natural flavours, and available in Propeller stores this week and will be in NSLCs later this month.

  After Christmas, they launched a Small Batch Program, where Windmill partners with local bartenders and play off of their cutting-edge cocktail trends for a one-off crafted drink (next one out soon!).  

Propellor Brewing Co., 617 Windmill Road

The Cat's Out Of The Bag
We have to let you in on the best Kept secret in the Dartmouth area, because this charming store is the ideal one-stop shop for all gift-giving occasions. Anyone who unwraps one of Kept's well-designed items is going to be the happiest receiver.

The store will win you over with its cat-themed items, and who could resist the adorable squirrel on their logo? Kept's selection is impeccable, and the staff really go above and beyond to make sure that you find exactly what you came in looking for (and maybe a few items that weren't on your list). With knick-knacks and kitchen gadgets galore, you won't be able to leave with just the essentials.

Grab that perfect Maritime trinket for a friend who is living away from home and needs a little taste of the salty sea. With so many locally made and fair-trade items, you'll never feel guilty when shopping at Kept.

Kept Gifts & Housewares, 75 King Street

Live More, Stress Less
Brighten your day with 10,000 square feet of lighting and cabinetry at Station12 Lighting | Kitchen | Bath. The family operated business has provided us with all of our lighting needs for 15 years. They continue to handle the "behind the scenes" layout work for us and never fail to provide customers—in Dartmouth and beyond—with recommendations and technical aspects so our lighting projects can be done stress-free.

Their fashion-forward showroom keeps up with current trends through an inventory rotation, but still offers clients classic pieces that suit every space. With 40-plus suppliers, and housing Atlantic Canada's largest selection for residential, commercial and hospitality lighting, you're sure to find something in your style and budget.

Their team adds to the "light" environment with their lively personalities and passion for the products, which shines through in each project they work on. They're all certified through the American Lighting Association and their kitchen designers boast years of experience and passion, so you can feel confident knowing that you are dealing with the best. Station12 Lighting Kitchen

560 Windmill Road

Southern Italy next door
In need of a vacation? Il Trullo Ristorante brings the feel of southern Italy right to Downtown Dartmouth for you. Sit amongst the natural structure based off a trullo, the unique conical roof found in southern Italy, and let yourself be transported to its home region of Puglia.

Who needs to hop on a plane when you have the view of the water right here? Il Trullo ties the Mediterranean vibe together with light olive oil-based sauces and incorporating local fish into the menu items. With homemade traditional lasagnas, squid ink risotto and their bestselling ravioli fungi, you're sure to get your Italian fix.

Il Trullo was designed with the idea of incorporating recycled, local and natural materials to make the interior space sustainable. The owners are passionate about sustainability and have trained their staff on their aggressive recycling and composting programs. With compostable take-away containers and paper straws, eating at Il Trullo really does mean going back to our natural elements.

Il Trullo Ristorante, 67 King's Wharf Place

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Guided Tour - North End

Halifax’s historic north end is a great place to live—and the shops and services here contribute to the community feeling.

Posted on Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 3:50 PM

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Blue Collar Experience

Once you step foot into Blue Collar Barbershop, you'll never look back. Their professional cuts look exactly like what you came in looking for. You'll stop in for a cut, but you'll keep coming back for their welcoming vibe.

Located across from the YMCA on the ground floor of the VELO apartments, Blue Collar Barbershop is where all are welcome to come in, hang out, drink some coffee and get a cool barber-styled haircut. They specialize in fades, tapers, beard trims, hot-towel shaves and classic-style haircuts.

They carry a variety of high-quality grooming products, so even when you leave, you can achieve the blue collar style at home. They leave you looking fresh, and they make sure you keep up the style even when you're gone. Book online, call for an appointment at 902-407-5585 or try your luck at walking in. Get there however you please, because you won't want to take the risk of missing out on the best cut in the HRM.

Blue Collar Barbershop
2300 Gottingen Street

Local Love

The cool weather is here and that means reconnecting with our favourite bar. We can't help but gravitate towards The Local for trivia on Mondays, jazz nights on Wednesdays or to listen to some tunes on a Sunday afternoon. Nothing says autumn like grabbing a pint of a local brew with an afternoon of pool, ping pong or shuffleboard.

Let the relaxing atmosphere invite you over for their signature pizza and daytime fun with friends, and then come back downstairs to The Seahorse Tavern to let loose and unwind from your long week. Their stage is home to our classic Halifax bands, and you know they'll throw a new artist into the mix. We can always count on them to have the next big lineup we were looking for.

Get your dance on during any regular night or stop by for one of their theme nights. Who could say no to Retro Night's '80s-style neon colours and big, messy hair? The best memories are made right at The Seahorse.

The Local / The Seahorse Tavern
2037 Gottingen Street

Accessible Artwork

Owning art doesn't have to feel unattainable, or even break the bank. Studio 14 Gifts & Gallery brings Maritime artists to life, and all for a price that suits you.

Studio 14 has been promoting Nova Scotian art for seven years, and provides the community with custom framing and accessible art reproductions that start at $20. You can easily take home the folk-art style of Maud Lewis with small journals, Mi'kmaq artist Allen Syliboy's work showcasing water and whales, or a piece by realist painter Alex Colville.

These Maritime artists have been inspired by their surroundings and have painted images for us to admire for years to come. The three artists represent different time periods and art styles that will suit any home's taste, and their work even comes in calendar form.

From books to journals to Christmas ornaments varying from $10 to $30, Studio 14 has lovely gifts for the art lover in your life.

Studio 14 Gifts & Gallery
2393 Agricola Street

Tapped In

Open any fridge in Halifax and you'll likely spot a case of Propeller Brewing Company's IPA or Pilsener. It's because they know what we like to relax with at home, including their new craft cocktail "Perfect Storm" that you can find in their Gottingen Street retail store.

But take the comfort of having a beer at home, and pair it with the enjoyment of being around other humans at the Propeller Tasting Room. Drop in with friends or chat with the staff and learn more about the full range of beer. There's nothing that brings people together like a crisp pint.

See where the magic happens by booking a brewery tour for team-building events or bachelor(ette) parties, and then come back ready to try all of the flavours with their flights of four. It wouldn't be fall without their spiced Pumpkin Ale on the menu, and the Nocturne Black IPA helps support the Nocturne: Art at Night event. You won't want to miss out on these seasonal flavours!

Propeller Brewing Company
2015 Gottingen Street

Pharma-saving us from colds

Cold and flu season may be ahead of us, but luckily Pharmasave North End makes it their mission to keep you healthy. Don't let the flu disrupt cozy time with your family or prevent you from going out and enjoying your day. Pick up your prescription or find a vitamin recommendation to keep your immune system boosted, and kick that cold to the curb.

Feeling unsure about what you're taking? Pharmasave pharmacists will be there to offer their best advice. Their team is knowledgeable and trustworthy. You'll know you can count on them to take their time to listen to your wants and needs in terms of health. Even when your doctor is busy, there's space for you at Pharmasave.

Your cold may come at an inconvenient time, but that's never a problem for their team. Pharmasave is built on local people helping their local community get healthy, no matter when it hits you.

Flu shots are coming soon! Call your Pharmasave North End pharmacy team to ask about the clinic schedule and book your appointment.

Pharmasave North End
3530 Novalea Drive

Picked Fresh

Take a bite and experience the freshness that only comes from buying food from surrounding land. With produce picked and harvested from farms around Nova Scotia, when you shop at Local Source Market, it's like shopping in your own backyard.

Plan tonight's supper around what's in season. Picture starting your meal off with a cheese platter filled with a wide selection of gourmet cheeses from Nova Scotia and Quebec. Then, become tempted by the smell of this green grocer's made-from-scratch bakery. Even with so many breads to pair, you know you can never go wrong with their famous Molasses Seed Bread.

The cherry on top of your meal prep for the night is Local Source's new Boxing Rock growler fill station. Nothing says Nova Scotia like local craft beer.

Local Source makes planning your evening or your next event easy. They can cater all of this green goodness, and more, to any gathering. Harness your urban locavore!

Local Source Market
2530 Agricola Street

Genuine Gold

Walking through the aisles of any chain store, you'll find bottles of oil awash in fake and adulterated olive oils. Genuine oils are hard to find, but you'll know it when you taste it. Liquid Gold Tasting Bar & All Things Olive is built on a commitment to genuine extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), and trust us, you'll be able to tell the difference.

In staking their reputation on genuine, Liquid Gold serves only the world's freshest EVOO from anywhere in the world where olives are grown and crushed—not only Greece, Spain or Italy. Browse and taste the full selection at Liquid Gold's Hydrostone Market store.

Liquid Gold's white and dark balsamic vinegars are produced in northern Italy and make the perfect companion to their EVOO. Tasting your EVOO of choice before purchasing is key, and that's why nothing at Liquid Gold is pre-bottled.

There are two reasons to choose an EVOO: for the taste of it, and for the health benefits of consuming it. You will spot the difference immediately in freshness and in the unmistakable sparkle, feel and true taste of genuine Liquid Gold.

Liquid Gold Tasting Bar & All Things Olive
5525 Young Street

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Hop Over to Hopyard

Beer. Food. Vinyl. What more could we need? Hopyard Beer Bar took the best of the north end, and just added to it. Gottingen was already filled with amazing options for food, drink and music, and we couldn't be happier to see another perfect fit find its home here.

Hopyard offers 10 taps that are rotating every two weeks, so you're always ahead of the game in terms of independent craft breweries. Their food menu is ever changing as well, with the last few being Italian and then Asian-inspired. Up next, you can try a Southern Comfort-themed meal that you won't want to miss.

Hopyard keeps things exciting but is never too out of your comfort zone. It has an inviting vibe where you can come chill alone, or stop by with your group to try a little flair of everything. Sift through 700+ records, pick your favourite tune and relax with whatever makes you comfortable.  

Hopyard Beer Bar
2103 Gottingen Street

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Often, we don't take care of ourselves as much as we could. But Elizabeth Heffelfinger at Halifax Acupuncture can help you do that.

Do you have back, hip and neck pain from too much time at the computer? Is your stressful workload creating anxiety, or digestive problems? Students, are you studying for extended periods of time, resulting in endless worrying and sleepless nights? These issues, and many more, can all be helped with acupuncture treatments from an experienced, fully trained and licensed Chinese Medicine Acupuncturist.

Elizabeth Heffelfinger at Halifax Acupuncture will work one-on-one with you to discover the causes of your issues and to help you reclaim health and balance.

If you've ever wanted to try acupuncture, now is the time to do it. Go to halifaxacupuncture.com, or call/text 902-240-9959 for an appointment. Experience your innate balance and live the best life possible. 

Halifax Acupuncture,
5663 Cornwallis Street, Suite 305

Home-cooked Deli

The smell, the taste, the family feel—with one bite, you'll be transported back to your mother's kitchen. Hali Deli is a place where food meets nostalgia, and where you'll feel right at home.

With comfort and ease at the forefront of the deli, the hardest decision you'll have to make is between all of their delectable dishes. Inspired by the simplicity of food from Eastern Europe, Lithuania, Russia and Hungary, the food is anything but plain. The tangy flavours mixed with sweet in their cabbage rolls, the warm matzo ball soup or signature smoked meat eggs benny are enough to get you hooked.

Have a seat, and enjoy meals made from scratch. It's like eating at home (only the food is better!). Coming into the deli is being a part of north end Halifax history, and if it's not part of your routine yet, it will be now.   

Hali Deli
2389 Agricola Street

Fog Up Your Goggles

Heading down Gottingen, you'll spot their signature goggles first. And then you won't be able to resist stopping for their featured menu items displayed. The Foggy Goggle is always serving up something delicious and putting a fresh spin on our favourite dishes. Join in on the laughter and fun radiating from this neighbourhood pub, welcoming you in for your next local meal.

Their friendly and warm atmosphere is one way to get cozy and comfortable, and starting off your day with their brunch menu is another. Available 9am-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays, brunch-lovers will rejoice in their vegetarian huevos rancheros, which can be made vegan, and gluten-free options like the banana bread French toast.

Halifax's historic north end is complete in having The Foggy Goggle around, especially when we're craving their late-night eats. Settle into their space with one of 14 beers on tap, spirits and delicious locally sourced food.

The Foggy Goggle
2057 Gottingen Street

Crisp, Cool, Creamy

Cool weather never stopped us from craving a small scoop, and it shouldn't stop you either. Throw on a scarf, make the trek to Cornwallis Street and live a little. Dee Dee's Ice Cream isn't just a seasonal treat, we're making it a staple no matter what the conditions say.

Using local milk and cream, organic cane sugar, and only the real stuff when it comes to fruits and nuts, you're practically eating healthy! Protein? Calcium? That checks out in our book. And could we even resist Dee Dee's seasonal flavours like Pumpkin Spice? It's autumn! Which means pumpkin spice flows through our veins, and should definitely be consumed in ice cream form.

Pumpkin, scarves and toques aside, Dee Dee's carries some amazing flavours like Mexican Chocolate for those who like a kick, or dairy-free sorbets for our vegan friends. Always check in for new flavours or stay on the cozy side with one of their lattes or filling burritos.  

Dee Dee's Ice Cream
5667 Cornwallis Street
The Road to Health

Instead of searching for a quick fix, why not heal the aches you're having? Agricola Holistic Health raises the bar in terms of healthcare, and takes a whole new approach to health in Halifax. Their individualized and holistic approach to healthcare ensures that no matter what your needs are, they'll be met with the best treatment possible for your whole body.

The clinic has been open for close to four and a half years, and is soon rebranding to Agricola Health + Wellness to capture the true essence of what they do for the health of their community.

Each and every person who walks through their doors receives the best service and care, whether that includes massage therapy, physiotherapy and pelvic floor physiotherapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine or nutrition services.

Don't be afraid to ask questions! Their team is waiting to work with you to optimize your performance and guide you back to your overall health and wellbeing.  

Agricola Holistic Health / Agricola Health + Wellness
5689 Cunard Street

The First Rule about 30 Minute Club
Are you ready to become a HITTER?

Looking to make the next move on your exciting journey of health, empowerment and happiness? Give 30 Minute Hit a half hour of your time, and you'll enjoy a fun, intense, full body cardio workout.

30 Minute Hit is designed to accommodate the busy lives of modern-day women. This dynamic circuit consists of techniques taken from boxing, kickboxing, self-defence and core stability training. Research says this kind of kickboxing circuit is one of the most effective cardiovascular workouts, and who are we to argue with the facts?

Don't worry if you're new to the game, a trainer is there to help you all the way. You'll be sweating it out during two-minute interval circuits, and when you're not hitting the bags, you'll be working on core stability exercises.

Squeeze in that 30 minutes of exercise three times per week, have some fun, and get your health back on track. Book your free trial online today at 30minutehit.com and start your own 30 Minute Hit journey!  

30 Minute Hit Halifax
5651 Hennessey Street, Suite 2

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Guided Tour - Quinpool Road

Another Quinfest has come and gone, and not without some good fun had by all. Quinfest celebrated the diversity on the street, and had a little something for everyone.

Posted on Thu, Sep 20, 2018 at 4:00 AM


Karla Nicholson would like to thank everyone who attended this year's Quinpool family fun day. "It was one of the busiest Quinfests we've ever had. The weather was incredible, and everyone had a fun time. We would like to thank the band, Swampdonkeys for doing such a fantastic job."

It's a unique opportunity to give back to the community, and along with the band, Karla would like to thank the loyal customers throughout the year, the sponsors, members, and attendees.

But the businesses are still up and running, even after Quinfest. So, go out and see what all the Quinpool road hype is about.

Dinner of Your Dreams

If you live in Halifax, or have even just stopped in for a visit, then you know that going to the Ardmore Tea Room is a staple. The cozy '50s styled diner is the first place that pops into our heads when brainstorming for a place to grab a meal with friends and family.

They open up at 5am so you never have to worry about going hungry before you start your day, and with prices like these you can afford to go whenever you'd like. We're not complaining, we could eat their eggs benny and slurp on milkshakes all day, every day.

Popping by the Ardmore feels like going to see family. The staff is endlessly friendly, and they always go the extra mile to make sure you are well-fed and leave happy. We'll never pass up an opportunity to grab a seat at this authentic slice of Halifax.  

Ardmore Tea Room, 6499 Quinpool Road

Always Authentically Greek

New isn't always better, and that's definitely the case with this classic Halifax dining spot. Athens Restaurant has been a Greek-food staple in the community for over 25 years, and continues to please whether you're a meat-eater, gluten-free or vegan.

Athens is a family-owned restaurant made for families to come and enjoy their time together. With their kids' menu ready for your picky eaters, you won't have to compromise your meal for the sake of theirs.

Come in for lunch and grab the Greek salad that is topped with perfectly-cooked calamari, and make sure you stay for dessert. The rice pudding is a can't-miss! Opt for the traditional lamb dishes for supper or come in for a Greek spin on breakfast. The Greek Florentine with spinach, tomato, feta and oregano on eggs benny will have you yelling "OPA!"

Between lemon zesty potatoes, and pita with tzatziki for dipping, you won't believe you haven't left the HRM with these authentic Greek tastes.  

Athens Restaurant, 6273 Quinpool Road

A Worldly Cup of Go

Don't blink as you walk down Quinpool or you might miss Halifax's newest, smallest, but most powerful coffee shop, The Atomic Cafe.

Once you discover it though, you'll keep coming back to their cozy corner (nestled inside Pro Skates) where every day you'll find Atomic's friendly barista crafting drinks using the best coffee beans in Halifax. 

The regular menu features Anchor Coffee's espresso-based drinks, but a rotating selection will also feature guest beans from around the world including some you might need to travel to find (SPOILERS: coming soon will be Death Wish Coffee which brings a dark, strong coffee taste to fuel your day, then look out for UK-based Dark Arts, followed by Japanese Minibus beans, each one changing month-to-month so there's always something new to try).

You'll always find your favourite dairy-free options such as almond, soy and oat milk. But don't feel left out if you're not a coffee person, you'll also find an amazing cup of tea brewed there.  

The Atomic Cafe, 6451 Quinpool Road

Doing it Yourself

In a world of DIY, why not go somewhere that takes the risk of "Pinterest fails" away and sets you up for success instead? The Clay Cafe staff is there to do exactly that. All you have to do is bring your creative self along for the ride.

The Clay Cafe isn't just for kids—it's for us kids at heart. Have some fun with clay and paint, and leave with something "adulty" and practical in the end. Mugs, bowls, plates—you name it, you can make it. There are 300 shapes to choose from so you'll always have a unique set (and they're even microwave and dishwasher safe).

The locals know that this is the best place to hang out, and now you're in on the secret too! And psst, students, they're offering you 15 percent off right now. Why buy a generic set of dishes when you can make them yourself?  

Clay Cafe, 6413 Quinpool Road

Small-town Hospitality

Since its inception, Dilly Dally Coffee Cafe has been creating this small-town feeling within their four walls. From knowing their customers by name, to hosting drop-in yoga classes and displaying local artists and makers, this cafe is constantly taking care of their neighbourhood.

Dilly Dally is home to a passionate team including some of the best baristas in the city serving not just the classics, but signature items like the carrot spice latte. This cafe also takes food seriously, featuring market-to-table culinary treats such as their healthy goodness bowl or vegan muffins, all made in-house by Chef Ray and their amazing team of grads from NSCC.

You can come in every single day for your morning latte or come back after a year of travelling­­—they'll still treat you like family. The staff truly know the people who come into the cafe. On this little corner of Halifax, there's a whole lot of community love.  

Dilly Dally Coffee Café, 6100 Quinpool Road

Delicious and Nutritious

What's better than walking around Halifax as it turns to fall? Getting out of the chilly weather and enjoying a warm and filling dish at Heartwood Restaurant.

The window-side seats are prime spots for solo adventures with your book and a peanut- drizzled thai burger, or bring the whole gang in for some veggie nachos with Heartwood-made salsa. Heartwood shows us the true power of veggies and their incredible tastes, and most dining options can be made vegan too!

As if we didn't already look forward to brunch, now Heartwood brings their scrumptious waffles to the table. You wouldn't even know that they're made with hearty spelt-kamut and are naturally sweetened with blueberry sauce. When else can you dig into a dish guilt-free?

At Heartwood, health and taste co-exist, so go ahead and order takeout for later. There's nothing like realizing you have leftover Heartwood bowl for lunch the next day.  

Heartwood Restaurant, 6250 Quinpool Road

Come To Long For A Ride

Have you been searching for the perfect set of wheels? As it turns out, they've been waiting for you, too. Long Alley Bicycles sets you up with the bike of your dreams (within a budget that keeps it real).

These guys specialize in refurbished bicycles but also carry new models as well. Long Alley is Halifax's official dealer of Opus, Masi and Evo for the newer bikes, and as for older ones, well, you'll just have to pop in and see for yourself. The selection is always changing, so you can afford to wait for that "when you know, you know" moment.

If you've already adopted the perfect bike, Long Alley can help you keep your bff well and alive with their set of services. Need a flat tire fix? Their "Tall Cold Pint" will do the trick. Or go all in and enjoy the "Five Course Extravaganza" for a complete rebuild of your bike. They serve it all, plus some enjoyable $5-10 side dishes.  

Long Alley Bicycles, 6164 Quinpool Road

Gourmet On-The-Go

Cozy up by an intimate fire on a Friday night and enjoy the beautiful open-concept space that is the new Morris East location. This neighbourhood restaurant is completely Instagram-worthy, especially with the warming pizza oven decorating the background.

Morris East is all about connecting over pizza, and they're set up to accommodate your next big celebration. Bring your birthday parties and wedding anniversaries over, or just pop in for after-work drinks and choose between their eight craft beers on tap or signature cocktails.

Treat yourself to a gourmet pizza or pasta dish and a fresh salad to pair, and you definitely can't skip out on dessert! Their salted caramel tarts are baked in-house by a local pastry chef and are by far the best dessert in Halifax.

If you're in a rush, you can now eat on-the-go in style with their new Slice Shop. Bring Morris East's famous lumberjack pizza with you, so you never have to miss out on bacon, caramelized onion and maple drizzle goodness.   

Morris East, 1984 Vernon Street

Browsing for Beets, Eats and Vegan Treats

With the cold season approaching, our immune systems need a little kick into high gear. Organic Earth Market has everything we need to keep our bodies healthy inside and out.

From screening every ingredient in their grocery and natural body care products, to constantly picking up more local goods, this little gem of a market does so much for the community in terms of health and wellness.

Organic Earth even offers 10 percent off on Tuesdays for students, making it easy to stay healthy when you're back to hitting the books. Whether you're a student or not, it can still be tricky to maintain your healthy practices. That's what their prepared food section is for. You can find everything from delicious in-house baked vegan treats, to fully packed meals and 100 percent organic produce to get you through your busy day. Who says you can't have your cake and eat your veggies too?  

Organic Earth Market, 6487 Quinpool Road

Saving Soles

Bring your footwear favourites back to life at Quinpool Shoe Repair. With some high-quality dye, new colourful soles and some shine, you'll think they're brand new—and so will everyone else. That's why we've trusted them with our shoe repair needs since 1958.

If you've been in before, get ready for a surprise—they're in a new location right across the street. But the shop is still a little slice of NYC. Look around the walls and say hello to Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra as you get your shoes shined.

There's nothing Quinpool Shoe Repair can't do between key cutting, waterproofing by hand, rubber soles for winter and heel and zipper fixes. You can even trust them with your belts and leather purses. Did we mention they have the tools to fix sports equipment and to sharpen your skates? And why not get some colourful new laces while you're at it? Your pieces deserve the best, and they help maintain the things we love so we never have to say goodbye. Quinpool Shoe Repair, 6424 Quinpool Road

Representing Nova Scotian Artists

Secord Gallery is our source for both contemporary fine art and expert custom framing, and this year marks the 25th anniversary of their expansion and establishment of the gallery.

As one of the longest-established galleries and independent custom framing shops in the region, Secord is passionate about the importance of art and the contemporary Nova Scotian artists who create it.

The 25th anniversary series on display features the work of Leya Evelyn and Steve Farmer. Leya is perhaps Nova Scotia's best-known abstract painter, and Steve is well-known as a NSCAD instructor and creator of amazing photographs of exceptional marine and industrial subject matter.

Secord wants to celebrate the remarkable talent found in Nova Scotia with you, and is always eager to discuss the artists, and to assist in your art purchases, including alternative payment methods such as leasing to buy. The gallery also provides experienced and creative framing consultation, an amazing selection of mouldings and expert crafting.  

Secord Gallery, 6301 Quinpool Road

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Guided Tour - Downtown Halifax

Halifax’s centre may be a political and business capital, but it’s also an inviting place for the rest of us, with great boutiques and unforgettable eating to discover.

Posted on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 4:00 AM

East coast crafts
The crisp white walls house everything you've needed to say but have never had the words for before now. Whether you're from the East Coast or beyond, the cards at Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique are relatable but with a quirky, you-never-would-have-thought-of-it-yourself, twist.

If you're a Haligonian, you'll recognize Inkwell by its 97-year-old working press which creates their Inkwell Originals. Out of towners: It's a must-see while you're visiting the area, and trust us, you'll be taking home a true Maritime souvenir. Inkwell carries a variety of over 200 independent artisans originating in Nova Scotia along with further corners of Canada as well as around the globe.

Now with their addition of pantry food items, you can pair your card design with a treat for the special occasion or just some authentic Canadian maple syrup for yourself. Inkwell Originals' unique flair is expanding into other sectors of Halifax, and in other cities as far away Ottawa and Vermont. But even with this growing list, they never lose their neighbourhood feel.

Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique, 2011 Brunswick Street

Ocean has so much to see
Friends and frames—isn't that all we ever need? The Ocean Optometry team started with a desire to work alongside their friends, and together they combined their knowledge to bring us the best (and most fashionable) care.

We've entrusted our friends at Ocean Optometry to always tell us what's in style, and recently they've incorporated a new collection from LA-based designer Blake Kuwahara. His frames take heartbreakingly chic to a new level with his subtly obvious edge. You'll want to show off their sleek simplicity the second you walk out their door.

At Ocean Optometry, they teeter the border between art and science with their fashion-forward angle to eye care. But who says you can't be both? In their care, you can have your cake and be able to see it, too.

Now it's easier than ever to book an appointment live directly online—connect at oceanoptometry.ca—and they make visiting them a breeze with new complimentary parking nearby. (Yes, you are reading that correctly: Ocean offers complimentary parking downtown.)

Ocean Optometry, 5240 Blowers Street

Carb overload
Strawberry buns, salted-caramel brownie cheesecake or coconut cream pie eclairs: It's not a satisfying morning until you've picked up your treat from The Old Apothecary Bakery & Cafe.

The sugar high is just the frosting on the cake that is the decadent baked goods, but the real kick is that everything is made fresh in-house. No need to feel guilty—it's all fresh ingredients in these pastries. Dine in or take it on the go—the products travel well and make for a great walk-to-work snack.

Their savoury is just as tempting as the sweet, especially when we're talking breakfast biscuits topped with homemade mayo and micro greens. Can't you already taste that flaky goodness? The Old Apothecary is a carb-lover's dream come true. With the smell of freshly baked bread filling the air, you won't be able to resist taking some home for the whole family.

The Old Apothecary Bakery & Cafe, 1549 Barrington Street

The best of country
Where can you go for an equally delicious breakfast or a fine whiskey sour? Only at Ruby's Rhinestone Reception & Lounge can you experience a little country flair in the HRM.

Breakfast at Ruby's means southern buttermilk breakfast biscuits, and lunch is begging you to try their tender fried chicken. Ruby's chefs are always experimenting and refining versions of classic homestyle foods. They take a little bit of history and bring it to 2018, even their atmosphere brings you back to the 1920s, right down to the historic building.

Their bar is built around a massive bank vault where you can put your elbows up and choose between the finest whiskies Halifax has to offer. Whether it's a ladies' night out or your next date night, come hungry or come for the joy of country music. Ruby's has live music every Friday and Saturday, and the best of country every other night.

Ruby's Rhinestone Reception & Lounge, 5187 Salter Street

Taste the quality
Looking at their menu, you'll only read the best natural ingredients. And speaking with the staff, you'll only receive the best service. At Verano Food Purveyors, they take pride in offering the premium on all fronts. With quality this good, you can taste it the minute you walk through the doors.

You can experience a different food journey each time you visit, and still the taste never wavers. Their authentic blend of Venezuelan and Mexican flavours will make your mouth water. Between the arepa with chicken, Cuban sandwich,or handmade soups, you can go in at any time of the day and leave satisfied (and wanting to come back for multiple meals).

Verano's commitment to their customers is "a smile with every bite" and it's hard to decide which makes you smile more: The food or the service. Their staff is some of the best in the HRM, constantly serving downtown wanderers with pleasure and, of course, a smile.

Verano Food Purveyors, 1871 Hollis Street

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Guided Tour - Hydrostone

Posted on Wed, May 16, 2018 at 6:50 PM

Halifax Seed
  • Halifax Seed

Make plans for wealth

Assante Hydrostone is a wealth management company that has been firmly rooted in the Hydrostone area since 2010. Their holistic approach to wealth planning examines a client's investment goals, retirement and estate plans, and even more. Assante's team is experienced and has the specialized knowledge to ensure that their clients have access to all options and ideas, and that nothing is overlooked.

In building strong, long-lasting relationships with their clients, Assante is committed to watching your goals come to life. By creating a personal and complete wealth plan for you, they'll make sure that you are on the right path to your financial success.

Assante Hydrostone is a proud supporter of many local charities, including Street Connection, Make-a-Wish and motionball for Special Olympics. They also sponsor the neighbourhood's annual tree-lighting ceremony—a highlight of the holiday season. Assante Hydrostone is a true cornerstone of the community.  

Assante Hydrostone, 5548 Kaye Street

Halifax's French oasis

Dreaming of a summer immersed in the French language? There's no need to fly off to Paris or Quebec, when an easy trip to the Hydrostone's Alliance Française Halifax helps bring the French to you.

Alliance Française provides the HRM with top-quality French courses to keep your language sharp and ready to use at a moment's notice. Their week-long intensive is perfect if you've been looking to move up a level and really challenge yourself. Come in for six-hour days, and you'll find yourself speaking French in your sleep!

Alliance Française's instructors are passionate about increasing your language proficiency, and that goes for developing or maintaining your kids' language skills as well. With structured weekly classes, watch your children's French improve as they have the opportunity to practice, move up a level and be completely school-ready come the fall term.

Alliance Française Halifax, 5509 Young Street

Coming home to the Hydro

North end neighbourhood real estate expert Edie Hancock is a must go-to if you're looking for property in the area. Not only has she been in real estate for more than 30 years, but she probably knows the Hydrostone area better than anyone.

You can always trust Edie to help you find the exact space that suits you in this ideal location. From furniture stores to restaurants to other shopping amenities, the north end is your next great home! The area is booming with new clients moving in; Fort Needham Park upgrading benches, lighting and adding in a new playground; and lots of upscale high-rise buildings being built.

The Hydrostone is readily accessible to anywhere in HRM, especially with both rotaries now complete—a quick five-minute drive along North Park Street will get you to downtown. Edie has all the tips to keep you satisfied in this up-and-coming area, all while staying connected with other parts of town.

Reach Edie Hancock at 902-456-9988

Planting ideas

With spring in full bloom, us gardeners are looking for the best of the best for our backyards, and we wouldn't have it any other way than to find our seeds at Canada's oldest family-run seed company. Celebrating 152 years this spring, Halifax Seed Company knows a thing or two about our planting needs.

Whether you're a veteran gardener or a newbie trying to make it on your own, the Halifax Seed team is here to support you with all of your gardening projects. Ask your questions, and make sure to take in-depth notes—these staff members offer knowledgeable advice to make sure your crop is successful.

Not an outdoorsy person? Halifax Seed also has a full selection of indoor house plants, succulents and trendy containers to pair with. This urban garden centre has it all, from vegetables, flowers and herbs, to shrubs, berries and more. They just can't get enough of plants, and neither can we.

Halifax Seed Company, 5860 Kane Street

A neighbourhood with Heart

They captured our hearts in 1995 and have been nourishing Halifax ever since. As if we couldn't get enough before, a new location of Heartwood Restaurant has opened its doors to the Hydrostone community and we couldn't be happier. Or hungrier!

Heartwood loves feeding the community, almost as much as we love tasting their delicious creations. They've already settled into the area and contributed daily vegetarian lunches to the pre-primaries at the Shambhala School. Between the original Quinpool Road restaurant, the new Heartwood Hydrostone and their Heartwood By The Sea waterfront location opening up this week, there's no going without. There's a Heartwood in every nook to play a healthy role in feeding and fuelling the hungry locals and tourists.

Their Hydrostone location is every plant-lover's dream, with greenery lining the windows, the luscious trees canopying just outside and their veggie eats satisfying your every craving. Patio season is calling, and you know you'll need a Heartwood Bowl there by your side.

Heartwood Hydrostone, 3061 Gottingen Street

The eyes have it

Lang Optometry & Eyewear bring us comfort and style all wrapped up in one. After meeting with Dr. Gaétan Lang or Dr. Christopher Poh for your appointment, be prepared to find the exact unique look that you've been searching for—we all see differently, shouldn't our frames be different too?

The team at Lang's stop at nothing to bring us the best and the boldest eyewear they can locate. In addition to their already exclusive lines like Bruno Choussignand, Gaétan and his team have found another perfect addition to the family. Originating in Belgium, the brand "Theo" have that fashion-forward, colourful edge that Lang's is known for. By mixing primary colours with a variety of accents, there is a perfect match for every personality and face shape.

Theo, like Lang's, goes beyond the ordinary to show the HRM the beauty of colour possibilities and textures that will make your face pop. Lang Optometry & Eyewear, 5550 Kaye Street

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Guided Tour - Downtown Dartmouth

If you’ve never really visited Dartmouth, you’re missing out. And if you haven’t been there lately, it’s time to go back.

Posted on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 5:57 PM

Scenes of Downtown Dartmouth, clockwise from above: Taste at The Canteen, grow with Urban Gardens, enjoy the great outdoors. - SUBMITTED
  • Scenes of Downtown Dartmouth, clockwise from above: Taste at The Canteen, grow with Urban Gardens, enjoy the great outdoors.

The ultimate gift-giver

Kept Gifts & Housewares, 75 King Street

Scrambling last minute to get that special someone a gift? Is your mom someone who says she wants nothing but would actually really love something? Kept takes the hassle out of your search by being your one-stop gift shop for the picky present receiver in your life.

Everyone wants to be a good gift-giver, and Kept makes it easy. You can leave it to the last minute and stop in on your way to the birthday party, wedding or special event, because you know they'll have you covered. From the cheeky cards, to the well-designed goodies, right down to the beautiful packaging, they have internationally sourced and locally made products to make your gift-giving effortless. Kept keeps it even easier and offers online shopping in April and May for those who can't make it over the bridge!

You'll walk in for someone else and walk out with a long list of gift-ideas for yourself. Alfter all, their slogan is "Everything you want to give and get."

Live more, stress less

Living Lighting Home Decor / Progressive Cabinets and Millwork, 560 Windmill Road

Brighten your day with 10,000 square feet of lighting at Living Lighting. The family operated business has been providing us with all of our lighting needs for 14 years. They continue to handle the "behind the scenes" layout work for us and never fail to provide customers—in Dartmouth and beyond—with recommendations and technical aspects so we don't have any stress added to our lighting projects.

Their fashion-forward showroom keeps up with current trends through an inventory rotation, but always offers clients classic pieces that fit within every space. With 40+ suppliers, and Atlantic Canada's largest selection for residential, commercial and hospitality lighting, you're sure to find something in your style and budget.

Their team adds to the light environment with their lively personalities and passion for the products, which shines through in each project they work on. They're all certified through the American Lighting Association, so you can feel confident knowing that you are dealing with the best.

The same vibrant environment is found with the five professional kitchen designers in Living Lighting's sister store: Progressive Cabinets. They specialize in local, custom cabinetry design and manufacturing, focusing on residential, multi-unit and commercial spaces. From design to installation, they'll be with you through every step of your project.

Leave your confusion at the door, and their staff will pick it up for you–they're determined to make your choosing experience effortless. They'll help you pick a custom design that fits your lifestyle and budget and one that suits the desired look and feel of your space. Stay within your comfort zone or add a current flare to the design features. Your options are endless.

The team is constantly joking with each other and their clients, making you forget you had a choice to make in the first place. Between these two stores, you'll have all of your lighting and kitchen design needs met with ease, and none of the stress.

Southern Italy next door

Il Trullo Ristorante, 67 King's Wharf Place

In need of a vacation? Il Trullo brings the feel of southern Italy right to Downtown Dartmouth for you. Sit amongst the natural structure based off a trullo, the unique conical roof found in southern Italy, and let yourself be transported to its home region of Puglia.

Who needs to hop on a plane when you have the clean atmosphere with the view of the water right here? Il Trullo ties the Mediterranean vibe together with light olive-oil based sauces and incorporating local fish into the menu items. With homemade traditional lasagnas and squid ink spaghetti, you're sure to get your Italian fix.

Il Trullo doesn't just use the idea of natural structure, they also incorporate recycled materials to make the interior space sustainable. The owners are passionate about sustainability and have trained their staff on their aggressive recycling and composting program. With its compostable take-away containers instead of plastic, eating at Il Trullo really does mean going back to our natural elements.

Flavours of Dartmouth

Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, 163 Portland Street

Hop on the ferry and take in the entire Dartmouth experience. Stroll down by the harbour, visit quirky retail shops and explore all of the novelty that can be found in the emerging neighbourhoods. With the Downtown area growing into a compact community, you can find something to do no matter what mood you're in.

Tim Rissesco, Executive Director with the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, says that "Downtown Dartmouth is home to many of the most celebrated independent shops and restaurants around, and the highlight has to be the growing food and drink sector.

"This scene is growing, and we have some of the best patios in the city. We're even getting two new craft breweries and a cidery this year. It's incredibly exciting," he adds. Already home to so many of our favourite go-to spots, the existing businesses welcome any new members to the Dartmouth family and are excited to share the wealth of downtown.

The wait is over

Cheese Curds Gourmet Burgers + Poutinerie / Habaneros Modern Taco Bar, 380 Pleasant Street and 600 Windmill Road

You may see these guys popping up all over the HRM, but that hasn't compromised their loyalty to fresh food. Both Cheese Curds and Habaneros were founded in Nova Scotia and remain imbedded in the community with their made-in-house recipes. The majority of menu items are made from scratch and with just one bite you can taste the difference.

Founded by retired Navy cook Bill Pratt, Cheese Curds and Habaneros appeal to the picky eaters and the foodies. Whether you're a vegan, live with celiac or love your meats, you'll never go hungry as long as they're around. They're always changing up recipes, but they notice what's a hot seller and brought back the original chicken recipe and Bombay Vegan Curry for that reason. Bill always leaves room for the originals in the midst of novelty.

This family owned restaurant knows what works and they're determined to experiment until they've found the perfect taste—their slogan is "It's Worth the Wait" for a reason.

Designs through the decades

Retrospekt, 166 Ochterloney Street

Step through Retrospekt's door and travel back in time. Their mid-century modern furniture dates back to the 1950s and each piece has its own story to tell. The house is tailored to the furniture, where each room is created with an authentic feel, so you can visualize exactly where each piece belongs in your own home.

Wander through 1,500 square feet of space on two floors where you'll find sculptured floor lamps and Danish desks in the office, plus sexy bars and sideboards in the kitchen. Retrospekt has a little bit of everything for the collector and novice alike. Their furniture is restored and ready to last another 60 years.

Made by renowned designers and furniture makers of the period, these unique pieces are going to be the talking point of all of your social gatherings. Whether you purchase a new sofa, accent chair, bedroom set or wall unit, you'll be owning a piece of furniture that is authentic, versatile and timeless.

A family dream

Seamus David's Pub, 21 Logiealmond Close

Owning her own business is Beverly's dream come true, and it's ours too! Seamus David Pub brings local heart to the Dartmouth Crossing area, and is feeding us home-cooked meals before and after our shopping trips.

Located in an area surrounded by woods makes for a transporting country setting (and an amazing view during the summer patio season). After expanding in October and adding an extra 50 seats, there's plenty of room to host a private gathering, or to bring the entire gang in for their famous home-cooked style shepherd's pie, Guinness Irish stew, and juicy burgers.

Pop by on the weekend to listen to live local talent while you pair your meal with any of the 17 draught choices. Keep an eye out for daily deals served by the best staff around–most of them have been with Beverly from the very start and will treat you like part of the family, too!

Sewing community

Seam Work, 60 Queen Street, Unit A

When the space beside Urban Gardens Limited opened up, owner Adrienne knew that the growing Downtown Dartmouth was exactly where she wanted her business to be. Seam Work is a sewing studio with six working sewing machines and a heart for community teaching.

Adrienne has been a quilter for 20 years and shares her acquired knowledge with everyone who walks through the door. In addition to her open studio time, where sewers can come in and rent a machine for $7 an hour, Adrienne offers classes that stretch from beginner level to advanced, and succeeds at appealing to every skill level of sewer and maker.

Adrienne provides everything from scissors and mats to cutters—makers just have to bring their own fabric and she'll provide the rest. Seam Work is a space where like-minded people can gather together to learn and create, and sit with people who speak their same language.

A twist on the classic

The Watch That Ends The Night, 15 King's Wharf Place

The Watch that Ends the Night walks the line between restaurant and cocktail bar. With over 200 bottles of premium spirits to create their well-executed cocktails and with their contemporary rotating dinner and brunch menus, it's safe to say that this mid-century destination can do both.

Chef Mark Gray strives to use locally sourced ingredients to bring a multicultural flair to his Canadian contemporary vision and is a wiz with a charcuterie board (he even cures his own meats and seafood on site). On the cocktail side, their bartending team is constantly tweaking recipes to find the best versions of the classics. Try their Old Fashioned or Mai Tai on for size. Original cocktail menus change seasonally to keep it fresh and exciting.

What's more, The Watch contends to be the premier wine destination on the Dartmouth side of the harbour. With 75 seats overlooking the water and Halifax skyline, you can enjoy a mix of adventurous and comforting in all departments.

Sprouting near you

Urban Gardens Limited, 60 Queen Street

The Dartmouth community is filled with avid gardeners, and Urban Gardens Limited was created to be the one-stop green shop for all of your horticultural needs. Their knowledgeable team is always ready to hear about your next project and offer you the best advice combined with quality products made from recycled materials.

Their love for tinkering and growing sustainably has inspired a strong background in hydroponics, but rather than specializing in one type of thing, they have their hands in multiple plotting grounds. Urban Gardens offers a wide selection of house plants, mums sprouting seeds, hand and garden tools and both indoor and outdoor gardening supplies.

The retail store keeps it local from start to finish, and has access to greener technology to help take you there. Urban Gardens Limited is passionate about bringing you health from your own backyard, whether it's nutritious and delicious or relaxing and spiritual, they'll help you find wellness through your garden.

The change agents

Tara MacDonald Fit Club, 133 Baker Drive, Suite 103

Summer is on its way, and we know what that means? Hiking, swimming and everything else active! It can be tricky to get back into the swing of things, but Tara at Tara MacDonald Fit Club makes it easy and comfortable to get your workout groove back.

They are a personal training club for men and women, and open to all ages and sizes. No matter where you are in your fitness regime, Tara and her team are devoted to helping you make the decision for change—it's what they do!

Customize your workout to suit you, or make some friends in their offered group fitness classes. TRX, Yoga and Zumba are all a perfect combination to help you sweat, stretch and teach you some new dance moves. Tara MacDonald Fit Club is part of the Baker Drive Health & Wellness Group, which includes their club sponsor Soles in Motion, so you have an entire plaza rooting for you to get your health on.

It's a whole new bar game

St. Louis Bar & Grill, 547 Portland Street, Penhorn Plaza

Everyone needs a friendly neighbourhood sports bar, and if you don't have your go-to place yet, then St. Louis Bar & Grill is cheering your name. Watch the game alone and meet like-minded fans around you, or bring the entire gang for your Sunday night tradition. It's time you found a new bar routine.

Even if you're not a sports fan and are being dragged out by your friends, there's no better place to be stuck than somewhere with famous garlic dill sauce–perfectly creamy to top your wings or fries. Lucky you, they have specials on 7-days-a-week, so no matter what your craving for bar food will be more than satisfied.

Join them for live music on Saturdays or to cheer on your favourite team. The atmosphere and service will leave you buzzing even if you haven't had a beer, and before you know it, you'll be coming every week.

Brunch is just the beginning

The Canteen, 22 Portland Street

Saturdays mornings are meant for brunch, and what better place to start your weekend than at our go-to spot, The Canteen on Portland. This feel-good neighbourhood restaurant is part of the downtown Dartmouth experience. You can't miss it: Just step off the ferry, walk 150 steps from the terminal and you'll spot the vibrant green facade.

This 2017 Best of Halifax awards recipient has won over our hearts (and our stomachs) with classic, locally inspired dishes. Chef Renée Lavallée adds her own twist to familiar dishes such as steak frites, our favourite haddock burger and her award-winning seafood chowder.

The combination of a great selection of craft beers, local wines and top-notch service makes return visits a necessity.

Can't stick around? Their sister restaurant, Little C (located next door), helps you bring The Canteen taste home with you with their take-away dinners, sandwiches, salads and soups.

They're always coming up with something fresh, and we can promise they're cooking up something special for this summer season—stay tuned!

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Guided Tour Quinpool Road

Today’s Quinpool has changed from travel artery to thriving high street of the west end. Drop by the QuinFest celebration on Saturday to share the vibe of a neighbourhood on the rise.

Quinpool rewards visitors with great restaurants, interesting shops and hidden gems like Oddfellows Barbershop. - SUBMITTED PHOTO
  • Quinpool rewards visitors with great restaurants, interesting shops and hidden gems like Oddfellows Barbershop.
  • submitted photo

QuinFun at the QuinFest

You can start your day off with a creamy latte, check those groceries off your to-do list, do your banking, then still have time to treat yourself to lunch. Quinpool Road has it all ready for you, and you don't have to go far—it's a straight shot! Don't forget, many businesses are pet friendly, so your four-legged friends can enjoy Quinpool too!

The business community is ever-growing, with our favourite staples expanding, plus new businesses introducing themselves to the neighbourhood. Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association ensures that each new addition always receives a warm welcome into the Quinpool Road family.

QRMDA is celebrating their members with the 10th annual QuinFest: Family Fun Day on Saturday, September 23 from 11am to 3pm. Enjoy free food samples from some restaurants, a bouncy castle and carnival games for all of you kids at heart, and stay for the live entertainment. Whatever fun you like, Quinpool Road has got you covered!
Check out the full QuinFest events lineup at quinfest.com

Little heaven on Organic Earth

Organic Earth Market is your place for fresh, in-season fruits and veggies, where the aisles are filled with healthy snacks that you can't resist, and you're guaranteed to find an open kombucha bottle in your cart by the end of your shopping trip. Organic Earth is your local grocery alternative, and it won't break the budget.

Organic Earth satisfies your pre-shopping hunger with their open smoothie bar, has your vitamins available before flu-season hits and has ready-made food for you to take home when you're in a hurry. You've asked, and this one-stop shop has listened—it's increased its hours to 8am-9pm Mon-Sat, and 10am-6pm on Sundays.

The conveniences are endless, especially with the brand-new local businesses and products added to the mix, so now you'll practically never have to leave. When Organic Earth isn't providing you with an organic alternative, they're updating their outdoor signage. Stay turned for what puns and rhymes they'll come up with next!
Organic Earth Market, 6485 Quinpool Road

Handcrafted just for you

A sparkling trio at Trinity Jewellers. - SUBMITTED PHOTO
  • A sparkling trio at Trinity Jewellers.
  • Submitted photo

Bring in your inherited jewellery and let them craft a custom ring that you'll be able to cherish forever. Trinity Jewellers is here to re-purpose your family heirloom, and make sure that you never lose a piece of history. Trinity knows that classic jewellery never needs to go out of style.

Trinity Jewellers supports and carries Canadian-made and designed jewellery brands like BIKO, Sara Kelly, Plum & Posey, AM Chagnon, JewelleryByDuc and Foxy Original. Or stay hip with the trend, and pick up another Alex & Ani charm for your collection.

Trinity keeps busy during wedding and engagement season, but this local business will make sure that your ring is one-of-a-kind, just like you, and you'll always feel like a priority when you walk through their doors. This is why they are still the top place to go for any jewellery repair in the HRM.
Trinity Jewellers, 6226 Quinpool Road

I heart Heartwood

The smell of freshly cooked vegetables fills the air the moment you walk in, and you know that you're in for a treat. Heartwood restaurant appeals to the super-green active vegetarian, the cheese lovers and all the way to you meatless-Monday folk. You'll wonder how health could taste this good?

Close your eyes and check out the chef's surprise when you pick the "wild card pizza." This dish is perfect for all of you brave foodies who are willing to try anything. You may end up with a bean burger, tofu, spinach and artichoke mix on top of the kamut crust and homemade caesar dressing. Is your mouth watering yet?

Heartwood is the perfect spot to sit with a smoothie by the window, or to pair your first date with a bottle of local wine. Their combination of fun-loving staff and cozy lighting makes for the perfect ambiance, no matter the occasion.
Heartwood, 6250 Quinpool Road

Permanent impress

Are you itching to get a new tattoo? Have you had one on your mind and just haven't found the right artist for you? Adept Tattoos & Body Piercing Studio has a wide variety of resident tattoo artists who are happy to brainstorm one-on-one with you to suit the style that you're looking for. Or if you're feeling brave, you can go on and try one of their featured guest artists from out of town.

Adept's artists specialize in custom artwork, and know how important it is to get the perfect design ready to permanently ink. If tattoos aren't your thing, pop in for a piercing. The Quinpool location welcomes walk-ins everyday so you can afford to be spontaneous. The studio has been open since 2006 and continues to provide the HRM with state of the art equipment and ink, and large selection of jewellery.
Adept Tattoos & Body Piercing Studio, 6265 Quinpool Road

Social dining in the Six

They are new to the Quinpool area but this neighbourhood restaurant fits right in. Six303 Eatery's ambiance is chic and urban, and if you peek over to the green wall, you may notice some familiar Halifax street names to make you feel connected to your city, and with them.

Six303 is your new brunch spot, or your chance to test your painting skills on PaintNite Tuesdays. This eatery pulls out all the stops to make sure they're sending you home with your belly full of some of the city's best calamari, or their signature Six303 burger, and you can go ahead and book your reservation online. You'll never want to cook for yourself again.

Join them for Wine Tasting Wednesdays and live music with Jon Cyr on Thursdays, and football fans better keep an eye out for their Patriots-themed menu. So what are you waiting for? Six303 is waiting to get social with you.
Six303 Eatery, 6303 Quinpool Road

Top class in glasses

Tired of seeing double? Imagine walking out your door with a unique style that's all your own. That's what you'll get with Gaudet Optical. Gaudet attracts the curious with their distinguished eyewear, and Gaudet's unique clients wear their glasses with confidence. Swap out those gold earrings—glasses are the new statement accessory.

They have a wide selection from over a thousand frames in store, and no frame is the same, because everyone at Gaudet Optical feels that each frame is made for one face. Be curious and try on a pair that you wouldn't normally; the staff is experienced, friendly and they're all rocking many of their own styles of frames and are eager to help you find yours.

Glasses make a person stand out, and are a representation of who that person is. Are you soft...bold...colourful? However you need to express yourself, Gaudet has a frame.
Gaudet Optical, 6465 Quinpool Road

A slice of The Big Apple

We call them "Little New York" because it's the restaurant that never sleeps. Walk by at 1pm or 4am and you'll see the lights on, the hard-working staff making customers laugh, the smell of sweet cheesy goodness in the air. Freeman's Little New York has been satisfying our midnight cravings since 1956, and boy do they have us hooked.

At Freeman's you can pick it all, and at any hour. With them being open 24 hours, you can meet your friends at this popular community breakfast spot, or grab lunch on the go. Just can't get through the week without your dose of Freeman's signature nachos and pizza? Don't worry; they'll still be there. Can't go to them? Well, it's a good thing Freeman's delivers until 5am so that you never have to go without. The Freeman's vibe will transport you right into the heart of New York, and have you eating like a New Yorker too.
Freeman's Little New York, 6092 Quinpool Road

Total passion for local culture

"Flowers For Maud" at Secord Gallery. - SUBMITTED PHOTO
  • "Flowers For Maud" at Secord Gallery.
  • Submitted photo

Secord Gallery is one of the longest-established galleries and independent custom framing shops in the region. Part of the Quinpool family since 1979, the gallery is a source for both contemporary fine art and expert custom framing. 

Secord is passionate about the importance of art and the contemporary Nova Scotian artists who create it. The gallery represents both well-known and emerging artists, including realist painters Alan Bateman, Paul Hannon and Steven Rhude, and ceramic artists like Alexandra McCurdy and Sally Ravindra. Secord also features sculptors, landscape and figure painters, printmakers, and interpretive and abstract painters who are showcased in Secord's series of exhibitions every year. 

Secord wants to celebrate the remarkable talent found in Nova Scotia with you, and is always eager to discuss the artists, and to assist in your art purchases, including alternative payment methods such as leasing to buy. The gallery also provides experienced and creative framing consultation, an amazing selection of mouldings and careful, expert workmanship.
Secord Gallery, 6301 Quinpool Road

Welcome home to the Athens

Ever wish you were born into a Greek family, if only just for the food? Congratulations, we've found your perfect home! When you come through the doors at Athens Restaurant, the Panopalis family will adopt you for a meal or two. (Don't worry, they won't tell your "real" family.)

Athens is meant for the whole gang. They have something for the vegetarian in your family, or even a separate kid's menu for your picky eater. It's so easy to find something for everyone, and did we mention that everything is made from scratch? Their ingredients are locally sourced when possible, but can we really blame them for using authentic Greek spices?

Their menu has some overwhelmingly delicious options, but it's easy to pick when Athens offers sampler plates, serves breakfast daily and has endless options stretching beyond Greek food. Come hungry, and get your fix right on Quinpool Road.
Athens Restaurant, 6273 Quinpool Road

Find your swole mate

Everything should feel right, from the cushion to the handlebars, to the feeling that you get when you first see it. Take your time, look around and test-ride every bike in the shop if you'd like. Building a bike and finding its perfect match is what Long Alley Bicycles specializes in.

Even if you're in a committed relationship, you can bring your old flame in and the guys at Long Alley will have it looking brand new. They are passionate about what they do, and if they can salvage any part, they will.

Long Alley takes away the stress of bike maintenance, and their services menu makes you feel like you're visiting a restaurant. You can grab a "tall cold pint" with them—a flat tire fix. Or get a "side of poutine"—a drivetrain scrub. What more could you ask for when taking care of the love of your life?

Don't miss their end of season clear-out sale: Thirty percent off bikes and 50 percent savings on select helmets.
Long Alley Bicycles, 6164 Quinpool Road, Unit A

Order up!

Whether you're a Halifax local, or you've visited a time or two, you can't say you know the city until you've had a classic Ardmore Tea Room experience. Ardmore is where you go when you want an authentic diner atmosphere that takes you back into the '50s, right down to the portion sizes.

Ardmore invites you into its booths to indulge in that classic Canadian breakfast that your stomach has been aching for, and you can have it anytime with their all-day breakfast option. (Who doesn't love breakfast for dinner?)

Top your visit off with some blueberry pancakes or out-of-this-world milkshake, and if you feel like you're stumbling out, you did Ardmore right.

Ardmore is simple because it can be, and you'll be thinking about your breakfast here all the way home. Ardmore is the Halifax experience. You'll be sad to leave, but Ardmore will always be waiting for you when you return.
Ardmore Tea Room, 6499 Quinpool Road

An oasis of Oddfellows

Just finding Oddfellows is part of the fun. - SUBMITTED PHOTO
  • Just finding Oddfellows is part of the fun.
  • Submitted photo

You wouldn't know it to see it. First you've got to make your way through the board boutique that is Pro Skates, then hop through some obstacles and voila! Once you find Oddfellows Barbershop, you'll be glad you went hunting.

This quirky living room-style barbershop likes the idea of being tucked away; it's part of their charm. When you happen upon them it's like a fun game, and if you make it through, you're in the club for life. Oddfellows intrigues you with its super-secret location, and totally delivers with that extra care to make sure your trim is just right.

This relaxing environment also offers you the full therapeutic shaving experience, with straight razor shaves, beard trims and men's grooming products. You'll walk in as a stranger, but leave feeling like a friend.
Oddfellows Barbershop, 6451 Quinpool Road

Hole wheat

You'll hear Gerry singing an ode to his unforgettable bagels, and as you start getting closer, you'll spot his spinning sign and infamous bagel song and dance. Once you've made it this far, there's no way you haven't smelled the intoxicating rising sourdough. If you are still resisting going inside East Coast Bakery on Quinpool Road, you've been eating the wrong bagels, friend.

This bakery has created a special hybrid bagel for all us east coasters by breeding local wild yeast with a flour-and-water mix, and thus their sourdough was born!

The bagels are baked in store every day, and to make your dozen you can mix and match between the onion-all-in, sesame, pretzel and more. You can also dress your bagel up by grabbing a bagel-wich at any of the 11 local restaurants that serve East Coast Bagels. Carb lovers have a special thing coming for them.
East Coast Bakery, 6257 Quinpool Road

A magic patty ride

Put your phone away, close your eyes and let your senses awaken to the ultimate burger experience. Relish Gourmet Burgers uses traditional French culinary techniques, all while using locally conscious ingredients, to bring you the best gourmet burger in town. Your taste buds will be thanking you.

From vegan to beef options, Relish likes to spice up the patty so that you'll never get bored. You won't be able to keep up with their ongoing burger specials like the famous Donair sliders, Chips n Dip burger, or the Big Wack. These guys are Burger Week champions for a reason.

Everything at Relish is made right there; try the kale Caesar salad's house made dressing with veggies from Common Roots Urban Farm just across the road. This way, you can finish your burger, and then walk over and see where the kale was grown! Just bite the burger already, and get ready to say hello to your new favourite burger joint.
Relish Gourmet Burgers, 6024 Quinpool Road

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Guided Tour: Spring Garden

As thriving home to over 360 retail, corporate and professional businesses, it’s clear why the Spring Garden Road area is recognized as a one-of-a-kind experience.

Posted on Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 6:12 PM


Spring is humming

With its core bookended by the award-winning Halifax Central Library and world-renowned Halifax Public Gardens, you can have a world of experiences when you step foot in the Spring Garden area. Grab lunch, do some shopping and stroll through the streets with friends. So go out and explore your favourite neighbourhood, and celebrate the uniqueness of Spring Garden. Halifax Public Gardens, Spring Garden Road at South Park Street, and Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Road

Printed matters

Let's go back to the days of leisure, and meet up with some old friends along the way. Grab your minimalist pal Kinfolk for a trendy coffee, or pick up that Archie comic that used to bring you such joy. Take some time and get lost in one of the last independent newsstands in Canada, where you can satisfy that travel itch without leaving home. Atlantic News is the perfect destination spot to reconnect with those old flames of yours. With 5,000 magazine titles, you'll have a hard time leaving here without full arms. Brace yourself. Someone will have to physically drag you out of this adult candy store. They even have some of the best cards in the city. You'll take one look at Nova Scotian artist Rude Love's custom cards and feel like someone finally understands your humour. So why not spend a few hours to yourself? Your adventure is waiting for you. Atlantic News, 5560 Morris Street

On the Mappatura

Take a picturesque stroll through to the "other side" of the Public Gardens, where you'll find the enchanting atmosphere of Mappatura Bistro. Let yourself be transported out of the country with their Italian-inspired bistro flair that is sure to feed your soul. Their welcoming staff will have you smiling the minute you walk in, which is all part of your culinary experience at Mappatura. You'll start with the crispy calamari appetizer with spicy tomato, black olives and pickled vegetables, and feel like you could leave happy right then and there. But it doesn't end there—and you'll be itching in your seat to get a taste of your main course. You'll get a taste of Mappatura's bourbon and chicken confit crema on your ravioli, and want to bottle it up take it home. Leave some room, and finish your experience with a traditional espresso and a dark chocolate crème brulee...or two. Mappatura Bistro, 5883 Spring Garden Road

A world of tastes

Pop over to your home away from home, and let Pete's Fine Foods be your open pantry. Grab something out of the Best of Britain section, and then pair your dish with some of the local Nova Scotian offerings. At Pete's Fine Foods you can have the best of both worlds, and everything between—they've been bringing you the freshest and finest for 25 years. Stop into Pete's when you want to make your next unique recipe. From vegan options, local produce and custom cut meat, to finding those Marks and Spencer biscuits you fell in love with on your trip to England—there's nothing you can't find here. Pete's Fine Foods, 1515 Dresden Row

Fitness that's fun

Get funky with your fitness and dare to flip your world upside-down. Literally. After shopping at Pete's, head on upstairs to Studio in Essence to have a little acrobatic fun, all while increasing your strength, flexibility, and self-confidence. Studio in Essence has fitness classes for all ages and body types, and has highly qualified instructors who listen to your needs.

They can even help you bring fitness and fun together for a way to bond with your bridal team: Just book a pole dance, burlesque or aerial class for your next bachelorette party. But you don't have to be getting married to fly with your friends. Studio in Essence hosts birthday parties for adults and children, and offers youth circus classes and summer camps where your little monkey can put their energy to good use. Let your feet off the ground, and fly out of your comfort zone. Studio In Essence, 1535 Dresden Row, Suite 203

Join the pub

After a long day at the office, there's nothing like grabbing a co-worker, and sitting down at your favourite neighbourhood pub. The kind of place with a classic sitcom pub vibe, like The Fickle Frog Pub. One visit, and soon enough you'll find yourself recommending it for every gathering. At The Fickle Frog, you can let all of your worries slip away into your pint—the hardest decision you'll have to make is picking between 26 of the beers on tap.

The Fickle Frog is always hopping, and it never makes you wait until the weekend for the good stuff; they have plenty going on for all of you weekday crawlers. Get your amateur lungs ready for the Tuesday karaoke night, or put your liberal arts degree to good use with Fickle Frog Trivia Night Wednesdays. With their juicy burger deals, perfect pizzas and munch-worthy appetizers, there's plenty to hop about.

The Fickle Frog Pub, 5675 Spring Garden Road

The wheel deal

Are you looking to change your body? SPINCO Halifax is ready to help you create the change in your mind. Jump on your bike, and go along for the ride. One team. One bike. A 50-minute journey. SPINCO is reinventing the wheel to help create the change you've been looking for. 

SPINCO is nothing that can be defined through a written text—there's a feeling that riders are overcome with the minute they walk through the doors. The lights are kept low, and the beats are as high as you'll feel from the endorphins. You won't be able to shake this feeling; it lingers long after the class is over. 

Don't risk missing out—book your bike today for their opening day. Your spin family is excited to ride with you, and is waiting for you to say yes to life without limits. 

5481 Clyde Street, Suite 104 (off Birmingham Street)

Your stylist awaits

This high-energy team is ready to give you an exclusive experience. Sit back, relax and let the stylists at Thumpers Salon do what they know best. Thumpers Salon has some of the leading stylists in the city, so no matter whom you go to, you'll be walking out feeling like a brand-new you. The stylists are accommodating and knowledgeable, and for all you curly-girls, you can trust them with your frizzy hair—don't worry, they can manage.

Thumpers Salon offers some of the most prestigious products from New York City, LA, Miami and London, and carries lines like Oribe, Bumble and bumble, R+CO, and more. The Salon has also set up online purchasing for their products, so you can take that post-salon confidence wherever you go. Bring your new 'do to the next level, take advantage of Thumpers' high-quality service and fall in love with getting your hair done all over again.

Thumpers Salon, 1445 South Park Street

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Guided Tour Downtown Halifax

Some buildings have grown taller, and the construction feels endless, but in that there is hope. There is renewal, growth and opportunity for more. Walking down Barrington, you can feel the resurgence of energy happening in downtown Halifax.

Posted on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 6:33 PM


Get Inkwell soon

Sometimes it feels like you can't keep up with all of the occasions happening in your life. Maybe you even dread that awkward birthday moment where you'll read three of the same card and have to smile out of politeness. But then, you open up that one card that is exactly you.

Inkwell Boutique is the solution for all of your moments of holiday writer's block, and somehow knows exactly what you want to say to your quirky mom on Mother's Day. They know the way to your dad's punny heart, and their card designs will make you wish you had never given up on art.

With the opening of their new light-filled location, Inkwell has made room to display its 96-year-old letterpress, and has expanded on both local and international handmade products, adding even more to their jewellery, apothecary, home ware, accessories and baby collections. Make gift-giving fun again, and let Inkwell do the thinking for you. Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique & Letterpress Studio, 2011 Brunswick Street

Medicine tailored to you

Figuring out what is right for your health can be a challenge. Whether you're looking for teen counselling, naturopathic medicine, health coaching or even more specialized services, Bespoke Clinic fills in the gaps to help you understand what is really going on with your health. Their diverse team goes beyond treating your symptoms and focuses on educating, guiding and inspiring you to live your full health potential.

By being in the pedestrian-friendly downtown neighbourhood, the clinic is accessible to those living or working in the area—they'll have you beginning your health journey just by going to your appointment.

The Bespoke Clinic team believes in the freedom of health. Their strength comes from their ability to work together to create a customized treatment plan that provides you with lasting results. If you're looking for support for your health, Bespoke is where you'll find it.  Bespoke Clinic, 1809 Barrington Street, Suite B100

This is the Life

Experience Life SalonSpa, where the services are customized and focused on individuality. They dare you to be your authentic self and treat you like the unique individual that you are. Continue your experience at home with a vial of your own custom-blended aroma. You'll leave feeling beautified, purified and stress-free. 

Life SalonSpa artists use natural pigments and blend them together to create the perfect hair colour that is only yours. Even their Aveda brand begs you to be original. Take a little aroma journey through your chakras during your next facial, pedicure or during a hot steamed towel while you enjoy a scalp massage at the back bar. They even feature Aveda barbering services for your modern grooming needs! Freshly moved into a gorgeous new downtown location, Life SalonSpa is here to recharge you and bring Life to Barrington. Life SalonSpa, 1592 Barrington Street

Your piece of the coast

Amos Pewter's handcrafted jewellery, ornaments and home decor designs are inspired by maritime nature and surroundings. These creations are sure to leave you pining for the ocean and wanting to take every bit of it home with you.

Want to see the process of how they cast their products from molten pewter? You can just ask the artisans, they'll be happy to show you. Like the Amos Pewter locations in PEI, Peggys Cove and Mahone Bay, while you're visiting the harbourside downtown Halifax location, you can take part in a hands-on experience. This year, visitors can hand-finish a Canada 150 coin or the signature sand dollar, where with every purchase a portion of the proceeds goes to the Bluenose Costal Action Foundation.

Pick out a beach treasure that makes you think of your stroll along the seashore, or a lighthouse to remind you of your tour. Amos Pewter knows leaving Nova Scotia can be a painful experience, so why not take a piece of the coast wherever you go? Amos Pewter, 1521 Lower Water Street

The visionaries

Walking into Ocean Optometry is like going to visit friends—well, more like your fashion-savvy friends who you desperately need style advice from. The owners and optometrists will look after your eyes, and the professional opticians are there to tell you which frame suits your face, or which colour doesn't complement your hair. The Ocean team gets to know you first, and helps pick a pair of glasses to fit your personality later.

The styles of frames are moving away from the dark, boxy trend and into the light. There's no such thing as too much colour with these vintage frames. You can match purple with teal or play around with an angular yellow pair. If colour isn't your style, how about a classic pair with a modern twist? You can pick from a variety of handmade frames, some even made from natural materials, like 100 percent wood. They can even make a one-off custom frame just for you. So be picky, there are plenty of fish in this Ocean. Ocean Optometry, 5240 Blowers Street

Flowering downtown

Take a look around at the four drawings hung on the walls of The Flower Shop and you'll see a little bit of history. The flowers have gone in and out of season, and the buildings have changed, but this shop has been a part of downtown Halifax for 80 years. 

The greenery around the new location shows off the shop's organic style, complemented by high ceilings and newly exposed brick walls. Grab a friend and try out one of The Flower Shop's macrame workshops, or just pop by to take in the sweet smell of fresh, local, in-season peonies and delphiniums that come right from The Humble Burdock Farm. 

You can take your time and custom make our own bouquet, or pick from the array of ready-made bouquets for all of you busy bees. With the new addition of a walk-in cooler room, the shop stores an even larger supply of plants for your choosing. The Flower Shop, 1887 Granville Street

Supplies surprise

Dip your brush into cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson or cerulean blue, and paint. Whatever colour you need, whether oil, acrylic or watercolour, the NSCAD Art Supply Store has it in stock. All you need to supply is inspiration. Shop for yourself or the artist in your life. You don't have to be a NSCAD student or grad to browse and dream. The aisles are filled with new materials for you to test out during your next artistic spree. 

New artists, don't be shy—the store carries beginner-friendly materials too. Pop in and pick up some cottons or silks for dyeing; yarn for knitting or weaving; or a sketchbook, charcoal and pencils to capture the world around you. The store has a wide selection of fine art and craft materials, and creative gifts including toques, aprons, pastels and paint sets. You can spend hours looking around and dreaming up what you'll make next.  NSCAD Art Supply Store, 1874 Hollis Street

At your service

This family owned business has been serving your home-cooked meals since 1983, and you wish you could take the credit. The only complaint your guests will have about Rudy's Catering is that they wish they could eat more.

Rudy's makes planning your next event, party or wedding stress-free, and they aren't afraid of a large guest list. They'll have your food ready on time, made fresh, and serve you like you're family. You'll get your first taste of Rudy's at an event, but you'll be stopping by their downtown location every day for lunch to satisfy your craving.

Stop in for Turkey Dinner Thursdays, grab a free soup with your sandwich purchase or be surprised by one of their daily specials. If you're stumped, just ask Rudy to recommend something, he's always behind the counter to make sure that your belly is full and that you're always leaving with a smile on your face. Rudy's Catering, 1681 Granville Street

Fabulous frites year-round

The days of tasting savoury steak frites have been extended, and you'll never again have to go without in the winter months. This fabulous food truck has parked itself for good right in Scotia Square mall.

Tin Pan Alley frites shop is a real mom 'n' pop shop, where owners Karl and Jill Warmé are serving Dutch-style fries inspired by visits to Karl's mother in Holland. The two spent their first years serving from the Tin Pan Alley food truck, where they could satisfy our foodie cravings on the go, but only six months of the year.

With their permanent position, they are able to do what they love and share their artfully presented, hand-cut frites all year long, and you still feel like you're ordering from their truck. Eat outside the box with their new and innovative recipes like crispy skinned duck confit poutine, or keep it local by indulging in some freshly caught fish and crispy chips. You ask, and they'll answer. Tin Pan Alley, Scotia Square, 5201 Duke Street

Haskapa community

The world's first Haskap Berry Powder is making itself known, and moving on into the wellness world. You don't have to look far; Haskapa is bringing this super-berry right to you in Bishop's Landing.

One hundred percent pure, you get to hold onto 94 percent of the nutritional value and outstandingly high antioxidant content. It can be used in smoothies to crank up your daily nutritional intake, sprinkled over ice cream while indulging on a hot summer's day or as a way to add flavour and visual appeal to your morning oatmeal.

Haskapa is embracing and creating a wellness community. Whether you're taking a yoga class or participating in a health and wellness workshop in their newly renovated event space, or joining them at their sampling bar for a taste of traditional preserves, it's a community for you. From farm to table, Haskapa offers something for everyone! Who knew health could taste so sweet? Haskapa, Bishop's Landing, 1477 Lower Water Street

Breakfast, burgers, Bistro

There's no better way to describe Elle's Bistro except with the phrase "Treat yourself." Two years ago they filled a void in the downtown neighbourhood, and they are continuing to fill our hearts through our stomachs.

Elle's does milkshakes the proper old-school style, right down to getting you that extra bit of shake from the metal can. Don't be surprised if you find yourself making a few trips to the bistro to pick between the S'mores, Rolo, Creamsicle or 20 other milkshake flavours. And let's not even get started on Elle's baklava cheesecake, drizzled with honey, or blueberry stuffed French toast. Is your stomach grumbling yet?

Sweet tooth aside, the options at Elle's are endless and offered at a reasonable price. Pick from 12 different locally sourced beef burgers, or 17 kinds of eggs Bennies. Take your time, and sit back on their brand-new patio—with Elle's all-day breakfasts, there's no rush to decide. Elle's Bistro, 1678 Barrington Street

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Guided Tour - Bedford

It’s got some of the best walking areas in the city, businesses are booming and the pubs and stores are popping up. The growth happening in Bedford is incredible. No wonder it’s been named the fastest-growing community in Atlantic Canada.

Posted on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Izzy’s Bagel Co. - SUBMITTED
  • Izzy’s Bagel Co.

Community spirit

Councillor Tim Outhit's favourite spot in town is up on the Bedford waterfront, where he goes with his wife, daughters and black Lab to enjoy the sparkling blue view and to breathe in the salty sweet air. The representative for District 16, Bedford-Wentworth, says that the community is looking to go even further with the waterfront and incorporate a larger public library.

The increasing number of facilities in the Bedford area includes building two new fire stations, where the existing one will become a larger police station. With the amount of growth happening, HRM is adding several new bus routes, implementing a park and ride, and working with VIA Rail and CN on a possible commuter rail to help improve existing traffic conditions. Along with the tremendous amount of growth happening, councillor Outhit says that even Bedford's small-town spirit is growing. There's no way Bedford is losing its community feel.

Contact Tim Outhit at 902-490-5679 or tim.outhit@halifax.ca

It's in the bagel

Before you go for that warm mid-morning stroll, you'll need to carb up. What better place to do so than at Izzy's Bagel Co., where they never say no—no matter how outrageous the request.

Is it a chocolate chip bagel with zesty cheddar cream cheese that your heart desires? Why don't you even throw some salmon on top? Izzy's got it. With 18 different bagel flavours and nine types of cream cheese, you could stop by every morning for an entire year and still have a completely different combination each time. If you get bored with traditional breakfasts, then this is the place for you.

Izzy's has their own style of bagels that are made with no preservative or additives. So, you don't need to feel bad about the French toast bagel with caramel apple cream cheese—it's made completely natural. Their bagels are so delicious, even the holes taste good.

Izzy's Bagel Co., 1180 Bedford Highway

Taste of tradition

Go back to basics as you enjoy traditional Acadian food made from scratch. Cafe l'Acadie takes their time making your favourite dish so that you don't have to. You won't mind the wait when you catch a whiff of grated potatoes with salted green onions, summer savory and chicken. Do you remember that smell? It instantly transports you back into your mother's kitchen. That's right, you'll feel like you're eating her rappie pie. It's one of the oldest dishes in the culture and connects you with your Acadian roots.

At the cafe they like to call the area their Little Village, where they celebrate Acadian traditions through music and food, as well as cook up some Canadian comfort food like seafood chowder and homemade bread. That's what Café l'Acadie is all about. It's about creating that magic in their dining room and making you feel like you're part of the ever-growing Acadian community right here in Bedford.

Café l'Acadie, 636 Bedford Highway

Really big deals

Are you looking for a new stainless steel stove, or are you sprucing up your cottage look? Bedford Buy and Sell has all that you need, and everything in between. Don't be deceived by the name—this Bedford destination has evolved over the years into a major force for discount appliances. This family owned business has been around Bedford and serving surrounding communities for 24 years.

All of Bedford Buy and Sell's appliances are detailed to perfection, with a 90-day warranty guaranteed for refurbished appliances, and up to one year warranty for brand-new ones. A recent addition to the company is signing with PurewashPro—an innovative and green product that helps wash your clothes without the use of any laundry detergents. Whether it be high-end Electrolux-Frigidaire stainless with a scratch that you can get for half the price, or an excellently refurbished appliance for an income property, this is the place to scout out for the deal.

Bedford Buy and Sell, 1743 Bedford Highway

You've earned a Resto

It's been a long day of walking around Bedford, and maybe you even had to head to work for a bit. You forgot your lunch too? Well, it's a good thing Resto Urban Dining is better than your home-cooked meal—and the food is even made in-house!

Resto Urban Dining controls what goes into the food, and making from scratch helps Resto cater to customers with allergies. Instead of defaulting to salad, because it's the only thing you can have on the menu, let the staff know your needs and they'll whip up something just for you. They want to make sure everyone has the same great experience. You wouldn't want to miss out on their smoked sausage and chicken pasta or maple Cajun fettuccini, would you?

Grab a seat on either of the two patios and lounge around with your sweet tooth. Say goodbye to debating between your two favourite desserts with their sample board, because at Resto, you can have it all. 

Resto Urban Dining, 1516 Bedford Highway

Relax to the max

You deserve a break from all that food, so get back on your feet, but not for too long. The best workout is to get some cardio in while shopping at the full retail store located in Mudwraps to Manicures. Treat your feet with some FitFlops, Keds, Toms or Sorel shoes. After all, those feet have worked hard. Better yet, pop over after your shopping splurge and get a pedicure. Yes, you can shop and spa all in the same place.

Mudwraps to Manicures wants to do everything, and succeeds. They specialize in advance skin-care with micro needling, dermaplaning and endermologie—a cellulite reduction treatment. Pair that with one of the best-airbrushed tans in the HRM and you're golden. Since they're fully licensed, you can even sip on a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy the view that overlooks the water. If you weren't relaxed before, you should be now.

Mudwraps to Manicures, 1083 Bedford Highway, suite 201

Affordable fine dining

Finish out your Bedford tour with some more tasty local food and drinks. You can't pass up a visit to The Butcher's Block Pub & Eatery—it'll be the cherry on top of your great day. The Butcher's Block makes you feel like an upper-scale member of their special club as soon as you walk through the doors. From the decor to the food to the service, you will be getting a fine-dining experience at an affordable cost.

Join The Butcher's Block Privilege Club by leaving your name and email with your server and voila! You're in. You will receive a monthly newsletter and possibly be the lucky dinner of a dinner for two.

Four nights of the week you can enjoy live entertainment, unique dinner specials and even wing-night Wednesdays. You may come for the crowd-pleasing burgers, but you'll stay for the five-star experience.

The Butcher's Block Pub & Eatery, 540 Southgate Drive

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Guided Tour - The Hydrostone

Posted on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 6:45 PM


The Hydrostone neighbourhood is a melting pot of unique shops. Staying true to the pre-Halifax Explosion architecture, the concrete stone draped with vines is sure to make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Take a stroll through this historical area where you can grab an authentic French pastry, sit in the park and get back to your roots.

Down on the "Brooklyn" side of the Hydrostone Market, Gaétan Lang picks up his favourite pair of Bruno Choussignand frames. The metal frames reflect the bright display lights and all of the striking shapes are revealed. This designer is one of four recruits featured in Lang Optometry & Eyewear's spring and summer collections.

After seven years in business at this location, Lang has experienced a fashion upgrade. The new designers that are exclusive to Lang's are showcasing a refreshing '80s comeback style with a twist. The frames are handcrafted and made with love.

Selling is a second nature to Gaétan. He caters each unique set of frames to match your personality. He creates a look for you—shaping and measuring to ensure your satisfaction, and to help you step out of your comfort zone. Your odds of running into someone with the same glasses as you are slim to none, if you shop at Lang's. Lang Optometry & Eyewear, 5550 Kaye Street

Next door to Lang's, we have the newly renovated Assante Hydrostone. The wealth management company has been firmly rooted in the Hydrostone since 2010. Recently expanded, with an additional 26,000 square feet and a street-level reception area, Assante Hydrostone is even more accessible to their clients. 

Their holistic approach to wealth planning examines a client's investment goals, retirement and estate plans, and more. The full-service company creates a complete financial plan to carry their clients through to retirement, and their diverse team works together to achieve their clients' goals.

A proud supporter of many local charities, including Feed Nova Scotia and the Children's Wish Foundation, Assante Hydrostone also sponsors the neighbourhood's annual tree-lighting ceremony, a highlight of the holiday season. Assante Hydrostone is a true cornerstone of the community.  Assante Hydrostone, 5548 Kaye Street

If you need a real north end connoisseur, Edie Hancock is both your friend and your realtor. She has been in real estate for more than 30 years, and has been building relationships from the beginning of her career. Most of her clients consist of travellers, artists and those who love good food and wine.

Edie enjoys meeting like-minded home buyers and showing them why she, herself, lives and thrives in the Hydrostone area.

Now that the construction in downtown Halifax has commercialized a lot of that area, the north end is easier to commute to work from. There is a strong element of safety, and a solid sense of property values in the area. Long-established homes, large trees and unique shopping and dining makes this neighbourhood something special, and really brings the community together. Let Edie show you the wonders of this part of Halifax! Edie Hancock, 800-616-9944

How can you tell the fake stuff from "the real McCoy?" One sip, that's all it takes. When you walk into Liquid Gold Tasting Bar & All Things Olive, it'll hit you. The aroma coming from olive oil is one that you didn't know existed.

Two things will happen when you try the real McCoy: First, you'll be stunned at the flavour and mouthfeel. You'll notice the character and the sparkle. Next, you'll be angry with yourself for cooking with the fake one, and you didn't even know it.

It's all about the education and experience when you walk through Liquid Gold's doors. You'll learn about health and everyday food that tastes better than you'd expect. Then you'll turn to the person next to you, and share a recipe that you just invented with the cinnamon pear balsamic and lime oil mix. Nothing else would have brought you together, and yet conversation sparks. That's what happens at Liquid Gold. They extend the olive oil branch of the artisan tree. Liquid Gold Tasting Bar & All Things Olive, 5525 Young Street

Going up the stairs at 14 Bells Fine Art Gallery, you wouldn't expect the bright and open space ahead. The colours pop from the ocean blue oil paintings on the left, and straight ahead you have four more rooms to explore. Whether you're visiting the Hydrostone as a local, or as the average traveller with ties to Nova Scotia, you'll be tempted to buy a work of art.

The gallery is non-intimidating and has a jack-of-all-traits feel, boasting a little piece of art for everyone. With the average price being $600, it is easy for a first-time art buyer to take the bait. But be careful—once you buy one of these original works, it's a slippery slope. Many of the pieces sell online before they even arrive in studio.

The gallery features local artists but doesn't limit to the province. Before 14 Bells opened this year, there had been no large gallery space in the north end, and with the abundance of local talent, it was about time. 14 Bells Fine Art Gallery, 5523 Young Street

Bonjour! Tu parles francais? Super. You don't speak French? No problem. Alliance Française Halifax has you covered. Though the employees immediately greet you in French, they won't judge you for looking confused. You come here to learn and engage in conversation, even if you make a mistake.

Alliance Française Halifax blends into this cultural bit of the city, and has for 20 years. The centre hosts classes of 10 students, in rooms where the windows let in the sweet aroma of the bakery next door. If that doesn't help you learn, what will?

The centre has four missions: To teach French as a second language, to provide resources in multiple versions of the language, to be an examination centre for proficiency tests and to host cultural events. You are welcome to converse over some wine and cheese, or come to a movie screening and listen to the French language. Tout le monde est bienvenue. Alliance Française Halifax, 5509 Young Street

At home, you can peek over your mom's shoulder while she's cooking. At Mother's Pizza, you don't have to resist the urge. Their open concept kitchen invites you right in because when you're here, you're with family—well, it's more like visiting that one wacky uncle. Tyson Wachter and his band of "Capricorns" bring a goofy, comfortable, and mystical pizza experience to the Hydrostone. (No, not the Julia Roberts film.)

When he's not trying to be photographed in a wizard costume, Tyson Wachter is specializing in pizza science. Having studied under a northern Italian cook, he picked up a raw, tangy plum-tomato sauce recipe that he pairs with a flavourful sourdough crust that the staff has been raising and feeding. Most of the staff has been with the company since opening, and have watched customers grow with them. The pizza ingredients, like the restaurant interior itself, are locally sourced and handmade. Feeling homesick? Mother's Pizza has the cure. Mother's Pizza, 5710 Young Street

Once you've rolled out of dinner at Mother's Pizza, flop onto the most comfortable futon you've ever sat on. The Futon Store brings in high-quality, modern furniture that is mostly made in Canada, and you won't be able to turn it down.

 In its brand-new building, you have two floors to choose from. (Your eyes won't be able to stop moving.) With 1,000 fabrics and prints to choose from, you can spend hours debating which panel matches best with your home decor. To make redesigning easier, the boutique even has bar stools, bedroom furniture, dining room tables and chairs. It may be called The "Futon" Store, but it's so much more than that.

There is complete freedom in what you do or how you can design your futon. Gone are the days where you need to work hard at matching the mattress with the frame and the cover—The Futon Store does it for you. The sky is the limit, and they probably have that design too. The Futon Store, 5730 Young Street

To wind up our tour, head back to Hydrostone Park. While you're sitting in the park, maybe sipping on some coffee, take a peek over towards Kaye Street and see the bright mustard doors of the townhouses at the new St. Joseph's Square development. You may have just found your new home.

The unique building design incorporates various historical elements from St. Joseph's Catholic Church, including three stained glass windows featured on the building's monument wall. The development consists of 106 designer rental suites and 6,000 square feet of commercial space designed and developed by Dexel Architecture and Dexel Developments.

The designers used some of the Hydrostone architectural design standards for inspiration while creating the townhouses and commercial space, to allow the building to appropriately blend within the Hydrostone community.

Residents of St. Joseph's Square enjoy plenty of amenities including a resident lounge, outdoor green space and fitness centre. Living in St. Joseph's Square is ideal for urbanites seeking a smaller, neighbourhood feel. Here, within an exceptional community, you'll find not only an apartment—you'll feel right at home.

St. Joseph's Square, 5450 Kaye Street

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Guided Tour - Downtown Dartmouth

Posted By on Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 10:11 AM



A pioneer of HRM's gourmet burger scene, Cheese Curds Gourmet Burgers + Poutinerie opened five years ago and has changed the way Metro looks at burgers. Bill Pratt's shops offer a wide variety of burger combinations, including The Legendary CC Porker: A double-patty burger with bacon, cheese curds, fried onion ring and CC sauce. 

A native of Dartmouth, Pratt chose to open Cheese Curds where he calls home, because the community craves something more than processed food. For that reason the staff at Cheese Curds prefers to cook their burgers fresh in front of you, and dress them exactly how you want it!

Visit Cheese Curds in Woodside at 380 Pleasant Street, and in Burnside at 600 Windmill Road

It's been nearly four years since Humble Pie Kitchen began teaching Dartmouth—and HRM—about what a meat pie really tastes like. Mike Noakes, a native New Zealander now transplanted to Dartmouth, has brought traditional New Zealand pies into regular Nova Scotian conversations when looking for the perfect snack. 

They began at the Alderney Landing Farmers' Market, and opened their own shop in May 2015. These aren't big hearty meals that you have to sit down for, like the classic frozen pot pies many of us are accustomed to. A Humble Pie is something you can eat on the run, as each pie has a thicker sauce and is loaded with meat. All that's left after are a couple of crumbs and a happy stomach.

Try the classics—steak, chicken or mince and cheese—or have a gourmet pie: Chicken, cranberry and brie; pepper steak; donair pie or even seafood chowder. The possibilities are deliciously endless!

Get a taste of Humble Pie at 77 King Street

After firmly entrenching itself as one of Dartmouth's favourite muster stations, Battery Park Beerbar & Eatery is expanding its service even more. After the recent daytime success during Halifax Burger Week, George and Leo Christakos have decided that Battery Park will now offer lunchtime service.

Bringing their popular Ace Burger into the fold, there will be both table service and a takeout counter available, much like the Halifax location within Gus' Pub—with plenty of food-friendly beers ready to pair with. Even more exciting is that Battery Park is now open seven days a week, so you can satisfy your cravings regardless of what day it is.

Recharge at Battery Park, 62 Ochterloney Street

A classic Irish pub, Celtic Corner is celebrating 12 years as a member of the downtown Dartmouth community. Still going strong as one of Dartmouth's most popular gathering places, Celtic Corner—like its customers—meets, greets and breathes Dartmouth!

Whether it's a momentous occasion such as a wedding, or just a social night out, a trip to Celtic Corner is sure to involve trivia, great tunes and tall tales. Join them every Sunday for Fiddles & Fish (2-for-1 pan-fried haddock), and keep your eyes peeled for massive events happening this summer, including Canada Day weekend!

Turn into the Corner at 69 Alderney Drive

There's no preconception for what a night at Staggers Pub & Grub entails, other than good food, great fun and a true neighbourhood feeling. Whether you're a student, working professional, retired or somewhere in between, you're welcomed at Staggers. And it won't take long to become part of the family.

With live entertainment seven days a week—whether it's karaoke and half-priced appetizers, trivia night, games night, live music or open mic—there's always a reason to say hello to familiar faces at Staggers.

Opened in November 2013, Staggers also loves being part of the Dartmouth community. Between hosting fundraisers, providing meeting space for non-profit groups and events and helping volunteer time (such as delivering Christmas meals in partnership with the Rotary Club), Staggers truly embodies what it means to be a community member in Dartmouth.

March right in to Staggers at 26 Portland Street

A cornerstone of the Burnside area, Parkside Pub and Smokehouse has spent 18 years providing Dartmouth with incredible food and a lively atmosphere. Parkside also boasts fantastic service (including many staff that have been involved since day one) that owner Dan Latter attributes as the backbone of the pub's success.

Behind Latter's three decades of restaurant and bar experience, Parkside Pub has weekly entertainment, screens to watch the biggest sporting events, plus they play host to numerous community fundraisers—a testament to Latter's desire to give back to the community as much as they receive.

Offering weekend brunch and fantastic lunch specials, Parkside Pub also doubles as a smokehouse. Using smokers brought in from Tennessee, the pub smokes their own delicious pulled pork, chicken and ribs.

Park yourself at Parkside at 14 Highfield Park Drive

Designed to be a relaxing and regenerative experience, Seventy3 Canadian Fusion restaurant is a place where you don't hear the kitchen, or the loud chatter of a local pub. The food, like the atmosphere, is warm, comforting, calm and casual—but it also offers something a little more than what you would expect. Armed with a new panini menu (available at lunch from Tuesday to Friday), come see why Dartmouth has warmly embraced Seventy3. Or spend your evening with a relaxing drink on their deck, enjoy some smooth piano music and indulge in a meal, or even a snack. Calamari anyone?

Catch Seventy3 at 73 Alderney Drive

A taste of Italy right in downtown Dartmouth, Il Trullo is primed for another incredible summer! The patio has been revamped, making it even easier to enjoy a glass of wine and an authentic Southern Italian meal, while taking in the sounds and atmosphere that come with dining right on the water.

Il Trullo's menu is always evolving, and right now promotes local and sustainable food: Ocean Wise sustainably caught seafood, meats from local butchers and herbs grown right here in Nova Scotia. Experience the flavours of Il Trullo for yourself, especially their sustainable salmon, cured in-house with orange (winner of first place, cold plates at the Savour Food and Wine Festival) and their chocolate ravioli (second place, desserts).

Be transported by Il Trullo at 102-67 King's Wharf Place


Better described as an urban village, downtown Dartmouth has the best of both worlds—unique shops and restaurants that garner national (and international attention), yet still retaining the cozy, walkable friendliness that is a calling card of Nova Scotia.

The Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission plays a big part in that, whether it's promoting new shops in the area (such as The Canteen, which recently moved to Portland Street), or hosting a wide range of events, including the May Food Crawl, Dog Days of Dartmouth, Switch Dartmouth and the first-ever Picnic in the Park (all set to happen early this summer).

The DDBC continuously strives to add even more attractions to the area, and with each and every new face—local or visitor—they come across, it's clear their efforts are working for the better.

Drop in on the DDBC at 163 Portland Street

King's Wharf continues to elevate what it means to have waterfront living, as now not only do you live in ultra-comfort on Halifax Harbour, you're going to eat even better as well! La Marche at King's Wharf recently launched its own brand of luxury olive oils and vinegars, along with hand-crafted olive soaps, olives imported direct from Lebanon and local jams and preserves.

Add in soups to-go from Satisfaction Feast and incredible breads from Stone Hearth Bakery and Boulangerie La Vendéenne, and you have the perfect setup for a picnic on Georges Island...which will be accessible via the King's Wharf Water Taxi beginning in May.

Make yourself at home at King's Wharf, 50 Kings Wharf Place


The embodiment of the phrase "strength in numbers," B'Y LOCAL is a marketing co-op between 12 businesses in the downtown Dartmouth area. Providing news and information, as well as runnings events, B'Y LOCAL not only supports the businesses that make up the coalition, but works hard to support the entire neighbourhood as a whole.

Driven from a desire to create an accessible resource for the community to stay informed on what's happening in Dartmouth, B'Y LOCAL will officially be launching in May with pop-ups, workshops and much more to show off everything Dartmouth has to offer.

You walk through the door, and feel a warm, welcoming energy envelope you. The fast-paced, non-stop stress of everyday life suddenly halts, as you've seemingly escaped to a calm serenity, where relaxation is of the utmost importance. Welcome to Interlude Spa Dartmouth.

Family owned for 41 years, Interlude Spa creates an atmosphere where you disconnect from your daily tasks, and connect to what's most important—your personal well-being. Interlude offers more than 50 services, ranging from Registered Massage Therapy to fitness and pilates classes, as well as their hair salon (which offers custom cuts, creative colours and specialty finishes) plus half- and full-day spa packages.

By sponsoring many local groups and sports organizations, Interlude is more than just a destination, Interlude is a part of the Dartmouth community. Interlude is home.

Find your way home to Interlude at 58 Ochterloney Street

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Guided Tour - North End Halifax

Welcome to Halifax’s independent business incubator, a vibrant, charming neighbourhood where great shops and restaurants are thriving and launching—with very few chains or franchises in sight.

Posted on Wed, Oct 5, 2016 at 6:24 PM


For more than 12 years, Foxy Moon Hair Gallery has been doing things just a little bit differently. One of the first locations in Halifax to join the Green Circle Salons, Foxy Moon works to be a sustainable salon, with green principles in dealing with the waste a salon produces. Eveyneia Dexter also stresses excellent customer service, ethical practices and, above all, incredibly high-quality services. A further example of Foxy Moon's commitment to being a green salon is the explicit use of eco-friendly products such as Aveda and, exclusively at Foxy Moon, Davines, promoting the concept of sustainable beauty. Foxy Moon has also recently opened a small boutique in the shop, which only carries eco-friendly beauty and home products. Foxy Moon Hair Gallery, 2725 Agricola Street

A combo package of small independent record label and vinyl-only retail store, Black Buffalo Records is all about local music. The label focuses on short-run limited seveninch 45s from local artists, while the store has a large collection of new and used records from a wide variety of genres.

Believing in the atmosphere of the north end, and its strong affinity for arts and music, Kevin Beal's space also affords touring and local bands a venue to perform, and he organizes record fairs twice a year. The next one is this Saturday, October 8 at the Halifax Forum Maritime Hall, 10am-4pm. Black Buffalo Records, 5576 Cornwallis Street

When you're looking to create incredible custom team jerseys, shirts for a group event, or you just have a cool design you want to put on a unique t-shirt for yourself, more often than not Fresh Prints is where you end up. Locally owned and operated for six years by Nigel Lutes and Joseph Fischer, Fresh Prints can do anything from an individual garment to a shipment of over 1,000 pieces.

Every staff member at Fresh Prints is an artist; whether it's a graphic designer, sketch artist or graffiti writer, everyone at the shop has a keen eye for design, and they are willing to share their knowledge.

They don't simply take your design and print it. Rather they are able to offer suggestions (if they have any) to improve a customer's design and introduce new brands and print applications/options to truly make your desired project stand out. Customer service at its finest. Fresh Prints Custom Screen Printing & Apparely, 2411 Agricola Street

A variety store that ties music, art and fashion all together, Lost & Found is essentially a vintage wonderland in Halifax's north end.

Launched by Jay Melanson and Sherry Lynn Jollymore, the store has spent years offering unique clothing items, local pieces and hand-picked handmade goods. Managed by Melanson's wife Anya Nordeen, the staff at Lost & Found are equally as creative and ambitious as the designers you'll find inside.

Lost & Found doesn't try to follow trends, but rather aims for the unique items—be it their ever-rotating line of unique dresses, locally made jewellery or music records—that will truly call out to you. Lost & Found, 2383 Agricola Street

Specializing in midcentury modern and Scandinavian designs, Abode is a furniture and home decor boutique that offers authentic, original pieces, reflecting an era that focused on quality materials and craftsmanship. Modern production from Normann Copenhagen, Dansk, Herman Miller and Mezzaluna Studio complement these original ideals of the 1950s and '60s.

A north end resident for more than a quarter century, Daun Windover has created a space with extensively researched products (with an effort to have many Canadian and local items as well), leading to an unparalleled level of quality and unique items, plus top-rate customer service, including plenty of parking and access to other design shops, solidifying the north end as a Halifax destination for furniture and design. Abode Boutique, 5881 Almon Street

Locally owned and operated with a staff comprised entirely of passionate cyclists, Cyclesmith offers the widest selection of products, with a focus solely on bicycles. Whether you're a commuter, road, hybrid, rails to trail, leisure cyclist or a mountain biker, Andrew Feenstra and his staff take great pride in offering great customer service and expert advice to help their customers get the most enjoyment out of their cycling experiences.

Halifax's north end is a very tight-knit community, and those ideals extend to Cyclesmith, where there's great cycling and awesome products available; they've created one of the strongest cycling communities in Atlantic Canada. Cyclesmith, 2553 Agricola Street

It started out as a weekend pop-up inside the venerable Gus' Pub, but Ace Burger became madly popular and took over Gus' kitchen permanently. It was a bold—but great—move, as one of three of Leo and George Christakos' eateries, it became one of the premiere burger shops in all of Halifax.

Inspired by big city street food stands and old-school burger joints of the late '40s and mid-'50s, Ace Burger puts an emphasis on tasty, handcrafted eats made from fresh, local ingredients—Slow Food Done Fast. The menu is simple and well-tuned, allowing customers to experience the flavours of each carefully constructed burger creation.

Go with the Classic or DeLuxe, or try a more adventurous creation. Have it solo or with a side, and grab a beer from the bar at Gus'—easy, simple and delicious. Ace Burger Company, 2605 Agricola Street

If you're looking for a cozy coffee shop in north end Halifax, look no farther than The Nook. Open seven days a week, the staff at The Nook don't just serve; they share your love for coffee, food and drink! Originally opened in November 2013, The Nook was taken over by Kathleen Healy, Adam Healy and Liesl Mulholland in June of 2015. Offering a variety of baked goods and freshly made food items, The Nook takes great care to have something to accommodate any dietary restriction.

More than just a coffee shop, however, The Nook also hosts fast-paced trivia nights, laid-back open mic events and more gatherings.

Grab a homemade raspberry Nutella square and locally roasted coffee, or share some of its wildly popular nachos. Whatever route you decide to go, your favourite little north end coffee shop has you covered! The Nook, 2118 Gottingen Street

A neighbourhood pub where you can go for a lunch break, after-work beer, casual evening dinner, weekend brunch or even late-night karaoke on Fridays and Saturdays, the Lion's Head Tavern is flexible enough to suit any social need.

Boasting friendly service, good food and a great variety of beers on tap, Lion's Head has been a north end mainstay for a long time, playing a key part in the recent growth and development of the area. Be sure to check out their incredible Tuesday wing nights, but visit anytime—the entire menu is loaded with options that are delicious every day of the week! Lion's Head Tavern, 3081 Robie Street

Opening on October 13, Halifax will have a new place to find delicious, fresh seafood, when Hooked Halifax officially opens its doors. Focusing on small-scale, sustainable seafood from Nova Scotia and all over Canada, the selection at Hooked Halifax will be based on what has landed that week.

Nova Scotia was built on smaller-scale, family-run fishing operations, and Hooked Halifax will stick to those partnerships, with all their seafood provided from reputable partners they know and trust from across the Hooked network, all of which practice sustainable fishing and fair trade.

Owned and operated by Dave Adler, Hooked Halifax works closely with chefs, and is even managed by local chef Annie Brace-Lavoie. So not only will you be getting the best quality of seafood such as local haddock, oysters, shrimp and wild BC salmon, but you'll also be also to get on-the-spot advice and suggestions on the best ways to prepare your seafood when you get home. It's the ultimate ocean-to-table experience! Hooked Halifax, 5783 Charles Street

Living up to its motto "REAL GOOD FOOD SERVED HERE," Hali Deli is a north end institution. Known for large portions, great value and 100 pounds of caramelized onions a week, Victor Fineberg offers a menu that is hard to replicate anywhere else. Preparing most items from scratch (thanks in part to his wife Sybil—the best cook he knows), Hali Deli strives for authentic flavours in a relaxed atmosphere.

Whether it's onions caramelizing for hours, sweet pickled brisket in a special brine for days (then steam for more than five hours) or potato latkes, expect incredible flavours when you walk through the door. And don't even think about going to Hali Deli and not having the matzah ball soup—made from scratch using stewing hens, it's just that good. Hali Deli, 2389 Agricola Street

FRED. is an affordable, boutique luxury destination, focusing on beauty and delivering the best possible customer experience. Opened by Fred Connors as a cafe, salon and art gallery in the north end 12 years ago, FRED. quickly became more more. It turned into a community gathering place, at a time when the area lacked one.

FRED. developed programs to open our doors to the community, and to those who had not experienced all the diversity the north end had to offer. A breakfast program for inner-city girls, community partnerships with Leave Out ViolencE, Adsum House and Stepping Stone, participation in neighbourhood festivals, events and more—FRED. is proud to have been an anchor in the north end.

Having moved from its flagship Agricola location, FRED. is now focusing its passion on beauty. With a feel more like the salon Connors created in New York City two years ago, the new FRED. is intimate, unexpected and extraordinary. FRED., 2713 Agricola Street

Halifax's north end is a one-of-a-kind community. You won't find many standard chain stores here, as the streets are filled with a vibrant, eclectic mix of small businesses, which focus on championing local food, drink, art and culture.

"What separates us is our diversity, history and community spirit—north enders are a special bunch," says Patricia Cuttell, executive director of the North End Business Association. "The north end is home to a lot of artists—musicians, poets, painters—and you can definitely pick up on that artistic, creative vibe when in the north end, especially as it has transformed into Halifax's design district."

The area has seen tremendous growth the last 10-plus years, and a big role in that was played by the North End Business Association. The association has advocated for better conditions to enhance economic growth—such as increased parking, improved cycling infrastructure and overall improving the aesthetics of the streets—and also hosts events that not only support the community, but expose others to everything the north end has to offer.

The growth isn't stopping either. With recently opened businesses such as Fibres of Life, LF Bakery and Agora, plus the construction of the Compass Distillery and renowned furniture and design shops Attica and P9 moving to the area, it still is—and will continue to be—exciting times for Halifax's north end. North End Business Association, 206-2099 Gottingen Street

Originally a staple of downtown Halifax, when it opened in the late 1940s, The Seahorse Tavern moved to the north end on New Year's Eve in 2014.

And then—just like now—what makes the Seahorse so iconic is that it doesn't adhere to any one style. From loud bands and dance parties to quiet concerts, comedy shows and any special event in between, the Seahorse has (and always will) embrace it all. The premier venue for live music and dance parties in Halifax, the Seahorse holds monthly dance parties ranging from Motown and Soul to '90s jams and its famous retro night, Halifax's oldest and original retro-themed party.

The Seahorse also has its sister venue upstairs—The Marquee Ballroom—which only enhances the atmosphere with additional great events and shows. The Seahorse Tavern, 2037 Gottingen Street

When Sarah Bannerman Andrews opened her own retail store in April, she was offering more than simply women's clothing and accessories and natural beauty products—she created a modern example of conscious consumerism,

Everything you'll find at Sattva Boutique was chosen based on four principles: Eco-aware practices or eco-friendly fabrics, ethical production, locally made (95 percent of its clothing is made in Canada) and socially responsible companies.

While the focus is on items that are modern that are comfortable, versatile and high-quality, such as Miik, Yoga Jeans, Jennifer Glasgow, Des Petit Haus and Province Apothecary, SattVa has created a social community that provides much, much more. Sattva Boutique, 2453 Agricola Street

The Alliance Française in Halifax has been in Nova Scotia since 1903, and is part of an international network founded in 1883 in Paris, France. A not-for-profit organization, Alliance Française Halifax serves as a French cultural centre (ranging from showings of French movies, guided tours and many other cultural events), an official examination and resource centre for DELF-DALF diplomas and, most important, a location to learn French as a second language.

Alliance Française Halifax offers French classes for every age and level. From toddlers as young as 19 months, to high school students, people looking for additional professional development and those looking to keep their mind sharp and acquire another hobby, Alliance Française Halifax combines small class sizes with expert instructors and a total immersion process, offering the highest-quality French language instruction available. Alliance Française Halifax, 5509 Young Street

Set to open January 2017, the Hydrostone's newest location for growing families and businesses alike is ready for north end residents to call home. St. Joseph's Square will boast roughly 6,000 square feet of commercial space, with 106 residential rental units—including suites and townhouses.

Developed by Dexel Developments and managed by Paramount Management, St. Joseph's Square is also acknowledging the history of the land it will be standing on—the building at one point in time was a church, and the old stained glass and reclaimed limestone will be incorporated into the building, mixing historic elements with modern comfort.

With interior amenities such as a fitness centre, residents' lounge, entertainment kitchen, resident workshop and an outdoor green space, St. Joseph's Square will only further the renaissance that north end Halifax is undergoing. St. Joseph's Square, 5450 Kaye Street

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Guided Tour - Quinpool

As both a central route for travelling the peninsula and the commercial hub of a thriving neighbourhood, Quinpool is Halifax’s Main Street. Drop by the Quinfest celebration Saturday to be charmed all over again.

Posted on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 7:01 PM


Everyone—and we mean everyone—has experienced Quinpool Road.

You're heading to the Armdale Rotary? The Emera Oval? Downtown Halifax? You're likely going through Quinpool. You're a Dal/King's student and you need, well, anything... you're going to Quinpool Road.

Quinpool Road is a unique area, as it's entirely focused off one large, arterial road. Housing an eclectic group of businesses, Quinpool features historically-entrenched restaurants, shops with specialized products, the common amenities, as well as newcomers to the scene, including Dilly Dally Coffee Cafe and Riot Snack Bar.

One theme that is constant among every locale on Quinpool Road is community. Everyone works together and everyone works to make the area an overall better place.

This includes the Paws Here on Quinpool campaign, which allows patrons to bring their dog into participating shops, as well as the upcoming Quinfest (this Saturday, September 17), which will feature games, food samplings, sidewalk sales and a doggy carnival.

A true pioneer of the food industry, King of Donair has been a staple of the Quinpool Road food scene since 1973.

Still sporting the same look, feel and delicious food as they did when they opened, KOD provides an old-school flavour combined with twists on the classic donair.

While their namesake donair is the main attraction, KOD has many other mouth-watering menu items to suit your preferences, including garlic fingers and pizza.

While it long has carried the stigma of a late-night meal, the donair is actually wonderful anytime, and the staff at KOD truly love seeing people—whether university frosh or retired seniors—coming in and experiencing their first donair...any time of the day. King of Donair, 6420 Quinpool Road

For Athens Restaurant, everything is based around family. Family owned and operated since 1982—nearly 35 years—Athens is run by Vange Panopalis (whose parents opened the restaurant and still help out), working hard to provide a low-key, enjoyable atmosphere for neighbourhood families to enjoy a delicious meal.

Athens helped spark the popularity of Greek cuisine within Halifax, powered by their famous souvlaki dishes (they have four or five different styles) and their perfection of succulent lamb dishes.

Athens also is open at 8am for breakfast, allowing customers to enjoy true Greek hospitality, regardless of what meal you're having. Athens Restaurant, 6273 Quinpool Road

When you're looking for a one-stop shop for holistic care and health-conscious products, look no further than Organic Earth Market. The largest health food store in Atlantic Canada, Organic Earth has spent more than 20 years offering typical groceries, organic supplements, bulk grains and fruit, locally sourced products, plus a number of weekly workshops and demonstrations.

Also offering a full juice bar and a coffee shop, Organic Earth has everything needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Nothing is more popular than their cosmic cookies, which are vegan and loaded with nutrients... they sell nearly 300 per week!

During the upcoming Quinfest (Saturday, September 17), Organic Earth with be providing samples of their vast product offerings. Organic Earth Market, 6487 Quinpool Road

Regardless of age, we all still have a creative itch that occasionally needs to be scratched. Thankfully, Clay Cafe is there to help us expand on that creative spark. A "Paint-Your-Own Pottery Studio," you can paint anything from figurines to plates, bowls and mugs (with more than 300 shapes to choose from). Paint your masterpiece in one sitting or spread it out over multiple visits, and then have owner Martin Ross and his staff glaze and fire your piece in one of their kilns.

All items at Clay Cafe are dishwasher- and microwave-safe, and they are open late so you can visit whenever is convenient for you... because let's be honest—where else can you relax, hang out with friends and have a coffee while creating your own personalized coffee mug? Clay Cafe, 6413 Quinpool Road

When Mike Munro and Maxine Jeffrey launched Therapeutic Approach, they strived to create an approach to health that is sustainable throughout their customer's lives. Munro, a physiotherapist and certified yoga teacher, and Jeffrey, a certified yoga teacher, occupational therapist, kinesiologist and currently studying osteopath, have a depth of knowledge, but they continually work to learn the most up-to-date techniques and wellness methods to provide the best care possible.

Closing in on two decades on Quinpool Road, Therapeutic Approach offers a yoga therapy program like no other. With Munro and Jeffrey able to be both health professionals and certified yoga teachers, they are able to provide proper diagnosis and easily address health concerns—leading towards their main goal of helping people be on the road to better health, all with a positive approach that is perfectly suited for each individual. Therapeutic Approach Health Centre, 6156 Quinpool Road

Oxford Learning offers a unique, innovative and educational service that goes beyond tutoring; the goal is to actively change people's lives with individualized education.

Oxford believes all children are capable of learning, regardless of any challenges they may face. The individualized nature of Oxford's programming has created years of success in helping students, even those facing the greatest learning struggles, overcome great obstacles and make serious academic gains.

Oxford's instructional model—known as interactive coaching—doesn't so much instruct a child as it does empower them to teach him or herself. Based on the science of cognitive development, this is a scientific approach to learning. At the time of inception, and even still today, this is a revolutionary approach to teaching and learning, and it had made a huge difference to struggling students for almost 30 years. Oxford Learning, 6270 Quinpool Road

Not to be confused with a yoga studio, Bhavana Yoga Boutique is best considered a "yoga emporium." Created to support all styles of yoga, Krista Watters' boutique has everything needed to support yoga practitioners–on and off the mat.

Offering bolsters, blocks, meditation supplies and books, Bhavana has whatever you need to extract the most out of your yoga experiences. Bhavana also offers Canadian-made clothing, Mala Collective devotional jewellery, plus workshops on Ayurvedic medicine - the sister science of yoga. Stop in to learn from Bhavana's on-site Ayurvedic practitioner and sign up for Ayurvedic workshops and talks on Aromatherapy as well as information on yoga classes offered in the community. Bhavana Yoga Boutique, 6252 Quinpool Rd

A truly iconic part of Quinpool Road, the Ardmore Tea Room traces its roots all the way back to 1958. An old-school style diner, the Ardmore offers classic breakfasts...starting at 5 a.m. every day. The staff at the Ardmore Tea Room believes in having a place that is absent of pretension; what you see is what you get, and the Ardmore is welcomes everyone to come in and feel comfortable enjoying their meal.

Closing in on 60 years of business, the Ardmore is one of the few places that can claim they've seen three generations of families grow up enjoying the Ardmore...especially their famous milkshakes. Ardmore Tea Room, 6499 Quinpool Rd

Motivated by a desire to provide delicious meals made from fresh, healthy and pure ingredients, Heartwood Restaurant embodies what a health food restaurant is meant to be. Open seven days a week, Heartwood owner Carrie Surette takes pride in having a vegetarian restaurant that combines a diverse, assorted menu with a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Quinpool Road boasts many locally-run businesses that offer some variety beyond the ordinary to Halifax, and Heartwood is no different. For more than 20 years, Heartwood has offered a welcoming environment to enjoy their vegan and vegetarian meals, including their Heartwood bowls: a satisfying combination of local organic greens, roasted veggies, seeds and a choice of sauce on a brown rice base. Heartwood Restaurant, 6250 Quinpool Rd

What happens when you combine locally-sourced ingredients, creative pizza combinations, gluten and vegan-friendly options plus a passion for all things pizza? You get Bramoso Pizza.

Closing in on a decade on Quinpool Road, Bramoso has a health-conscious and responsible-sourcing philosophy. Owner Dan Ryan believes that everyone deserves to eat wholesome food, delivered through truly inspired pizza creations.

Bramoso offers local wines and craft beer, as well as a genuine, yet open-minded approach to service, food and redefining what it means to enjoy a slice of pizza.

Bramoso is now expanding how to create an amazing guest experience, as they have completed the first stage of their craft beer bar. Check it out for exciting local draught, new menu items and old favourites. Bramoso Pizza, 6169 Quinpool Rd

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Guided Tour - Downtown Halifax

The heart of the city is bursting with unique shops and services that bring the local spirit to life.

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 3:54 PM



Adventurous diners take note: Argyle Street has a new hotspot for you to discover. East of Grafton Tavern combines local craft beer, innovative cocktails and a food menu that is daringly unique—all encased within a casual, wondrous environment. Chef Luis Clavel has created a menu that features food you may remember Grandma making...but with a world traveller-inspired twist. Try the Newfie-style cod, Welsh rarebit or the Grafton burger: Four four-ounce cast-iron blackened patties with a bacon peppered bun...and served with an iron dagger! Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, East of Grafton is funky, fun and mysterious—with a subtle hint of familiarity. Experience it for yourself, but be ready to expect the unexpected. East of Grafton Tavern, 1580 Argyle Street

A staple of downtown Halifax for more than 30 years, the Historic Farmers’ Market continues to shine, providing Halifax with the best Nova Scotia has to offer from farmers, artisan crafters, bakers, meat producers and more. A truly unique farmers’ market, it is the only market in the area that is cooperatively owned and managed. It has roughly 35 year-round members, and with seasonal members can result in about 45 to 60 vendors per week for guests to choose from. Boasting a variety of well-established, small-scale farms and producers, the Historic Market can supply everything from apple cider vinegar, speciality cheeses, meats and fermented foods, to a wide range of ethnic and exotic vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices, along with all the seasonal favourites too. Historic Farmers’ Market, 1496 Lower Water Street, Alexander Keith’s Brewery

Located on Barrington Street, Elle’s Bistro provides original dishes and a relaxed atmosphere in a family-diner setting. A small space where everything is prepared fresh and in small batches with a local focus, it truly is family and wallet friendly! Mary Elle Planetta’s store, which opened in 2014, saw an opportunity and jumped on it, quickly becoming popular with items such as her blueberry- or strawberry rhubarb-stuffed French toast, an ever-expanding eggs Benedict menu (currently more than 10 styles), jalapeño breakfast sandwich on homemade latkes and her local beef burgers. Elle’s Bistro is also licensed, and offers great Caesars and has a good selection of local craft beer. Elle’s Bistro, 1678 Barrington Street

When you’re looking Middle Eastern and Canadian cuisine in a friendly, casual and low-stress atmosphere, Baba Ghanouj Cafe can suit all one’s needs. Owned by Roy Khoury, who has been a presence in the Halifax Middle Eastern food scene since 1992, Baba Ghanouj (open since 2014) has a menu that includes all-day breakfast, certified Halal meals, and vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options. Enjoy a delicious, authentic meal that is both health conscious, cost-conscious and is delivered with friendly customer service. Come in and try the grilled lamb pita, chicken shawarma or the big-guy 3x3 breakfast. Baba Ghanouj Cafe, 1701 Barrington Street


Studio 21 has been showcasing high-end contemporary art to the downtown Halifax area for more than three decades. With approximately 50 artists showcased—roughly half of them local—Studio 21 has a rotating group of artists on display, as well as being one of two galleries in Atlantic Canada that exhibits regularly across North America—expanding beyond their own gallery space. As of June, Studio 21 has also offered to enhance any artworks purchased even further, by offering a custom framing service that makes your newest acquisition even more of a personalized memento. Drop by Tuesday through Saturday for a consultation, or to see the latest works on display. Studio 21, 1273 Hollis Street

When Amanda Hennigar founded her own wellness center, she envisioned a customized level of care and attention to detail that resulted in unrivalled customer care. Bespoke Clinic is the result: A wellness business center which offers services from naturopathic medicine, counselling and occupational therapy, to hypnotherapy, private yoga instruction and reiki. Bespoke also has a business incubator space, which associate practitioners can rent at an extremely affordable rate, to offer their services and grow their businesses faster. Most people are quite busy in the run of a day, and Bespoke is proud to offer treatment for a wide range of conditions. Treatment plans are highly customized to the patient to give the best chance of healing success, while the clinic is also looking to add social workers, massage therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritionists and life coaches to their roster. Bespoke Clinic, 1809 Barrington Street, Suite B100

One of Halifax’s favourite destinations for contemplative lifestyle supplies, Drala offers unique, affordable gifts in an apparent oasis of calm, uplifted energy—in the heart of a bustling city. Rand Gaynor continually provides customers with a unique shopping experience. So many customers over the years have said “I love this store” that “You’ll love this store!” was adopted as its slogan. Since 1996, Drala’s loyal clientele, of both locals and visitors, come to find interesting products that are difficult to find elsewhere. Buckwheat Hull Pillows, which are made in Nova Scotia, and handmade Turkish stained-glass lamps, are two such products— both are only available in Halifax at Drala. Drala, 1567 Grafton Street

What do you get when you combine years of friendship with a combined 60 years of experience in the optometric and optical world? Ocean Optometry, an independent office that offers eye exams, fine eyewear and contact lenses. Led by Dr. Euan McGinty, Dr. David John Wilson and opticians Michael Bonang and Alicia Austin, Ocean Optometry takes the premise of friendship and applies it to their customer service, with personalized service in a relaxed environment being a point of emphasis. Ocean Optometry possesses a unique collection of independently-manufactured eyewear. They also focus on having products made from natural materials, making them environmentally friendly, and offer bespoke frames by TD Tom Davies—similar to a custom-made suit— to provide the best possible fit for their customers. Ocean Optometry, 5240 Blowers Street

It began with artisans making pewter designs in 1974 in a vacant boat building shop (circa 1880) in Mahone Bay. Since then, Amos Pewter has opened locations in Peggys Cove, Charlottetown and the historic Halifax waterfront. Amos Pewter designs and hand-crafts pewter jewelry, home decor, tableware and ornaments, which are inspired by nature and our coastal surroundings - offering a connection of the area to customers. Customers can chat with the artisans and watch them carefully ladle hot, free-flowing molten pewter from the melting pot and capture it in a spinning mould. They also offer a hands-on experience where visitors can finish and personalize their own pewter sand dollar, an experience which is uniquely Amos. Each year Amos designs an annual collector ornament, which has become a traditional collectors’ piece for many customers. Each ornament comes with a story and is packaged in a gift envelope...the 2016 ornament is the Cardinal. Amos Pewter, 1751 Lower Water Street


Celebrating more than 10 years on Barrington Street, The Loop is not just a store—it’s become a landmark. Offering a modern, airy, open and well-lit space, The Loop looks more like a gallery or an art studio than a retail shop. Mimi Fautley’s store offers natural fibre yarn, and other supplies, for knitting, crocheting, felting and spinning. Crafters of all levels are welcome, with support, advice and workshops available to help every project, no matter the size. The product selection is diverse, with a number of local and artisanal products, including the Cascade 220 Superwash: a high-quality, soft, machine-washable 100 percent wool. Come in and discover it—or any of the other exciting products—that you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. The Loop, 1547 Barrington Street

When NSCAD University moved to its Granville Street location, there had to be a store for where the art was made—in 1998 the NSCAD Art Supply Store moved with the school. A location rooted in the history of the downtown commercial core, it’s not just a place to purchase art supplies, but also where students—and artists from various parts of the province and beyond—can meet and chat informally. Often people drop in just to say hello, have a laugh, get a hug and chat. If you’re looking for a specific product and the store has it, they’ll sell it to you. If not, they’ll get it for you. And If they can’t get it, or if it doesn’t exist, they’ll suggest solutions that might work for the customer. NSCAD Art Supply Store, 1871 Granville Street

A modern handmade boutique and letterpress studio located in downtown Halifax, Inkwell offers an abundant selection of specialty printed paper products and handmade delights. Everything you can find in the store has been personally worked on by the artist—both local and international—giving it that added feel of care and attention. Owner Andrea Rahal has thrived over the last five years, largely in part to the uniqueness of the products: Inkwell has two antique letterpresses on site, which are used to make its in-house line (Inkwell Originals) and custom client work. A 600-year-old printing process, the cast-iron presses are hand powered and paper is fed by hand. Requiring time and a high degree of skill, the type and image are pressed into the paper through the pressure of the press, resulting in a charming and timeless tactile impression in the paper. Inkwell, 1658 Market Street

Biscuit General Store, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, continues to provide downtown Halifax with fun, interesting and high-quality clothing and accessories that are sure to please. Wendy Friedman hand-selects every item that’s found inside her “boutique department store,” drawing upon the feedback that she hears from customers every day. Biscuit carries the philosophy of embracing everyone, and making them feel welcome. This community approach is reflected in their efforts to support Canadian brands, but they also stock the latest fashions from Scandinavia, London and more. If there’s a style Friedman can’t find? She’ll have it made in LA for her in-house brand Bonanza by Biscuit. Biscuit General Store, 1661 Argyle Street

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In Print This Week

Vol 26, No 47
April 18, 2019

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