Summer rain

Megan Wennberg browses for business news.

Rain nightclub at 1661 Argyle has undergone renovations and will open a new lounge later this month. The pm lounge (as in “post meridian”) will encompass half the club and will open at 5pm from Tuesday through Saturday. The main club will open at 11pm Thursday through Saturday. pm lounge will feature a world tapas menu (including Asian, Mediterranean and classic selections) and have its own DJ booth. And, if things get too crazy, staff can always open the club side early to accommodate customers’ needs. “It’s much more flexible than what we have now because the bar’s huge for Halifax,” says owner Charlie Khoury. “We’ve changed lots of little things,” he says—including some bigger things like new security and Khoury buying out his business partner—“and hopefully there will be something there for everybody, get a real, big-city club going here, which is what I’ve tried to do from day one. I always try to do too much.”

Fantasies for your house

Nella Fantasia Home Furnishings and Decor is moving from 604 Bedford Highway to the City Centre Atlantic building on Dresden Row. “The City Centre Atlantic is a new and upcoming mall and it seems like an exciting place to be,” says Mick Sinha, who co-owns the store with his wife Deanna. “Down by Spring Garden, you know, it’s the shopping centre of Halifax. It’s an offer we couldn’t refuse.” Nella Fantasia stocks a full range of housewares, gifts and furniture, and the new location will be very similar to the original. “We’re just taking the entire store concept, because everyone loves the concept of the store, and we’re going to plunk it in the new location and do the downtown thing,” says Mick. “It’s kind of mixed feelings because we’ve got some really good clients , but they said they’ll come visit us downtown. It’s a store that needs to be downtown.” Mick and Deanna plan to open in Halifax by July 19.

Bring on the sun

YKN opened last month at 1551 South Park in the Paramount Building. The shop specializes in designer and prescription sunglasses and accessories. Owner Yolanda Nibbelink stocks between 200 and 250 pairs at a time, and brand names include Christian Dior, Gucci, Georgio Armany and Ray Ban. Business is going well despite the lack of sun this summer. “The bad weather’s not necessarily a bad thing,” says Nibbelink, “because on a sunny, bright day people might be heading out of town or they have things around the yard they want to do, but on a rainy day, what do you do but shop?” Nibbelink has worked in the optical industry for years, but this is her first business. A true sunglasses connoisseur, Nibbelink has sunglasses to meet every need, including driving, fashion and casual wear. “I’ve been selling sunglasses for a long time,” says Nibbelink, “and it’s a real passion of mine because it makes people feel good, it’s fun.”

Cider house rules

Tideview Vintage Cider launched their first commercial run of artisanal hard ciders at the Halifax Farmers’ Market on Saturday. Tideview is a partnership between Halifax filmmaker John Brett and Andrew Bishop of Noggins Corner Farm in Greenwich, where Tideview’s cider is produced. “We’re really excited with the idea of reintroducing real hard apple cider to Nova Scotians,” says Brett. “Until the middle of the 19th century it was undoubtedly the most popular drink in Nova Scotia.” Brett contends the Annapolis Valley may in fact be the oldest cider-producing region in North America, citing production by the Acadians as early as 1610. “Our big advantage,” says Brett, “is that Noggins Corner Farms still has large plantings of heritage varieties, which make the best cider. In fact, when I tell other small cider makers in Canada and the US about our Golden Russet and Ribston Pippin orchards they’re amazed. Most people don’t think they exist anymore.” Tideview is launching two different ciders this summer, a Russet Dry and a Ribston Semi-Dry, to be sold at the Farmers’ Market and in select restaurants and pubs in Halifax and Wolfville.

Home brew

Brothers Dale and Darren Fisher are re-launching their great-grandaddy’s soda pop brand, Sunny Boy. Originally bottled at RS Fisher Bottling works on May Street, the Fishers junior have opted to continue Sunny Boy in product only, leaving the process of manufacturing and bottling the pop to Propeller Brewing Company on Gottingen. “RS Fisher had over 50 years of soda making experience and we have none, so we are having the soda bottled by a local bottling company instead of spending millions ourselves,” says Darren. Sunny Boy is available in four flavours (root beer, orange, vanilla cream and ginger beer) and will be sold locally at The Red Pepper Restaurant, Javaz Coffee at Work and Nic Nax General Stores.

Et cetera

Wildflower Clothing at 5553 Clyde is now open Sundays, as of July 1…The Italian Garden, a new restaurant at 5688 Spring Garden, is now open…The long-closed Dragon City Restaurant building on Quinpool appears to be under renovation… On a less edible note, Metro Pet Crematory will be opening soon at 192 Joseph Zatzman in Burnside. We’ll keep you posted.

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