Go to Hell

T.C. Demaresq browses for business news.

Hell’s Kitchen is re-opening below the Marquee Club next Friday night just in time for the Junos. Long-time Seahorse Tavern manager Dana Boulton is in the midst of re-locating himself and his staff from the once punk, now posh Seahorse to Hell this week. “They changed the format of the Seahorse downstairs and made it part of the Shoe Shop,” says Boulton. “I did all the bookings, bands, all that stuff prior to that, and so then I had myself and my staff who were working in a whole different bar than we used to work in, and I’ve got everybody who use to come to the Seahorse saying how much it sucks that there’s no scene anymore. It’s desperate as far as any good venues. There’s no where to go.” Boulton hopes Hell (which will remain under the ownership of Syperek and Henry) will take up where the Seahorse left off, and then some. “It’s very much a leap of faith,” says Boulton, “but I miss doing what we did, the whole staff does, and we hope we can go there and get it back and then go beyond everything we could do at the Seahorse.” Starting March 31, Hell will be open weeknights, Monday through Saturday.

Wong’s World

Raymond Wong’s new business, Global Business Centre, is set to open on Barrington is week in the former space of Fuzzy Bear Ice Cream and eyelevel gallery. The business centre will specialize in both computer and photographic services. Computer services will range from rentals and software repair to internet access and web design services, while photographic services available include photo restoration, passport photos and burning digital images to CD. “We have quite a bit of variety, but it’s all computer related,” says Wong, who has been in the business for 20 years, most recently on the computer wholesale end of things with his operation in Burnside Industrial Park. “Now that we’re here,” says Wong, “we’ll be more targeted to downtown businesses. There are so many—government offices, small business, big corporations, self-employed people—a lot of people work downtown. And most people use computers.”

Luigi’s favourite slice

Papa Mario’s Pizza is set to open in May at the corner of Barrington and Morris, in the former home of Captain Costa’s. The restaurant is one of a chain out of Newfoundland, and this will be the brand’s second Halifax location, the first having opened on Mumford. “We have a really, really good recipe for the sauce, and for that we use nothing but premium ingredients,” says owner Albert Zhouri. “And our service is one of the best in Halifax. We’re not a superhero from anybody else, we just depend on our good food. And it’s clean, our staff is very clean.” Papa Mario’s offers a number of menu options besides pizza (all available for eat-in, take-out or delivery), including garlic fingers and wings, and the new Barrington location will also offer an expanded poutine menu. The restaurant also specializes in sheer volume: Papa Mario’s Mumford location once prepared 95 pizzas in under two hours for delivery to a local call centre.

Lucky Seven

As reported last week, Seven Wine Bar and Restaurant at 1579 Grafton had a fire, “but it was pretty overplayed,” says general manager Tom Jackson. “It was a lot of just smoke and whatnot.” The restaurant opened the next day at 5pm and was fully operational. “The fire was contained to the duct work of the chimney, so basically the staff worked throughout the night and we re-installed the exhaust system,” says Jackson. “I think a lot of people assumed we were closed, because they thought it was a fire on all three floors, but it was a minor fire, cause for minimal concern, and we were open 18 hours later, fully functional.”

Double the party

Michelle St-Onge celebrates a double opening tonight, with the launch of her pet portrait business 28 Toes and the opening of Halifax’s only open-studio print shop. Originally from Dartmouth, St-Onge moved back to the city a year ago after nine years away in Toronto and Montreal working as a textile designer. Trained as a silkscreen artist, St-Onge decided she wanted to get back to printing full time, but couldn’t find anywhere in the city to do so. “I looked for four months, but there was nowhere for a silkscreen printer to work anywhere in the city, so I said, OK, I’ve got to build my own,” says St-Onge. “So I built it, and I decided since I’m going to build a studio, I might as well make it an open studio and rent it out to other artists and students so people can get in and practise their craft.” The studio, located at 5781 Charles, will also serve as the home of 28 Toes, “a new breed of pet portraits.” St-Onge describes her silkscreen images as modern, graphic, interesting animal prints that make use of trendy colour palettes and are a lot of fun. The opening is tonight from 4:30 to 9:30pm.


The Greek House restaurant at 6253 Quinpool closed on March 11. Shop Talk has been unable to reach the owners for comment, but we have heard from customers of the Greek House’s final day of operation that the closure was sudden.

Unexpected business news? Let us know. Email: shoptalk@thecoast.ca

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