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.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Church's Barbershop opens on Agricola

Posted By on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 4:02 PM

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After two years of lowering ears from their west end joint, Scallywags Barbershop (6513 Chebucto Road), Dylan MacEachern and Brad MacDonald are expanding their fleet. Last week the pair quietly opened Church’s Barbershop in the former Makenew location (2468 Agricola Street), a spin off location that offers the same service with a slightly sleeker different look.

“We were just interested in having barbershops that service different little neighbourhoods in the city. Agricola Street is cool, there’s a whole bunch going on in the street right now—it’s super bustling,” says MacEachern. “Scallywags is a little bit knick knacky, a little busy. This one I’m trying to keep more minimal, clean and contemporary—concrete countertops and birch.”

Contemporary with a healthy dose of throwback inspiration, though. MacEachern says both the name, and some of the shop’s decor, are a hat tip to Harold Church, “an OG barber” who opened his first shop in Truro in 1953, and later hung his clippers in Tatamagouche.

“I have a cottage in Tatamagouche and I was kind of keeping my eye on the spot, until he passed away a couple of years ago,” he says. “I got in touch with Bonnie Church, his widow, and purchased all the fixtures out of the shop.”

A barber pole and Belmont chairs —along with a letter of consent from Bonnie Church herself—decorate and influence the new north end barbershop. Church’s is currently cutting from two chairs Tuesday through Sunday, hoping to expand to three or four by summer’s end.

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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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Anti Fashion opens on Agricola and West

Andre Merlo is upping the Anti

Posted By on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 6:02 PM

Best dressed folks at the fair, ever. - ANDRE MERLOT
  • Best dressed folks at the fair, ever.
  • Andre Merlot

Andre Merlo knows a good look when he sees it. He’s worked in fashion, photography and styling and even had his own line in Milan, but now he’s zeroing in on affordable, quality second-hand clothing.

“I’m from Italy originally, but I’ve been coming to Halifax for 10 years on and off,” he says. “I was 17 when I came here for the first time, and fell in love with the lifestyle, the people and the culture.”

Merlo’s hoping his Anti Fashion can add to that culture. He’s been growing the brand over the last few months, building on the Anti collection and popping up at the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market as well as at special events like Full Circle Festival, Folly Fest and this weekend’s Evolve Festival. This month, he debuted a bricks-and mortar boutique on the corner of West and Agricola (upstairs at 5687 West Street), offering shoppers a hand-picked second-hand selection and a personal shopping experience.

“I have a really funky taste. I like originality, I like things that are unique, hard to find and I like quality,” Merlo says. “Not everyone loves a Value Village experience. I tell you how it is, I’m always very honest. I want people to walk out with something that looks good and makes sense for them.”

On top of its distinctive selection, Anti Fashion will offer both monthly ($10) and yearly ($55) memberships to its shoppers, which will yield discounts and special deals, and Merlo says he’s dedicated to keeping prices low and calibre high.

“Why do we keep buying new and pouring money into fast fashion? Everybody loves to switch up their look, and if you can do it with little money it’s a win for everyone.”

Follow Anti Fashion for updates to hours, and what's in store.

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Feet for Phoenix collects kicks for a cause

A sneaker peek at a sweet deal

Posted By on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 1:22 PM


This weekend is the prime time to dig to the back of your closet and dust off your old kicks—but not to worry, you don’t have to use ’em. With Phoenix Youth Programs in mind, Jesse Ingalls, Demetrious Ferguson and Courtside Sneakers (6247 Quinpool Road) will be collecting men’s and women’s gently used sneakers for Feet for Phoenix both Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15. Not only will the shoes you no longer use be a huge benefit to someone else’s feet, but it’ll earn you something in return, too.

To sweeten the deal, Courtside will offer 25 percent off a pair of new shoes if you donate your pre-loved pair—and 50 percent off if you donate three pairs. And FYI, gently used, means they still have to be wearable. So, no holes, tears or need for repair, no sandals or Crocs—and if you wore your Nikes to Mud Hero, Feet for Phoenix doesn’t want those, either. If you don’t have spare sneakers on hand but want to contribute to the cause check out phoenix30for30.ca.
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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Where I work: Oh Dina!'s Nicole McInnis

How an oasis of a home office helps this local artist ship flower crowns and hair accessories around the globe.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 4:00 AM



Nicole McInnis makes bridal headpieces and DIY flower-crown kits in Dartmouth, then ships them around the world. With a background in fashion design and costuming, her business began with vintage-inspired hats, then fascinators when Will and Kate's royal wedding drove up demand. "It evolved into flowers, because that's what current right now," she says. Last month, McInnis mailed out more than 50 packages ordered through Etsy.  The furthest ones went to Mexico and Switzerland—marked by sticker gems added to her antique globe, one for every faraway shipment.  

"I walk in and it feels magical," says McInnis, whose studio is inside her home.  As a renter hoping to preserve the original wood walls, "not having walls to screw in was really troublesome for me at first," she says. To solve the problem, McInnis hung her silk flowers and vines from a drapery rod, forming a curtain of cream-coloured English roses and burgundy orchids.  A chandelier of flowers cascades from a light fixture in the centre of the room. "To be in a space that's kind of old-timey and vintage and has a history, I just love creating in this space," she says. "It's very romantic."


"When I create, things explode and I've got flowers flying all around me," says McInnis, explaining the only drawback of the space. "I won't even realize my mess has gotten to the level that it has," she says, because a mess made of flowers is "still beautiful." Finding a missing flower can take days before it turns up "underneath a heap of ferns." Decorating the whimsical space with her materials provides both a magical setting and open storage—which she snips from often when inspiration strikes. 

Last fall, McInnis created a flower crown with navy poppies and ivory accents, then mailed it to a bride in Botswana planning to exchange vows in an elephant sanctuary. Canada Post and FedEx employees appear daily at the door, delivering silk flowers from New York and beyond.  She's shipped out nearly 250 packages already this year via Canada Post, and says staff at the drop-off in Dartmouth are like family. "I love them so much," says McInnis, whose partner also works from home. "We see them every day," she adds, laughing about the other reality of creating a dream office, "they're like the only other people we see."

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Get on board with Roll The Dice

Halifax's newest board game cafe recently opened on Quinpool.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 1:34 PM


After spending several years in Toronto, Zack Amiri returned to Halifax to open up a board game cafe. As of June 12, Roll the Dice Board Game Cafe and Restaurant is making its home at Mezza’s former Quinpool location (6386 Quinpool Road).

“It’s one of the main streets in Halifax,” says Amiri, “and I think it’s not getting what’s deserved.”

He saw the growing variety and popularity of board games over the last few years. Five bucks (taxes in) will get you unlimited time to sit and play. Amiri says the cafe’s selection of games has room to grow, and he’s open to suggestions on what to add to the collection. If multiple people request a particular game, he’s happy to bring it in.

Amiri says there’s a variety of options for both intense gamers and folks how prefer something a little lighter. Some games might go for two or three hours while others take around 15 minutes to play.

Roll The Dice’s menu is a combination of Mexican and Mediterranean foods, along with other eats such as burgers and desserts. All in all, Amiri calls it “easy and handy food.”

“People eating with a spoon and playing board game—it doesn’t fit.”

The cafe had a soft, quiet opening earlier this month and Amiri is hoping it will become a valuable addition to the area: A place to socialize that’s not just about drinking. 

“There’s a lot of students and there’s a lot of business going on, but not much entertainment going on here.”

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Shop this: 90s swimwear at Makenew

Which way to the beach?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 4:00 AM


The upside of our recent summer rain is that it’s likely warming up the lakes a little. With your backstrokes and cannonballs in mind, Makenew (2698 Agricola Street) has been collecting a whole slew of top-notch, retro bathing suits for its '90s Swimwear Pop-up this Friday, June 23.

All day long you can get your hands on bathers of all shapes, sizes and colours—one-pieces, two-pieces, mix-and-match, too—as well as 20 percent off Spanish espadrilles and Colombian-made mochila bags if you buy a suit.

Naomi Campbell not included.

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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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Take a ride with Roundabout Bicycles

Dust off your old bicycle and visit this in-home bike repair shop.

Posted By on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 4:31 PM

  • via Facebook

As we head into peak bicycle season—and cyclists are able to use Point Pleasant Park on weekends till fall—it’s a great time to pull your old bike from the shed or garage. It’s probably a good idea to get the bike a check-up before going for a ride, though, and Jack Wong may be the person to do it.

Wong is the owner of Roundabout Bicycles (7111 Churchill Drive), the most recent addition to Halifax’s local options for bike repair. He runs the shop out of his own home. Wong had already been fixing up bicycles for friends and neighbours, as well as providing services at the Dal Bike Centre.

“That’s where I kind of honed my skills,” he says, adding that he eventually became the volunteer coordinator. “I was training other volunteers and students how to fix up bikes.” When he and his partner moved bought a house in the west end, moving from the north end, Wong saw “the perfect opportunity.” “There was a basement, I was already elbows deep in fixing bikes as a hobby,” he says, “and just helping out others, so I decided to open up shop.”

Wong is more than willing to serve folks outside of the west end, but he generally refers to his shop as a “neighbourhood service.” He wants people to know they don’t have to be an avid cyclist to stop by. “Everybody has a bike or a few bikes kind of sitting around.” Wong’s services differ from other shops in that he’ll do free house call consultations. He says this is ideal when a customer isn’t sure whether an old bike is worth tuning up, or if they’re just dealing with a minor squeak.

“In that case, instead of having to go all the way to a bike shop,” says Wong, “I can come to you and kind of give you a comprehensive estimate.”

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Splurge debuts The Shop Upstairs

New stuff at Sophie's Place

Posted By on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 4:27 PM

Our shop is OPEN! Follow our brick and mortar shopping experience @theshopupstairs! #theshopupstairs

A post shared by Splurge Boutique (@splurgehandbags) on

Clothing and accessories boutique Splurge has been operating solely from the World Wide Web for the last three years. Since closing its Brenton Street location in 2014, its owners Nadia and Nadin Dajani, who took over the shop that same year, have concentrated on beefing up its online store but as of this week have returned to the Spring Garden strip irl, opening in Sophie’s Place (5486 Spring Garden Road).

“We’ve been online for three years and have been doing pop up shops during that time,” says Nadia of the decision to reopen under the name The Shop Upstairs. “We really missed the in-person experience we were getting from pop-up shops, we really liked feeling like we were friends with our customers and it was girls shopping time.”

The sister-owned boutique aims to inspire its shoppers to be unique, never carrying more than a handful of the same piece, and they hope to push that further with their new location. “We are two sisters with two different lifestyles and styles, what we wanted to offer the customer is that we’re not trying to fit customers into a specific mould. We want to encourage people to find their own style.”

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

(Bike) Feats of strength

Consulting firm aims to make Halifax more bike-friendly.

Posted By on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 10:09 AM


Ben Wedge says more and more people are cycling—and changes need to be made to accommodate the growing number.

Wedge’s consulting firm, Bike Feats, started up in fall of last year. It will have installed more than 150 bicycle racks by the end of June. The firm works with landlords and employers to provide “any services you might need to encourage biking to your workplace or to your apartment building,” says Wedge.

Wedge used to be board chair for the Halifax Cycling Coalition, and he’s been biking in Halifax for about nine years. During that time, he’s become frustrated with the lack of bike parking. When parking is available, it’s often low quality.

“We see a lot of bike racks around the city that, if you were building a new building, you wouldn’t be allowed to install them under the current rules,” he says, adding that they’re often too small for bikes to fit. “You wouldn’t imagine a landlord installing a parking garage next to their building that couldn’t fit cars in it.”

One of Bike Feats’ bigger projects involved partnering with Crombie REIT to install 32 racks outside the Sobeys on Windsor Street.

“They went from, really, some of the worst racks in the city to some of the best racks in the city,” says Wedge.

Bike Feats’ ultimate goal is to educate. If landlords take the time to “do it right,” they can spend the same amount of money and get a better product.

“It shouldn’t be seen as a big fancy thing to hire a local firm that knows what they’re doing."

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

PAID: 10 Off-The-Beaten-Path Looks at Your Favourite Spots in Halifax

From eating and drinking ideas to outdoor escapes, here's a whole new look at the city.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 8, 2017 at 2:33 PM

  • Purcells Pond
  • David Patriquin

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Common Roots' Market Stand sells good shit

Posted By on Thu, Jun 8, 2017 at 4:00 AM


If you walk past Common Roots Urban Farm, your eyes might catch colourful stakes popping from the earth. The mosaic of green, orange and purple are essential in organizing the community growing space, located on the corner of Robie Street and Bell Road.

The orange stakes that take up about half the farm indicate plots for the market garden, explains project coordinator Jayme Melrose. "We have really good shit," she says emphatically, "by which I mean manure—really well-composted manure."

Common Roots' Market Stand, which is now in its second year, sells flowers, herbs, manure, seedlings and produce. "It's like a vegetable vending machine," Melrose says.

The market is one part of the Common Roots family, which includes tiny fruit and nut trees, a flower farm and community plots for which there is a long waiting list to join. But the market is a stand-out for those looking to support the farm on a more casual level.

"It's a nice reason to come up on the farm," says Melrose. "You can get really high-quality things that support a local project." She picks seed pods from a nearby plant and encourages their consumption with nothing more than declaring their name (Solomon's Seal).

The Market Stand is open Tuesday-Thursday, 11:30 am to 5:30pm. Like Common Roots itself and the crops it grows, it is sure to expand the deeper its own roots reach.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Maggie Jayne spring/summer 2017 collection launches tonight

Sort your summer look tonight at Lion & Bright

Posted By on Wed, Jun 7, 2017 at 3:44 PM

  • via maggiejayne.ca

The 2017 spring/summer collection from Halifax-based designer Maggie Jayne launches tonight at Lion and Bright. The Maggie Jayne clothing line is a collaboration between locations: Halifax and fair trade garment manufacturers in Pushkar, India. The one-woman operation is run by Maggie MacCormick, who travels between Halifax and India to oversee production.

The new collection features naturally derived fabrics such as linen and Khadi cloth, handwoven by artisans in Bugar. The new pieces play with inspiration from uniforms, incorporating block stripes and tropical pastels with loosely flowing shapes and a minimalist feel.

Stop by the event tonight between 7:30-9:30pm to view, touch and try on pieces. Guest performance by DJ Alfalfa Brown of Staying Underground and summer drink specials to boot.
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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Nominations for Best of Halifax 2017 are now open

Pick your favourite people, places and meals in town

Posted By on Thu, Jun 1, 2017 at 12:28 PM

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Vol 25, No 8
July 20, 2017

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