Pasta Cafe and Dofsky’s Catering not closing

Megan Wennberg browses for business news.

We repeat. NOT CLOSING. Shop Talk reported on April 6 that “The Pasta Cafe and Dofsky’s Catering in the Hydrostone market are closing at the end of the month,” and that they are “hoping” to re-open in a new location, but this statement has been (understandably) misunderstood by concerned Pasta and Catering clients to mean that the business itself is closing. It’s not. The storefront in the Hydrostone Market will no longer be home to either the Pasta Café or Dofsky’s, but owner Quentin Dexter informs us the business is not only not closing, it is expanding in a new location(s). More details to come as we get them.

Venus de Milestone

Venus Envy celebrates eight years in business on May 6 with a store-wide birthday party at 1598 Barrington from 10am–6pm. The “education-oriented sex shop and bookstore” was a true pioneer when it first opened in town in 1998, and owner Shelley Taylor is delighted at the sheer volume of hearts, minds and legs the store has helped open since. “Oh my god, it’s changed so much,” says Taylor. “For the first couple of years we were in business, the whole idea of the g-spot being a myth was still really out there, but now women believe they have a g-spot and now we have to tell them how to find it. A lot has changed in terms of women believing that they have a right to sexual pleasure and knowing more about how their bodies work.” The store’s inventory has also gone through a number of transformations over the years as more and more products became available. “When we first opened there were about six books of erotica that were any good on the market,” says Taylor, “and now there are dozens and dozens and dozens. It’s great.” Venus Envy will have a whole new line-up of toys and books on display in time for their anniversary, and the store also launched a new website at

Losing Lewis

Lewiscraft is closing after nearly a century in business. The craft store chain, which at its peak numbered 90 stores across Canada, will close its doors in a month. The company began as a leather store back in 1913 (when it was still owned by the Lewis family) and has since changed hands twice, most recently 10 years ago when it was bought by John Wilcox. Lewiscraft is best known for its varied supplies for all craftly endeavours, including yarn, baskets, wooden ornaments, paints, fake flowers, ribbons and Shop Talk’s favourite ’80’s products: fimo and gimp. “It’s sad,” says a Dartmouth-based employee. “It’s like a deathbed, but you can’t bury anybody. It’s hard seeing it empty more and more everyday.” An estimated 300 employees will be out of work following the closure, including all those at the Halifax Shopping Centre and at 650 Portland locations.

Get your fixx

As mentioned in last week’s column, the Fixx Nail Salon has moved from Dresden Row to 1477 Lower Water, on the exterior of the Bishop’s Landing complex. “We wanted to offer more services because we were just a nail salon and now we’re a full salon for full services,” says co-owner Candice Blaney. “We’re a maintenance studio—maintenance meaning we do men’s and women’s services, and it’s just the monthly maintenance that everybody needs when it comes to waxing, getting their nails done and pedicures.” Since the move, Fixx has acquired a new laser hair removal system, new staff to offer the expanded services, new clients and better parking, but nails are still the focus. “We’re known for our nails,” says Blaney. “Sarah”—co-owner Sarah Sparkes—“and I do the best acrylic gel nails in the city and I can easily say that.”

Great T&A (technique and art…)

Adept Tattoos and Body Piercing studio will open in early May at 6265 Quinpool next to Quincy’s restaurant. Studio owner and body modification artist Amber Thorpe moved to Halifax three weeks ago after nine years working in Ontario and Alberta. “It’s great out west, the money’s awesome, but what do you do on your days off?” says Thorpe. “There’s nothing to do but ski, and I hate skiing….” Thorpe is also sick of tattooing wheat and grain elevators to the arms, backs and chests of her prairie clients and hopes she gets to tattoo “lots of squid and lobster” now she’s on the east coast. Thorpe also specializes in all manners of body piercing—“from surface to surface, to genital, to, you name it, it can be pierced”—and to a lesser degree in scarification with hot irons or scalpels. Beyond the change in scenery from Medicine Hat to Halifax, the most glaring difference Thorpe has encountered since her move is the fact that Nova Scotia doesn’t license body modification artists. At least not yet. “There’s no health inspection here, so I could open up and not even have a sterilizer,” says Thorpe. “That is something I would really like to look after and get changed. I don’t understand why it’s not like that. The studio I’m building is going to be all state of the art equipment and the sterilization area will be separate from the work area—I’m actually implementing all the laws that should be done, and then hopefully everything will get changed.”

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