Go Local: Bedford | Buy Local | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Go Local: Bedford

An artery right into the heart of Bedford, the highway has everything from Asian groceries to Middle Eastern carpets to outlets of fine footwear.

On our second annual visit up the Bedford Highway, we discover all sorts of cool stuff that makes us wonder if the peninsula is a bit overrated.

Select Sounds
1475 Bedford Highway, 835-3274
"The vinyl is selling really well," says owner Michael James. "And catalogue CDs that [customers] can't get anywhere else." Worth checking out in-store at the moment is the new and swelling section of Blu-Rays, as well as the box of records new to the store, which is busting open with Rush on vinyl. Feeling that urge to drop the needle on "By-Tor and The Snow Dog"; off Caress of Steel? Hurry on over to Select Sounds.

Comfort & Joy
1361 Bedford Highway, 431-9627
It won't be there for long, so get in when you can. Comfort & Joy is closing, probably on Saturday, January 26, and has been selling off everything in the store---including all sorts of home accessories, giftware, kitchenware, even Christmas stuff---for at least 25 percent off, though key items are going for 35 to 50 percent off. Anything that doesn't get sold will be shifted to one of the other stores in the locally owned chain.

Entity Boardshop
1270 Bedford Highway, 406-3449
Last year when we stopped by, Entity was just celebrating its grand opening. Twelve months later, you can now find, amongst the skate and ski apparel and accessories, surfboards and wetsuits and everything that goes with being out on the waves. Check out the wide selection of sunglasses and don't be surprised to find that flannel and plaid are hot again---welcome back to 1991. Hours are: Mon-Wed 10:30am-6pm, Thu-Fri 10:30am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12-5pm.

Thai Ivory Cuisine
1067 Bedford Highway, 431-8424
The first thing you're likely to notice when you stroll in is the amazing, gingery aroma particular to all good Thai restaurants. Thai Ivory Cuisine---open for about six weeks at the Stardust Motel---has been "very busy," a friendly staffer relates to Shoptalk, with the lunch specials (available 10:30am-2pm) a big draw, every combo a reasonable $9.99. That includes the cashew nut chicken, coming with a spring roll, soup and jasmine rice. Thai Ivory is waiting for a liquor licence, which they expect to have by July 1, and is also considering a patio. They're open 10am to 9:30pm daily.

Riverside Pub
1552 Bedford Highway, 835-1648
For almost nine years the popular eatery has overlooked the Sackville River, offering popular pan-fried haddock and wings on that amazing second-floor deck. It's hard to imagine a better spot to enjoy the river winding through the trees on its way to the Bedford Basin. Expect to find a lot of cold beer on tap---it is a Labatt bar---as well as regular promos tied into sporting events (they gave away a bar fridge, hockey bag and jackets during the NHL playoffs). Sam Moon sings folk standards on Saturdays from 4pm-8pm.

All Dressed Up
Sunnyside Mall, 1595 Bedford Highway, 431-6646
"Dresses, dresses, dresses for the summer," says owner/manager Darah Gaum, on what Shoptalk's readers can expect when they visit the women's clothing boutique, which, as she says, is full of summery wear. "It's the number one stop to get prettied up,"; she adds, before running off to help a customer.

Pete's Frootique
Sunnyside Mall, 1595 Bedford Highway, 835-3558
Besides raiding the vast selection of gourmet foodstuffs, a hot summer day will have you lining up for something from Pete's Power Smoothies. They all have names like Honeydew Bliss, Summer Breeze and even Winter Storm. Set your phasers on "refreshing."

Freak Lunchbox
Sunnyside Mall, 1595 Bedford Highway, 405-4052
Just back from a big candy show in Chicago, owner Jeremy Smith, is bringing in all kinds of fun surprises to his crazy candy shop in the next few months. Look for Boylan's soda, Blood Bag Energy Drink, spray candies---including apple pie in a spray---and goo candy, sweet stuff you squeeze out of a tube onto your tongue, considered a meal replacement. "We're going into our busiest season," he says. "We're looking forward to the summer and just rockin' it.";

Persepolis Food Market
1225 Bedford Highway, 407-2121
"I'm trying to show people we're not all about war---we're about music and food," says Camran Khandan, who with his wife Vida, opened a market, bulk food outlet and cafe/deli at the beginning of June. Coming from Iran---by way of Ontario--- Camran wants to help teach Haligonians about the rich, peace-loving culture of his homeland. The bulk food, nuts, seeds and dried fruit is organic---feel free to sample anything before you buy---and they offer a Persian food cooking class every Sunday from 4-6pm, free of charge, with all students getting to eat the results in the large, covered patio, on cushioned couches. Stop in for fresh bread every morning, Iranian pastries, paninis and sandwiches. Open Mon, Tue and Wed 8am-10pm, Thu, Fri and Sat 8am-midnight and Sun 10am-10pm, though Camran says if customers want to stay as late as 3am they won't kick anyone out.

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