Back in biscuit

T.C. Demaresq browes for business news.

A newly expanded Biscuit General Store will be re-opening on June 1. The popular boutique has taken over the former Studio Argyle space next door. Owner Wendy Friedman says the renovated store will offer larger menswear, cosmetics and accessories sections, as well as brand new departments. "One is what we're calling a Family Fun department, which will have gifts, toys, games and all sorts of things for children," she explains. Another major addition is the Frocks department, which will offer a wide selection of cocktail dresses and career wear. "It will be work-appropriate attire," says Friedman, "but not power suits, because those are over." Thrifty shoppers can rejoice at the addition of a "bargain basement," which will offer a variety of items at discounted prices. The new space adds much-needed stock room space, which means more products and sizes will be available, including more shoes, candy, housewares... "We really needed it," says Friedman. "We were bursting at the seams!" Biscuit is located at 1661 Argyle, and can be reached at 425-5436.

Going coastal

When Mark Giffin saw an opportunity to realize his dream of owning his own restaurant, he took it. The former head chef of Bish has bought Coastal Coffee at 2731 Robie, and takes ownership on June 1. The name will stay the same, but patrons can expect big changes. "We'll still be doing the coffee, but we're obviously going to be adding a lot on the food side of things," says Giffin. He will soon be introducing a full, unique breakfast menu to the shop. There will also be an expanded lunch menu, and he plans to start offering catering service soon. When asked about the decision to leave Bish, Giffin says, "It's always the dream to own your own place. It was just time to move on." You can call Coastal Coffee at 405-4022.

Paddle pushers

Ten years ago, long-time paddling enthusiasts Tony and Jane Duplante fell in love with their hobby all over again. Disenchanted with heavy, uncomfortable boats, they were ready to give up altogether. Then they discovered Swift Canoe and Kayak, a manufacturer out of Ontario. They loved the products so much they opened their own dealership on Lake Banook in Dartmouth. Paddle East Canoe & Kayak is the first Atlantic Canadian dealer of Swift products. Tony swears by them. "Swift boats are well made, safe, lightweight performance boats. Carrying a 16'6" canoe weighing only 35 pounds is a breeze and when the boat is in the water it almost paddles itself! Really! We now own one of his canoes and two kayaks, not only because he builds a hell of a boat but the company is all about paddling." Because the store is right on the water, customers will be able to test the products before they buy. They have demo models of the full line of canoes and kayaks on site. The store will be open Wednesday to Friday 11am to 7pm, weekends and holidays 10am to 6pm, and by appointment. Out-of-towners are encouraged to call ahead to ensure they will get the time and attention they need. Paddle East will also be hosting their grand opening the weekend of June 16 and 17, with visiting Swift reps, paddling demos, test paddling, prizes, a contest and discounts. "We don't pressure," says Duplante, "We introduce our customers to Swift and let it happen. We are not a "big box store,' more of a home for paddlers that happens to offer awesome boats and service. When you come through our doors don't expect to leave quickly! Spend some time, have a coffee, chit-chat...the dock and boats are ready when you are." Paddle East is located in Paddler's Cove at 300 Prince Albert Road. For more information call 1-866-665-6638 or see their website:

A raw deal

The long wait for sushi in Dartmouth is over. Hamachi Grill and Sushi House is now open at 644 Portland. Extensive renovations have turned the former Pizza Hut location into a beautiful Japanese restaurant with a floating sushi bar. This is the third restaurant in the Hamachi family, but as owner Boris Mirtchev explains, "All of our locations are very unique from each other." The Dartmouth restaurant is the largest of the three, with 150 seats including the dining area, the lounge, and the private dining room. The restaurant will offer both sushi and Japanese grilled items, including steaks and seafood. Unlike most sushi restaurants in Halifax, this one will be open seven days a week. Sushi-cravers can call the restaurant at 444-4688 or check out the full menu at

Plaid to rest

The Plaid Place has closed down its Spring Garden Road location, but will re-open on June 1 as a whole new store. "Kids, kids and more kids," says owner Lisa Risley when asked what the new store will offer. That doesn't mean they will be selling children, but they will be selling everything you need if you have one. The store will now be called Ragamuffin Kids, and will be selling clothing, shoes, books and gifts. "Spring Garden is not the spot for a seasonal store," says Risley about the decision to close the touristy Plaid Place. "We wanted to see what was missing on Spring Garden." Indeed, Ragamuffin will be the only shop of its kind on the street. The Plaid Place will still be open at its Barrington Street location, as well as a new shop in the Pier 21 terminal marketplace. Reach the shop at 423-4258.

Selling children? Email:

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