Squared away

Guy Quenneville browses for business news.

The Nova Scotia Liquor Store in the Scotia Square Mall has not only changed locations, it has had a facelift, too. The store is still located near the food court, but has moved into a brand-new space across the hall. As for the new design, Rick Perkins, vice-president of marketing and communications for the NSLC, says the corporation wanted to create a store to better reflect the urban area where it’s located. “The store is designed to have a more modern urban downtown feeling to it,” says Perkins. “It’s got a colourful decor with images that reflect the Nova Scotia spirit.” He says the new store is also targeted at two groups: the business crowd working in nearby office towers and the travelling, hotel crowd who are new to the area. “The big focus at the store now is on offering as many chilled products as possible. We’ve increased our retail space and all the products now have tags explaining what they are. That, and the fact that most of the products are already cold, will really please the tourist crowd staying in hotels.” The liquor store in Mic Mac Mall underwent a similar renovation six months ago and has experienced a 24 percent rise in sales since the same period last year—an encouraging sign for Perkins. “We’ve gotten great reactions so far. Everyone who comes in just says, ‘Wow.’”

Get your ZZZs

Now that it’s been open for seven months, Mollyz Diner, at 2104 Gottingen, is expanding its restaurant space as well as its repertoire of supper-hour entertainment. The casual dining restaurant recently added a side dining room with 20 seats available for private birthday parties, going-away parties or office celebrations. Mollyz has also become the new home of both the Canadian Federation of Poets and DaPoPo Theatre. Co-owner Doug Melanson explains, “The Federation puts on monthly poetry readings and DaPoPo theatre, which used to be run out of the BusStop Theatre, is now exclusively located at Mollyz. DaPoPo puts on open-mic nights featuring readings and music.” In addition, local folk artist Jennifer McNail serenades diners with a selection of easy-listening music on Friday nights. Mollyz is named after a tongue-in-cheek fictional character concocted by Melanson and his business partner, David Landry. “We wanted our restaurant to have a face to it with historical roots,” says Melanson, “so Molly was conceived of as a woman who gave food and shelter to the men at sea coming from the harbour. With this restaurant, Molly has returned to Halifax.”

Hill of beads

A new bead supply shop opened this week at 6417 Quinpool. Beads ‘R’ Us is operated by manager Ben Bella and his wife, Ghalia Ali. The store offers a vast selection of beads and supplies such as clasps and wires and also many other items for making your own unique pieces of jewellery. “We offer our customers a choice. They can either come here and ask that we design the jewellery ourselves, or we can supply them with all the necessary materials to do it themselves. We even have a workspace at the front of the store that they can use if they wish,” says Bella. Customers who purchase their materials from Beads ‘R’ Us have the option to have put their work up for sale in the store, with about 25 percent of the profit going back to them. Ali began working with beads as a hobby and is now studying to become a bead design specialist. The store will also sell a selection of women’s clothing featuring beads, and Bella hints there may be more stores to come. “We have not set a date or a location yet, but we are thinking of opening a second store once this one is up and running.” As for the current Quinpool location, he couldn’t be happier. “It’s the best location in Halifax in terms of customer traffic—second only to the shopping malls.”

Something fishy

When people come to the seasonal Fredie’s Fantastic Fish House in Tantallon and ask where Fredie is, they’re normally surprised to discover that Fredie is a woman. That doesn’t faze Tammy Frederick, the owner of the business, which has expanded to a second location in Bayers Lake that will be open year-round. “I realized I needed to open a second location that was indoors,” says Frederick of the new Fredie’s Fantastic Fish House take-out location at 8 Oland Cresent Lake in the BLIP. “I needed something more permanent.” The original Tantallon stand is housed in the back of an old Simpson Sears truck converted to a take-out stand with six picnic tables. The Bayers Lake location is indoors, but Frederick insists the same atmosphere and quality of service will remain. “So many places, after you’ve given them their tip, don’t even take the time to thank you. We really strive to show our appreciation for the people who come here and who work hard themselves.” Customers who’ve enjoyed Fredie’s scallops and clams (straight from Digby), fresh-dipped fish, home-cut fries and the clam chowder specially prepared by Frederick’s mother, can rest assured that each of these tasty selections will be available at the new location. Some new menu items, such as salmon and pan-fried haddock, will also bubble to the surface. The new Fredie’s will have its grand opening on November 20.

Icy runway

Icelandair has announced that Halifax will be served by three flights every week from terminal one at London’s Heathrow airport between May 1 and September 3 next year. Prices for the trans-Atlantic flights are not yet available.

Tips, take wing. email: shoptalk@thecoast.ca

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