Monday, June 19, 2017

Adieu Agora, hello Haligonian

New stuff on Agricola Street

Posted By on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 5:16 PM

After just under a year on Agricola Street, Agora Cafe & Grill Bistro (2394 Agricola Street)—the colourful little cafe, serving up a menu of Mediterranean cuisine, coffees and baked goods—closed its doors permanently yesterday. The cafe's owner Kubilay Gonul took to Facebook for parting words, and to share the news that a new business would be taking over the space.

The adorable little building and its tucked away backyard terrace will make way for The Haligonian Cafe & Bistro, which will open in the next few weeks. The soon-to-be cafe is currently running a survey to try and get feedback from the community, you can take it here.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Tart & Soul is sweet on the south end

A new cafe and bakery opens on Coburg Road later this month

Posted By on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 12:18 PM

An oreOMG in all its glory
  • An oreOMG in all its glory

Punny folks and cafe connoisseurs Saf Haq and Lisa Brow are whispering sweet nothings into south end ears this month. The pair—who worked together at Two If By Sea—are opening their own cafe and bakery, Tart & Soul Cafe at 6389 Coburg Road, where Springhouse (formerly Fruition) recently closed up shop, in mid-June.

“We both were seriously craving the need to create something to call our own and we were lucky that it happened for us almost simultaneously,” says Haq of the well-timed vacancy. “We have worked together a lot already so it’s nice to have your business partner also be someone who can kill it in the kitchen with you. Lisa actually trained me so she’s definitely the real deal. We have kind of been waiting for this moment since we met in baking school in 2014.”

The cleverly named cafe will be all about the baking, serving cookies (see the pictured oreOMG, a shortbread/cheesecake sandwich, for instance), scones, squares, bagels and plated desserts alongside Anchored Coffee and another local roaster, says Haq. Once things get rolling, you can expect Tart & Soul to serve lunch as well, and sell wholesale goodies.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

North Brewing Company wins two Canadian Brewing Awards

And the CBAs are coming to Halifax next year!

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2017 at 4:19 PM

North Brewing Co's hardware - ROZINA DARVESH
  • North Brewing Co's hardware
  • Rozina Darvesh

Rozina Darvesh and Peter Burbridge struck gold last weekend. The co-owners of North Brewing Company took home two gold trophies with their first-time entries at the Canadian Brewing Awards, which took place in Ottawa. North’s Gus’ 65m Ale was the victor in the Belgian Abbey/Pale category and its Midnight Glenora Barrel-Aged in the Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer (dark) category.

The awards are Canada’s premier competition among beer and cider manufacturers. This year marks 15 years since the Canadian Brewing Awards started judging the finest beers the country has to offer. This year’s awards weren’t just a win for North, but Nova Scotia, too—the event will take place in Halifax for the first time in 2018. To the folks at North Brewing, having the event take place here puts Nova Scotia on the map in the world of craft beer. “It shows just how the industry has evolved,” said Burbridge. “Halifax now has more breweries per-capita than anywhere else in the country.”

Starting a brewery was a way for Darvesh and Burbridge to stay and build roots in Nova Scotia. The art of making beer helped combine the food science degree Darvesh received from Dalhousie University with Burbridge’s MBA into a family business. The two beers that took home gold in Ottawa were conceived by the couple in the company’s first year. “They’ve been with us since the beginning,” said Darvesh.

Gus’ 65m Ale is a Belgian-style “patio beer”, blonde with citrus notes, created and named for North’s neighbour Gus’ Pub and the 65-metre distance between them. Midnight, a strong brew with tones of cherry, dark-chocolate, whiskey and vanilla is barrel-aged in Cape Breton and bottled in Halifax.

Three other Nova Scotian breweries—Uncle Leo’s Brewing, Boxing Rock and Propeller—took home awards over the weekend as well, while Bulwark Cider and Sid’s Cider took multiple honours in the cider categories.

Darvesh says she is pumped to show what Nova Scotian craft brewers are capable of at the awards next year. “We, as a brewing company, get to showcase what we do to the rest of the country,” she says, “open our doors and show-off our province and reciprocate the welcome we received in Ottawa.”

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mexican eats and patio plans from the Stubborn Goat

Cooking up new establishments downtown

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 2:14 PM

The soon-to-be location of this summer's newest patio bar, The Rooftop - RILEY SMITH
  • The soon-to-be location of this summer's newest patio bar, The Rooftop
  • Riley Smith

“We really believe in the downtown core of Halifax and we want to add something that’ll help make downtown Halifax a destination,” says Geir Simensen. He and his Stubborn Goat Gastropub co-owners Joe McGuinness and Kyle Drake are putting wheels in motion this summer to add not just one new place to eat and drink downtown, but two.

First, The Rooftop. In the next week or so, the literal rooftop above Blowers Street’s Sicilian Pizza—which has operated as an outdoor space for Scanway in past summers—will re-launch as one of the sunniest new patios in the city. The Rooftop will serve a small menu of “flavourful, tasty and seasonal” barbecue-style eats, all cooked on the roof, says Simensen, as well as craft beer, cider and wine.

“It’ll be very different from the Goat experience,” he says. “We don’t want to offer the same experience in two places.” Once summer winds down, the Goat family will prepare to launch another new restaurant—this one indoors—in the renovated former home of The Foggy Goggle (1667 Argyle Street), which will overlook both Argyle and Barrington Streets.

“The concept is Mexican. It’s not going to be Tex-Mex, it’ll be authentic. Joe, Kyle and I all share an appreciation for that style of food,” says Simensen, who’s been spending time exploring Mexico, its culture and its cuisine for nearly 20 years. “It’ll be nice, simple food. Fresh masa tortillas. Real Mexican products.”

The restaurant—which doesn’t have a name just yet—will seat about 120, and aims to open in late September. Think Spanish music, good tequila, homey atmosphere and flavorful food.

“We like to stay very true to our concepts. With this one, we feel like there isn’t this being done anywhere in Halifax and we think it’s going to be a great addition to what’s downtown already,” says Simensen.

“I want people to smell the fresh masa when they walk into the place.”

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Rotisserie chicken heats up on North Street this summer

EDNA owner Jenna Mooers and restaurant builder Andrew Flood team up in the name of charcoal rotisserie chicken

Posted By on Fri, May 19, 2017 at 11:45 AM

spinning_chicken.gif


When Robin’s flew the coop, Jenna Mooers and Andrew Flood quickly took flight and locked down the North Street location for a new restaurant.

“We jumped on the space before we even had a business plan because in place just because we wanted the space so badly,” says Mooers. Her partner, Flood, helped build the neighbouring Unfiltered Brewing, so they knew the space was ripe with opportunity.

Flood has worked on a lot of cool spaces in town in his time at Five by Five Renovations, including Stillwell and their beer garden and Good Robot. “He’s well-versed in the realm of building restaurants and bars,” says Mooers, who is herself well versed in operating them.

It didn’t take long to come up with the concept.

“Andrew and I lived together in Montreal for eight years. When we go back, one of our favourite types of food to eat is Portuguese charcoal rotisserie chicken,” Mooers says. “Romados is usually one of the first stops that we make.”

Portuguese chicken has the punch of piri piri sauce, addictively peppery, garlicky and tangy. The rotisserie chicken is kissed by charcoal heat, generally meaning it is moist as hell with perfectly crisped — hopefully singed! — skin since it bastes in its own tasty juices.

That said, Mooers makes it clear that her new place isn’t a Portuguese restaurant. It’s just about the chicken.

“It will be in that style and will have that influence, but we are not going to put a cultural tag on it,” Mooers says. “Obviously we are not Portuguese.” So, basically, when it comes to natas, expect nada.

It’s going to be a casual place. “A joint,” says Mooers. The menu will be focused on take-out, the chicken and fries or salads. Maybe sandwiches. The real focus is the eight-foot charcoal pit where the chicken will be roasting. “Other than that, it will be a pretty small menu,” she says. “We’ll have a couple of local beers and a couple a local wines on tap. And we’ll have a little patio out front and a little bit of seating inside, but it’ll primarily be a take-out restaurant.”

The name is still under wraps. “Every time I told someone I was naming my restaurant EDNA they looked at me and said ‘What?’” she says with a laugh. “So I’m keeping this to myself for a while longer.”

Mooers hopes to be open in July or August.
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Monday, May 15, 2017

Where's the beef? Not at Benny's Burgers

New street food business to offer a variety of vegan burgers.

Posted By on Mon, May 15, 2017 at 2:55 PM

click image The Nacho Macho in all its glory. - VIA INSTAGRAM
  • The Nacho Macho in all its glory.
  • Via Instagram


Ben O’Toole and Morgan Zwicker are challenging the idea that there’s no such thing as vegan comfort food. Later this week, they’ll start slinging all sorts of tasty creations at Benny’s Burgers.

“We realized there’s a lack of vegan street food in Halifax,” says O’Toole. He adds that there are some great “clean eating” and raw options out there, that’s not always what people are looking for—particularly if they’re hungover.

O’Toole has had an interest in cooking since he was a kid, and he’s held a couple different jobs in the food industry. He already owns one food truck, Benny’s Ice Cream, which he started six years ago. That’s where he initially hired Zwicker. O’Toole 's starting to roll out vegan options through that business as well.

“People around here actually do want this stuff, but you don’t really know it because you just see meat everywhere,” says Zwicker.

Benny’s Burgers will soon be hitting up the corner of Spring Garden Road and Grafton Street, featuring burgers topped with hummus, guacamole or even pineapple. The Elvis is Zwicker’s personal favourite menu item.

“It’s a burger with peanut butter, jam, coconut bacon and dried banana pieces,” he says. “It’s kind of sweet but it also has a savoury crunch from the bacon at the same time.”

Is it enough to change the minds of local carnivores? We’ll see.

The patties are gluten free and vegetable-based, with different types of protein such as soy and pea protein. There are gluten-free options for the buns as well.

“When you eat this burger, we don’t want you to know it’s a veggie burger. It tastes really similar to a typical burger. We’re trying to bridge that gap.”

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Seven Open City stops to explore

If we were at a bookstore, these would all have stickers that say "Staff Pick: Becky."

Posted By on Fri, May 12, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Wine, dine and climb (maybe not in that order) at this year's Open City. - JORDAN BLACKBURN
  • Wine, dine and climb (maybe not in that order) at this year's Open City.
  • Jordan Blackburn

Here’s hoping the rain stays away for this year’s Open City. Dozens of local businesses are providing good eats and store sales, so you may need to do some running around to get the most of it. The full schedule is on the I Love Local (HFX) website. I honed in on several of my favourites here, because I’m nice like that. 

1. Back Door Takeout at Humble Pie Kitchen
There are tons of things to chow down on during Open City and I would love to eat everything. If you’re trying to narrow it down, though, Dartmouth’s Humble Pie is amazing. Five-dollar pies are on offer starting at 9am and folk musician Jen Miller will be there for entertainment around noon. 77 King Street
For those who aren't venturing to Dartmouth, Humble Pie will be set up and slinging pies at Ocean Optometry. 5240 Blowers Street

2. World Tea House
Deals on tea all around, as well as ten-dollar tarot “speed readings” if you’re feeling spiritual. Is there more tea in my future? Yes. Yes, there is. 1592 Argyle Street

3. Seven Bays Bouldering
I guess we should include some exercise here, eh? In all seriousness, rock climbing is fun, but it can get pricey. Luckily, Seven Bays is charging just five bucks on Saturday, with two-dollar espresso drinks if you need that extra boost to work your way to the top of the wall. 2019 Gottingen Street

4. Back Lot Party at Cyclesmith
There’s going to be a bunch of things going on here, but let’s not beat around the bush. Hatfield Farms is bringing a petting zoo, and that alone is reason enough to go. 2553 Agricola Street

5. Bishop’s Cellar
Drink local and participate in some free tastings from 11am to 3pm. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere. 1477 Lower Water Street

6. Made in the Maritimes
Ideal if you haven’t gotten your mom a Mother’s Day gift yet, you terrible child (just kidding, I haven’t either). A free mother’s day card by Dartmouth-based artist Sarah Duggan comes with purchase. On top of that, Nova Scotia Fisherman skincare will be offering up free samples and folk artist Shelagh Duffett will be live painting. 5527 Young Street

7. Roll On Two Bakery
Now’s the time to try one of those chimney cakes if you haven’t—you get a coffee for $1 with your purchase. 1810 Granville Street







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Monday, May 8, 2017

Bonjour, Mon Cerise

This lager is the first in a series of collaborative beers in honour of Garrison's 20th anniversary.

Posted By on Mon, May 8, 2017 at 5:11 PM

ALEX PEARSON
  • Alex Pearson

As Garrison Brewing Co. marks its 20th year in the beer business, the company is rolling out some new brews—the first of which is the aptly-named Mon Cerise. It's a collaboration between Garrison, North Brewing, Good Robot and Spindrift.

Justin Zinck, retail manager at Garrison, says they wanted to celebrate how the industry has grown over the last 20 years. After deciding to do a collaboration, they realized there were far too many craft breweries in the province to collaborate on one beer. As a result, they're splitting things up regionally, starting with this joint effort in Halifax.

"It was a pleasure working with all these guys," says Zinck. "Everyone bruought a different set of expertise to the table."

Mon Cerise combines Spindrift's specialty in lager and North's expertise in Belgian beer to create (what else?) a Belgian lager. It's made with cherries too, of course, but Zinck stresses it's not a maraschino taste.

"There's a lot of care and technique going into it to make sure we balance the cherry flavour, make sure we get the best extracts and purees that we could."

It's been available at the companies' respective taprooms, but according to Zinck, Mon Cerise is almost gone. No need to fear, though: Garrison plans on launching one more anniversary beer before the summer and another two around summer's end.




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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fruition is now Springhouse

Springhouse has sprung!

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 6:03 AM

New logo, who dis?
  • New logo, who dis?

“We are five years in business, and we started the business as a hobby when we were babies and knew nothing,” says Jessie Doyle of Fruition with a laugh. “It’s slowly grown over the last few years, we often say it’s taken a life of its own. It took the lead and we followed.” Just in time for the business’ fifth year of serving up raw, fresh creative food it’s making some changes—Doyle and her business partner and husband Seth Graham started by closing their Coburg Road cafe location to focus on their Seaport Farmers’ Market (1209 Marginal Road) flagship, and this week they’re relaunching with a new name, Springhouse.

“It’s a small, one-room building that covers a spring,” says Doyle. “It would also keep food cool and fresh. It harkens back to a time when food was pure.” Springhouse will also freshen up its market location, to allow for more efficient production and output, and will put in a Pop Culture Kombucha Co. tap, but otherwise it’s business as usual. Doyle will celebrate five years and fresh beginnings this weekend at Head 2 Toe’s Girls Night Out (Exhibition Park, Friday April 28, 5pm).

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Birdie's Bread Co. is ready to take flight

And The Canteen is expanding!

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 4:09 AM

Jessica Best spreads her wings with Birdie's - DYLAN CHEW
  • Jessica Best spreads her wings with Birdie's
  • Dylan Chew

Birdie's Bread Co.
380 Pleasant Street

Dartmouth is on a roll thanks to Jessica Best. She is well on her way to opening Birdie’s Bread Co. at 380 Pleasant Street in Woodside. “We’re getting closer. I say that every day, but oh my god there is still so much more to do,” says Best.

The plan is to open Birdie’s in the last week of May. “But that might be a little ambitious,” Best says. Just last week a grain mill—“a logistical beast to try to sort out,” she says—arrived, an enormous crate, so at least the biggest piece of the puzzle is in place.

Best started her baking career at Auntie Crae’s and Raymonds Restaurant in St. John’s before moving to Halifax where, as head baker, she helped Renee Lavallée open The Canteen. You can currently find her roster of sourdoughs—along with other goods like croissants, cookies and muesli—at the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market (2 Ochterloney Street).

The new bakery will focus on fresh-baked breads, like the sourdoughs, whole wheat, rye and Eastern European-style breads, and freshly milled flour. “And I would really like to be able to do some fresh pastas in-house for retail,” Best says. “Anything flour-related I’d like to play with and see if people will buy.”

Birdie’s will also have a small cafe space with pastries and drip coffee. And Best’s bread will also be available at Little C To Go, the new takeout-focused sister restaurant of The Canteen, which should open in June.

“Jess and I have had an amazing relationship for almost four years now and I want to support her as much as I can and vice versa,” says Lavallée, who uses Best’s bread in dishes at The Canteen.

Little C will open in the small space directly next door to the restaurant. It will serve up prepared sandwiches, soups and salads that are geared towards the grab-and-go lunch crowd.
“Just like everything in our lives, we didn’t plan it,” Lavallée says of Little C. “A lot of our original customer base wasn’t pleased with the long wait for takeout in the new space. And we don’t want to lose the people who made us what we are.”

“We want to make sure that if you’re getting takeout from Little C you’re getting a great experience and if you’re staying in The Canteen you’re also getting a great experience,” says Lavallée’s partner at The Canteen, Doug Townsend.

Until 5pm Little C will act as a take-out spot, turning into an overflow room for The Canteen, complete with a patio, at night. The hope is to be open for Switch Dartmouth on June 5, though you may find them slinging soft-serve during Open City in May.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Drift Coffee heats up

Another reason to hit the Forum Farmers' Market

Posted By on Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 4:57 AM


17620262_197595844064208_5937778833773038065_o.jpg

Sometimes you fill your free time with walks in the park, hangouts with friends and meandering mornings at the market, and sometimes you start a small business. At least that’s what you do if you’re Graham Ereaux. A touring musician (Ereaux is known as Devarrow on stage), he was looking to keep busy and employed during his stints at home in Halifax. He recently launched Drift Coffee, a small, super-focused coffee stand Saturdays at the Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market
(2901 Windsor Street).

“I worked at a cafe and roastery in Vancouver. It was working there that I got in interested in coffee, roasting beans, single-origin coffee,” he says. “I always just kind of thought coffee was coffee until I worked there.” With the hopes of being able to get Haligonians hooked on coffee nerdery, too, he dreamed up Drift. “It’s a lot more common to see a coffee menu that’s sort of an encouragement of that knowledge,” says Ereaux of some of the cafes he’s fallen for in his time travelling across the country. With this in mind, he started by teaming up with local roasters, Anchored Coffee for his debut menu, and serves the Vancouver-based Justea. He also sells coffee by the bag. “I’ve started with Anchored because they’ve been incredibly supportive, and will be my local main wholesaler. But it’s a good opportunity to show off different roasteries across Canada,” he says.

For now, he’s about to head off on another stint on the road—and has scrambled to find someone to staff Drift while he’s gone—but when he returns he’s aiming higher. A bigger bar, more beans, pour-overs and special events. “As a secondary project to music, it’s been quite off-the-cuff,” says Ereaux, surprised of his stand’s popularity. “It became apparent quickly that I need to be there every week if I can. I guess at the end of the day people really appreciate and value good coffee, and customer service.”


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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Rinaldo’s family focus

In May, Tony and Sam Rinaldo bring Italian American eats to Windsor Street.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 4:00 AM

Tony and Sam Rinaldo are gearing up to bring Italian American eats to Windsor Street. - RACHEL MCGRATH
  • Tony and Sam Rinaldo are gearing up to bring Italian American eats to Windsor Street.
  • RACHEL MCGRATH

Salvatore Rinaldo didn’t exactly leave a trail of breadcrumbs for his sons, Tony and Sam, to follow. It’s more like a path that was coated in breadcrumbs, fried, and covered in marinara. Who wouldn’t follow that path?

He was, of course, the founder of the original Salvatore’s New York Pizza (now Salvatore’s Pizzaiolo Trattoria). Tony and Sam are just about to open Rinaldo’s (2186 Windsor Street), a brick and mortar restaurant and obvious next step for the brothers who, for the past few years, have been slinging hot dogs and heroes through T-Dogs and their sandwich company, Rinaldo’s Italian American Specialties, a regular feature at the Good Robot gastroturf.

The Rinaldo brothers have teamed up with Steven Haynes, an old family friend who owns winemaking supply store Noble Grape. “Steven was actually the first employee for Salvatore’s New York Pizza. He was my dad’s employee,” says Tony. “When I was away in Montreal I’d come back to visit and we’d hang out at family events and he always said he was interested in doing something with me and Sam, so when I finally moved back we decided it was the right time to do it.”

The restaurant is currently under construction in the old Good Food Emporium space on Windsor Street, with plans to open in May. While the Rinaldos will run the kitchen, Haynes is working on the wine portion of the bar program with another family friend, award-winning bartender Jenner Cormier, consulting on the cocktails. There will also be a half dozen taps from local craft breweries.

The main plan is for the Rinaldos to put their own spin on Italian American classics. “We definitely want people to feel really comfortable and at home here,” says Tony. “It’s food done the old school Italian way but using Italian American flavours, the essence of what was created in the New York area.” This means dishes like penne alla vodka, chicken parmesan and pizza. Pasta will all be made from scratch—cavatelli will be a house staple—and favourite sandwiches like the eggplant parm and meatball hero will also be on the menu.

“We have dishes that are inspired by recipes that have been passed down from my father, my grandmother and my great grandparents,” says Tony. “We have recipes from my grandfather, his sausage recipe, my great grandmother’s Sicilian olive salad. Not to say we’re going to put that on the menu, but we have a treasure trove of recipes that Sam and I are just kind of making our own.

“It’s nice to take those, take that history and make it our own,” he says. “We value where we came from.”

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Battery Park, recharged

The Dartmouth resto is shaking up the menu, and flipping Ace burgers

Posted By on Wed, Apr 12, 2017 at 5:08 PM

VIA ACE BURGER
  • via Ace Burger

It turns out George and Leo Christakos had an ace in the hole. Or, rather, they put an Ace in the hole that chef Mark Gray left in their restaurant concept when, last month, he announced he was going to be leaving Battery Park (62 Ochterloney Street).

The food at Battery Park has been defined by Gray’s penchant for elevated dishes and finer dining since opening in late 2015, and with his departure comes a pivot for the restaurant. What’s interesting, though, is that he’s helping to make that change.

“Whenever you hear a chef is leaving, people are like ‘Oh my god what happened?’” says George. “‘What’s the drama?’ ‘What’s going to happen to the restaurant?’ But Mark actually created an extremely well thought-out exit strategy. He was here to oversee the rollout of lunch. And he’s passing on a lot of responsibility to Andrew Shannon, who is the sous chef.”

Shannon will work closely with chef Andrew Prince of Ace Burger Co. (2605 Agricola Street). Together they will develop the new lunchtime Ace Burger menu at Battery Park along with what will be a singular dinner menu.

Ace Burger launched at Battery Park during Burger Week—“Dad and I are kind of suckers for punishment from one perspective,” George says with a laugh, “but it gave us a really good opportunity to create as much awareness as possible”—and is now open daily, both as an eat-in lunch destination and as a take-out counter.
“Five years of doing Gus’ Pub has given us an idea of where Ace Burger can go,” says George. “And I think one of the things we kind of learned from our partnership with Bearly’s is that if we work better when we have full control. So this has been working out really well.”

With Shannon and Prince working together, the Christakos’ are excited to push their limits.

“We’re going to get to explore Andrew Prince’s cuisine outside of burgers,” he says. “At Bearly’s we just began to explore how would Ace do ribs, how would Ace do curry and chips, how would Ace do donair hot pockets—super fun, kinda gritty, messy food. And I think it’s really in sync with who me and my father are as restaurateurs and what we know we are comfortable with. And it definitely makes sense at Battery Park. I’m pumped.”


Editor's note
This story has been amended to fix two typos. The original version misnamed Andrew Prince as Andrew Price and quoted George Christakos as saying "one of the things we kind of learn from our partnership with Bearly’s..." rather than "one of the things we kind of learned from our partnership with Bearly’s...". The Coast regrets these errors
.



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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

il Mercato gets a makeover

The Bedford resto debuts its new look tomorrow

Posted By on Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 4:08 PM

A peek via il Mercato's Facebook - VIA FACEBOOK
  • A peek via il Mercato's Facebook
  • via Facebook

After just over two weeks of hard work, Bedford’s il Mercato (1595 Bedford Highway) debuts its new look this week. The 14-year-old Bertossi Group favourite has undergone what Stephanie Bertossi calls “a spring re-do” that will result in some fresh decor, a massive new bar, a second-floor patio and some sprucing up in the menu department (hello, meatball burger!). “It’s the quickest one yet,” says Bertossi, who’s been working with Bertossi Group owners Dean Leland and Hakan Uluer as a consultant on the project.

“I’m known for the fast renos but this one was really fast.” She says the inspiration remains il Mercato—blending old with new to make sure the lively, family-friendly atmosphere of the restaurant remains. The new second-floor, flower-filled patio will seat 50, while the marble bar will make room for 20. “All of the restaurants in the Bertossi Group, they always evolve,” she adds. “Hakan and Dean really embrace the change.”

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The Economy Shoe Shop's been sold

Owner says the streetscaping plan is the "nail in the coffin"

Posted By on Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Summer 2017 will NOT look like this on Argyle - RILEY SMITH
  • Summer 2017 will NOT look like this on Argyle
  • Riley Smith

“It’s bittersweet. I hate the idea of moving out, leaving this but as you know, I’m not making any money here,” says Economy Shoe Shop (1663 Argyle Street) owner Victor Syperek matter-of-factly of his decision to sell the iconic Halifax bar after 22 years on Argyle Street.

He dropped the bomb that he was handing over its keys to Toothy Moose owner Brad Hartlin live on CBC’s Mainstreet last week. Now, he’ll zero his focus in on his Gottingen Street ventures, The Seahorse, Marquee Ballroom and The Local.

“The final straw was tearing up the road this summer. I cannot survive with no business this summer, and I think it’s going to kill everyone on the street,” he says of the plans to kick start the Argyle Street streetscape project this summer. “They’ve put the nail in the coffin.”

They, Syperek says, are both the developer and the city, both of whom he says have been inconsiderate and then some.

“The entire schedule is wrapped around the convention centre and not the people who’ve been here for years,” he says. "I think the city could have been a lot more proactive in this whole thing." 


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In Print This Week

Vol 25, No 4
June 22, 2017

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