Thursday, May 24, 2018

It’s beer o’clock all weekend

The Canadian Brewing Awards aren’t open to the public, but here’s how to take in the spirit (and buzz) of the event.

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2018 at 1:52 PM

Stillwell is one of many local suds-makers celebrating Canadian craft this weekend.
  • Stillwell is one of many local suds-makers celebrating Canadian craft this weekend.

Boxing Rock tasting bar

The downtown tea emporium is changing lanes during the Canadian Brewing Awards, offering four taps of Boxing Rock Brewing as well as tasting flights in four ounce glasses. 

May 24-26, World Tea House, 1592 Argyle Street, 6pm-12am

Boxing Rock tap takeover
Celebrate the kickoff of the Canadian Brewing Awards with this tap takeover. 

Thu May 24, WestSide Beer Wine Spirits, 287 Lacewood Drive, 4-7pm

Garrison and Spindrift tap takeover

Raise a glass to the kickoff of the Canadian Brewing Awards at The Stubborn Goat as the gastropub highlights seven different suds from Spindrift and Garrison breweries.
Thu May 24, Stubborn Goat Gastropub, 1579 Grafton Street

Grand National: A CBA Adjacent Festival
To celebrate the Canadian Brewing Awards' touching down in Halifax, the Barrington street brew-bringer raises a glass to its' 30-ish favourite producers nationwide (some of which have never been poured on the east coast). With beers being tapped at both the bar and its' Spring Garden Road beer garden all weekend long, sud fanatics will wanna follow along on social media so they don't miss a drop.
May 24-27, Stillwell, 1672 Barrington Street

North Coast to Coast collaboration launch

In time for the Canadian Brewing Awards, North Brewing Company shares five beers crafted in collaboration with microbreweries from across the country. Sip the results at this release party and save room for the Escarpment Labs tap takeover (featuring suds made with Escarpment Labs yeast and cultures). 

Thu May 24, Battery Park Beer Bar & Eatery, 62 Ochterloney Street, Dartmouth,11:30am-6pm

Friday Cask Night: ESB month

This edition of Propeller's cask night features an ESB flavoured with Skor. Toffee fans, your time is now.
Fri May 25, Propeller Brewing Company, 2015 Gottingen Street, 5-10pm

O-Town: A night of Oland and Motown

The Robie Street spot describes this night out best: "A night full of Motown music and a chance to drink everyone's favourite local beer—Oland's—at a classic hipster bar." Sign us up.
Sat May 26, Good Robot Brewing Company, 2736 Robie Street, 12pm-2am

Stillwell bottle release party

Stillwell celebrates the release of two new styles of suds and the arrival of the Canadian Brewing Awards with this sipping sesh featuring the cherry-raspberry Disco and the peach-y Preach. Get the bottles while you can!
Sat May 26, Stillwell, 1672 Barrington Street, noon-3pm

Crop Top Tolerance Day

The Robie Street's spot annual celebration of belly-bearing tops—and all bodies wearing them—returns. Show up with your navel out or borrow a pair of scissors at the bar to take part in the body-positive good times.
Sun May 27, Good Robot Brewing Company, 2736 Robie Street, noon-2am

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Raise your glasses, Drink Atlantic Cocktail Festival debuts this June

It's a Coast/Clever Barkeep joint

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2018 at 2:40 PM

  • via @GGNCHAN

Just when you thought your thirst for summer couldn't be any greater, here's something else to look forward to. From June 7 through 9, your pals over here at The Coast and The Clever Barkeep's Matt Boyle and Jeffrey Van Horne are celebrating our region's cocktail culture with the first ever Drink Atlantic Cocktail Festival. It's a weekend's worth of tastings, industry seminars, special events and some of the world's best drinks.

There's a lot to take in: two nights of spirits tastings, a Barcardi boat party and a seminar on all things punch related, to name a few. Plus we'll get a visit from internationally acclaimed bartender Gn Chan. The NYC-based cocktail star—who went from growing up in a booze-free home in Taiwan to winning the Bacardi Legacy competition in 2016 to taking his soon-to-be bar Double Chicken Please on a cocktail roadtrip—will lead an industry-focused workshop on what he does best. If you haven't heard of him, check out the video below to see Chan in action.

And for all things Drink Atlantic, follow along here or here.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Agricola Street Brasserie debuts a new rooftop bar

Billow Bar is all about booze and barbecue.

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2018 at 4:16 PM


The folks behind Agricola Street Brasserie (2540 Agricola Street) and Little Oak (1475 Lower Water Street) are adding something extra to their repertoire. Just in time for patio season, the Brasserie’s upstairs patio will now be known as Billow Bar Rooftop Cocktails & BBQ, a sunny spot to drink, eat and eat some more. The 50-seater, which aims to debut this month, will boast a menu of southern barbecue inspired eats (think brisket and biscuits) courtesy of chef  Ludovic Eveno and creative ice cream sandwiches from chef  Julie Cook (like passionfruit and carrot). The wine and craft beers will be flowing, with a cocktail menu that’ll change regularly rounding out the drinkable offerings. 
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Thursday, May 3, 2018

King & North’s chocolate works of art

Jesse Gallant sells super-small batches of a favourite treat.

Posted By on Thu, May 3, 2018 at 4:00 AM

Gallant will bring his bars to the Halifax Crafters market this weekend. - RACHEL MCGRATH
  • Gallant will bring his bars to the Halifax Crafters market this weekend.

King & North Chocolate

"Chocolate is so fun. It has such a sense of fun attached to it," says Jesse Gallant. "From the moment you're a kid and you try it the first time, it's something that's so exciting and playful."

Gallant is the owner of a small-batch chocolate business called King & North, which has sweetened up pop-up markets and events around Halifax for a little less than a year. Its next stop is the Halifax Crafters Society Spring Market on May 5 and 6.

Gallant was introduced to chocolatiering as part of the the baking and pastry art program at NSCC. When Gallant graduated, he landed a job at Dilly Dally Coffee Cafe. "I was very invested in the baking side of things, you know—muffins, cookies, cakes—that kind of thing. But I found myself missing playing with chocolate after awhile."

Last summer, Dilly Dally owner Laura Draeger suggested Gallant get his chocolate fix by making something for an upcoming market at the cafe. "I was kind of like, 'Yeah, why don't I?'" says Gallant. "It's nice, because it's the kind of thing where you don't need a ton of expensive or crazy equipment to get started." He began with a large piece of marble on which to temper the chocolate, along with moulds, bowls and spatulas. "Other than that, everything else is just extra."


These days, Gallant continues to work for Dilly Dally while conducting his edible experiments on the side.

King & North has three staple flavours along with rotating creations. Gallant enjoys collaborating with other local businesses, such as his "London fog" bar (with earl grey from World Tea House). Spring flavours, which you can find at his table at Halifax Crafters, include a milk chocolate bar with sourdough baguette from Birdies Bread Co. in Dartmouth.

For Gallant, inspiration can come from something as simple as sitting down to eat a snack and thinking about how to incorporate those foods in chocolate. One of the most important things in his process is making sure those flavours come across. "If I'm telling you I'm going to make a London fog chocolate bar, I want you to really know that when you eat it," Gallant says. "I want you to taste that." Hence why he paired earl grey with white chocolate: It has a milder taste and high fat content, "so it's able to draw in those bergamot flavours."

If you so much as peek at King & North's Instagram, it's apparent that aesthetic plays a role in the chocolate as well. "It's important that things look good, too, from a cake that's decorated beautifully to a gorgeously plated dessert," explains Gallant. He decorates using coloured cocoa butter, making each bar resemble a Jackson Pollock painting. Gallant works to make the flavour as consistent as possible, but given that he makes his treats by hand, no two bars are exactly alike. Think of it as a really tasty snowflake.

"That first moment when you see it and you're like, 'Oh, wow, this is a work of art'—I wanted to have that same reaction with the chocolate bars and the chocolate that I was making."

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Friday, April 20, 2018

ICYMI: Halifax Burger Week raised more than $115K for Feed Nova Scotia

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 1:00 PM


Halifax Burger Week 2018 proved to be the biggest Burger Week yet, raising $115,601. Every $2 raised allows Feed Nova Scotia to distribute three meals to Nova Scotians in need.

Black Sheep Restaurant, Vandal Doughnuts, La Frasca, Rockbottom Brewpub, The Old Triangle and Station Six were among the top fundraisers.

In case you're counting down, next year's Burger Week will take place from  March 28 to April 3.

  • Kylee Nunn

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Bite-Sized Kitchen teaches big lessons to tiny chefs

Claire Gallant's blog and business is turning one.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 4:01 AM

Gallant and a brood of her students, who made a batch of energy bites and a green smoothie - SUBMITTED
  • Gallant and a brood of her students, who made a batch of energy bites and a green smoothie

Never underestimate a small pair of hands. Claire Gallant certainly doesn’t. The longtime chef—she cooked in Toronto and at Halifax’s Fid before its closure—keyed into her own kids’ keenness in the kitchen and grew it into something special, launching Bite-Sized Kitchen a year ago.

“Even at 18 months old they could stand on the stool and help mix, at two-and-a-half and three I could see how capable their little hands were and how excited they got,” says Gallant. “I’ve always been excited about cooking my own food, food from scratch and family dinner was always a big thing. I could see this way that I could try and help families figure out easier ways to bring their kids into the kitchen and help them cook with them.”

Bite-Sized started with private lessons for kids six and up and Gallant’s blog about cooking with her own kids, but quickly evolved to include group workshops at the library, schools, A Tiny Lab For Learning, Girl Guides and at the Seaport Farmers’ Market—and to target kids as young as three. Together, they’ve made stuff like omelettes, hummus, smoothies, cheesecake, salads and pasta.
“All kids have natural inclination to play around in the kitchen and make actual dishes,” she says. “It’s about practice and also about exposure. It’s as simple as seeing your parent or caregiver making food from scratch. Kids just want to be grown-ups—if we can just give them that independence, time, space and appropriate tools—we can have high expectations of what they can achieve.”

In her second year, Gallant hopes to teach more, expand her blog——further and work towards getting her own space.

“One of the things of note in the past 15 to 20 years in the food world in North America is the growth of the local food movement, people are really focused on food,” she says. “I think the element that’s missing there is bringing kids into that conversation. Cooking from scratch and bringing kids into it is something that I hope will start taking off.”
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Very Local Greens' very urban farm

Phil Hatcher wants to make friends with salad via his shipping container crops.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 3:56 AM

Phil Hatcher will soon be planting his first round of seeds on the Dartmouth waterfront - LENNY MULLINS
  • Phil Hatcher will soon be planting his first round of seeds on the Dartmouth waterfront
  • Lenny Mullins
"My agricultural background is planting peas and stealing peas from my grandfather’s garden growing up,” says Phil Hatcher with a laugh. After 18 years in the film industry, he’s switching gears and getting back to the land. Sort of. This summer Hatcher will launch Very Local Greens, a farm that lives inside a repurposed shipping container that’s been plunked at King’s Wharf on the Dartmouth waterfront.

“This was something I haven’t seen before, something Halifax doesn’t have,” he says of the project, which was inspired by a viral video that lead Hatcher to Freight Farms, makers of the “Leafy Green Machine” AKA Very Local Greens’ home. Aiming to create a local version of Brooklyn’s popular curated (indoor) greens farm, Square Roots, he started crunching numbers.

“I’m kind of going through a little fairytale in my head. I had a dream list in my mind and King’s Wharf was one of my first thoughts,” he says. “I wanted to utilize an unused space. We’re portable, we’re mobile, we’re a crane lift away. We have the privilege to be able to move and adapt with the development.”

Very Local Greens’ sustainable space offers a hydroponic, climate-controlled system that grows its herbs and various greens in vertical towers, watering and feeding them on a schedule. It can help 500-1,000 heads of lettuce grow per week.

“The whole thing is 100 percent traceable and trackable and controllable by an app,” says Hatcher. “The great thing is when I’m at home I can see security footage, adjust my lights, temperature, humidity...right in the palm of my hand. It’s just really smart.”

The aim is for his container farm to work with restaurants, not just providing them locally grown greens, but also growing based on need—and want—if there’s a particular, let’s say, arugula a chef is after. A CSA of some kind is also on the to-do list. Mostly, Hatcher says, he’s just excited to see where the project takes him. (Which is, hopefully, the addition of another container.)

“I think it’ll adapt and become its own thing. We’re just trying to find out where our niche is going to be and grow with it. There’ll be surprises along the way.”

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Portland Street Creperie is bubbling over this summer

Ice cream for you, downtown Dartmouth

Posted By on Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 12:26 PM

  • istock
Portland Street Creperie’s dad and son duo has summer on the brain. Neil and Max Cook, who opened the Dartmouth cafe and all-day crepe joint in 2015, are adding a complementary iron-pressed element to their offerings next month when they’ll debut a bubble waffles and ice cream window within their 55 Portland Street location.

The made-daily bubble waffle cones—inspired by the traditional Hong Kong treat—will be available with chocolate or vanilla ice cream, and have the choice of a bunch of delicious toppings says Neil, who was hooked on the cones after a trip to Europe last year. “We were super inspired by what is going on with this delightful food. We actually waited in line for close to an hour at one location to try them and we were not disappointed.”

He says PSC’s bubble cones will retail for $4.50 to $8, depending on how souped up they are. The window will debut May 5.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

HopYard Beer Bar taps into Gottingen Street

Craft beer and cheap eats from PEI arrive this summer

Posted By on Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 5:41 PM

omg this is a Brussels sprout taco - @HOPYARDBEERBAR
  • omg this is a Brussels sprout taco
  • @hopyardbeerbar

Charlottetown’s HopYard Beer Bar is heading off the Island. The popular pub will open its first Nova Scotia location at 2103 Gottingen Street (the former Johanna B. Oosterveld Centre) sometime this summer, bringing a bevy of craft beer, super-affordable snacks and hundreds of records with it.

Brett Hogan and Mike Ross opened the original HopYard location in 2016. The pair, who’d met through working with PEI Brewing Company, wanted to create a space that celebrated local beer, but scoring internationally trained chef Jane Crawford was what Hogan calls a game-changer. “We spent a lot of time driving around the Maritimes delivering beer and talking about business ideas,” he says of his plans with Ross. “But once we found out we could get Jane, that sealed the deal.” Crawford’s known for her creatively themed $8 menus at HopYard, which encourage sharing and change every two weeks, as well as her work at taco and tequila bar Sugar Skull Cantina.

Hogan and Ross searched for a spot on this side of Confederation Bridge for eight months before settling on the Gottingen space, which is actually larger than the PEI bar, boasting 130 seats. “We absolutely love the location,” says Hogan, adding that the space will be comforting, welcoming and warm. “There are so many good restaurants there, any time we get away from the island we always go to Halifax.”

The second iteration of HopYard will mirror Charlottetown’s location in offerings: 10 taps of craft, an ever-evolving selection of eats and 700 vinyl that customers can thumb through and bring to the bartender to play, effectively DJing for the entire bar. Hogan and Crawford will make the move over to the city to help get the Gottingen HopYard off the ground, Hogan says they’re aiming for a mid-summer opening.

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Binge on The Brood's hilarious new video for "Munchies"

"I had a stack of ones because I'm rich, because I'm on TV."

Posted By on Fri, Apr 6, 2018 at 5:31 PM


If you watch (or hate-watch) internet chef shows, you're going to want to check out the latest from Halifax's psychedelic sweethearts, The Brood.

Yesterday the band released a new video for the jaunty track "Munchies" and it's a cooked to perfection parody of Vice/MUNCHIES series Chef's Night Out, which follows Extremely Important international chefs as they eat and drink their way through their favourite restaurants and bars. (And, like most foodie shows, highlights the cult of personality that the restaurant scene is ripe with.)

"It's like you're the poet of food and God is your ingredients," slurs turbo douche/fictional restauranteur Marky Lake (played by local funnyperson Paul Doucette) as he tours members of The Brood through Halifax hotspots like Fiesta Bowl, Bier Kraft and Coup de Gras (all various angles of The Local and The Seahorse).

Instead of getting butthurt, the real MUNCHIES premiered the video and chatted with bandleader Seamus Erskine about how the band's binge-watching of Chef's Night Out inspired the song.

Check out "Munchies", directed by Jeff Miller, below.

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Just Baked Potatoes interrupts your usual snack plans

You say potato? Head to the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 4:00 AM


Being from the UK, Sara Kirk knows the power of a good baked potato. But it's not a nostalgia for home or a craving for a loaded spud that lead to her launch Just Baked Potatoes at the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market in mid-January.

"I would say it's more research-informed than passion at this point in time. But the main idea is wanting to do something to disrupt the food system we have currently," she says. A prof in health promotion at Dalhousie University and mother, Kirk has loads of facts to back up her small business—starting with the idea our environment can both help or hinder us when it comes to healthy eating. "We found when it comes to children and families, people tend to be so over-scheduled," she says.

Just Baked Potatoes—which Kirk runs with her teenage son—aims to support people on the go with healthy eating and promote local farmers and sustainable snacking. Her portable potatoes from Elmridge Farms take inspiration from popular street snacks in Turkey and Israel, and are served in a compostable container, with a buffet-style selection of seasonally-inspired, market-sourced toppings.

Kirk calls the start-up a "demonstration project," and while she and her son are testing the waters every weekend at the market, a long-term goal is to become mobile (the ultimate dream is a solar-powered food truck) so that Just Baked can show up at the sporting events and extra-circular where families need good food, fast. "I think it's about changing the way people think," she says.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Cafe Good Luck strikes gold on Portland Street this summer

Manual Food & Drink Co. is opening a cafe!

Posted By on Wed, Apr 4, 2018 at 1:19 PM

just practicing | #summer2018 #loveagoodbrunch #downtowndartmouth

A post shared by GoodLuck (@cafe.goodluck) on

From the entrepreneurs who brought you Manual Food and Drink Co.’s doughnuts and the Dairy Bar’s frozen delights comes Dartmouth’s newest heartthrob, Cafe Good Luck, a 1,000 square foot “culinary-powered cafe” opening early this summer at 145
Portland Street.

“I think what I love as a diner is when I go into a place with a lot of character and regular customers and it caters to the needs of the neighbourhood. When we’re thinking about where we want to be, the first thing we need to do is think about what sells and what’s missing,” says Emma Adamski who’ll open the spot that’s jokingly dubbed itself a “hangover palace” with her husband/business partner Sonny Adamski and Graham Read.

In the same vein as casual American diners, Good Luck will serve all-day brunch and a selection of fresh-baked pastries and low-key beer and wine (“like, table wine and lagers”) and bar snacks at night. Of course, there’ll be some soft serve and coffee will be taken very seriously, with homemade syrups and tonics elevating it to a more “culinary-inspired” hot beverage. And before you pack up your laptop and start running—there won’t be wifi.

Fear not, the Dairy Bar will be back for its third summer of service, with the cafe being its mothership for prep.

“Dartmouth is having a bit of a moment with new businesses opening on Portland Street—there’s just so many new residential things happening and niche businesses—and most are family-owned and small. It feels to me like the ideal spot to be,” says Adamski, who settled on the spot on the ever-growing strip after three years of searching. Her aim is to offer up food and drinks that are approachable and to create a space that’s a neighbourhood hangout, accessible enough for folks to frequent.

“What I want in my own community is a local watering hole that you can drop in to and have a snack that’s affordable and casual,” says Adamski. “It’s not about us showing how good we are at doing the things we love, it’s about providing something we think is missing.”

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Backoos is back in action

An expanded menu, soju and beer and a renovated location bring new life Birmingham’s Korean joint.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 4:00 AM


Backoos Korean To Go
1360 Birmingham Street

Breathe a twice-fried sigh of relief—after eight months, Backoos Korean Food is reopening on Birmingham Street with an expanded menu and dining area.

Formerly known for its takeout, the tiny restaurant has doubled in size with an inviting, slightly industrial feel. Wooden benches line the walls, accompanied by tables with steel panels for hot pot.

"I wanted to make this space cozy," says co-owner JoungMin Kim. "I was once a customer at this kind of place. The average person, like me, can come here with friends, spend time and relax."

Along with its traditional, made-to-order fried chicken, the menu now includes new appetizers, rice meals and a selection of hot pot and hot grill meals, such as spicy ribs and bulgogi.

Backoos' famous fried chicken flavors—crispy original, soy garlic and sweet and spicy—now have a new contender: Mustard and onion. Popular in Korea, the dish consists of crispy chicken topped with sliced onion and a spicy Korean mustard that has a wasabi-esque piquancy.

  • Lenny Mullins
Additionally, the restaurant now offers a drinks menu starring beer and soju, a Korean spirit, with an option to marry the two in a strong, flavorful cocktail. Good Robot Brewing and Saltbox Brewing hosted several of Backoos' many pop-ups last year, and customers can now find their craft brews on tap.

Kim says people can expect to find Backoos at just as many bustling pop-ups this year between May and September.

This reopening is a new direction for Backoos. The original space and the Bedford location were roughly personalized by Kim and his co-owner, Sang Ho Back, within the budget constraints of a budding business. Now, the restaurants have branched off into two differing, yet complementary business models: Dine-in and takeout.

Calling in an order, picking it up and holing away to munch on that crispy, crunchy chicken may be indulgently comforting, but Kim is excited to see customers sticking around to enjoy his food. Customers are encouraged to linger.

"I just can't wait to see people having a good time here," says Kim. 

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Drink this: North Brewing's Twinkle Pony cookie stout

For beer fans with a sweet tooth.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 3:51 PM

Brad Wilkinson, who brewed Twinkle Pony, poses for a photo. Label design by Nicole Giancomantonio. - PETER BURBRIDGE
  • Brad Wilkinson, who brewed Twinkle Pony, poses for a photo. Label design by Nicole Giancomantonio.
  • Peter Burbridge

If Cookie Monster drank beer, this would probably be his favourite.

North Brewing Company’s latest release is adorably titled Twinkle Pony. It’s a cookie stout which includes flavours you'd find in a bakery, brewed with macarons from Le French Fix Pâtisserie.

“Pastry stouts are a fun style you see lots of breweries experimenting with these days,” says North Brewing co-owner Rozina Darvesh, who worked out the recipe with fellow co-owner and brewer Josh Herbin. “I love French macarons and beers with coconut in them, so we decided to use the macaron as inspiration and experiment with this style using toasted coconut, toasted almonds and vanilla.”

The chocolate notes come from the malt, but the toasted coconut, almonds and vanilla were added when the fermentation was finished. This gave them more flexibility when they wanted to adjust the flavour, Darvesh explains: “We ended up adding three times the amount of coconut than was originally intended.”

Cans of Twinkle Pony—featuring a colourful label by illustrator Nicole Giacomantonio—will be available at both the Dartmouth and Halifax locations of North on Friday, March 9. It’ll also be pouring at Battery Park.

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Apartment 3 Espresso Bar slated for Sackville Drive

Third wave coffee!

Posted By on Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 12:45 AM

  • via facebook

and Alex Stephen took the road less travelled to wind up at small business ownership. The couple—she’s a former World Cup bobsleigh competitor from Edmonton, he’s a St. FX basketball alumnus—made the move from Toronto to Lower Sackville three years ago seeking a more subdued, outdoorsy life, and now they’re gearing up to open Apartment 3 Espresso Bar (833 Sackville Drive).

“Every time I’m travelling I’m always checking out the local coffee shop, specifically the third wave scene,” says Heather . “We just noticed there weren’t any third wave coffee shops near Sackville. If you wanted to socialize or have a meeting you had to leave, go to Bedford or go downtown.”

After spending the last few years hunting for the perfect spot, the Stephens are working to create a comfortable, minimalist, bright space to enjoy great coffee, baked goods and art, with the goal of an early April opening. “Apartment 3 was a place we lived in Toronto, an old row house. We always had tons of people over for great coffee, great food and great discussions,” says Alex. “It was just a really great space. So we thought, why not try to recreate that?”

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In Print This Week

Vol 25, No 52
May 24, 2018

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