Restored ristorante | Shoptalk | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Restored ristorante

T.C. Demaresq browses for business news.

It turns out that more is happening at Milano's Ristorante than meets the eye. Not only has the Chebucto Road restaurant undergone extensive renovations, it also has a new co-owner. Tom Hickey, entrepreneur superstar about town, has joined forces with Source Security CEO / restauranteur / dreamboat Ron Lovett as joint owner of the popular Italian restaurant. Both are recipients of entrepreneural awards for their respective businesses. Hickey was in the market for a new business opportunity after selling his offshore training company, Frontline Safety, last year. "I love good food, I've always wanted to dabble in a hobby business," says Hickey. "Ronnie has done very well with Milano's over the past few years, and has already proven it to be a successful venture."

Lovett has no intention of resting on his laurels. Milano's has a whole new look since it re-opened on June 19, including a new bar and a liquor license. For more, visit, or call 431-6500.

Pies rise, cones dethroned

If you're waiting for Boticelli'sin Bishop's Landing to re-open, I have bad news for you. If you like pizza, I have good news for you. Maurizio and Stephanie Bertossi, owners of Bish, Il Mercato, Mosaic, and, until recently, da Maurizio, are opening a new restaurant in the former Boticelli's space. Pizzeria a Mano is described by Stephanie as "a funky little pizzeria," and will offer a more casual, family-friendly atmosphere than many of the upscale restaurants on the waterfront. The menu will include brick oven-baked pizzas, salads, soups and desserts. Pizzeria a Mano plans to take advantage of being next door to Bishop's Cellar, one of Halifax's favourite wine stores, by offering a varied and impressive list of wines. A large wrap-around patio will allow diners to sit either facing the courtyard, or Water Street. The restaurant is expected to open in early August.

Seven-day hangover

And on the seventh day, Nova Scotians rested...with booze! If you haven't heard the good word already, the NSLC has announced that, beginning July 8, they will be opening select stores on Sundays. Stores will be open from noon until 5pm for all your last-minute Sunday afternoon drinking needs.

Word is Bondi

Bondi, a European bistro and cocktail bar, is now open at 1566 Argyle in the former Casbah Imports location. The small restaurant is waiting until July 5 for its lounge license, which will allow liquor to be served without food purchase. The menu, designed by chef Newi McGrath, specializes in Continental European fare including pasta, grilled panini sandwiches, and an array of Italian, French and Spanish dishes. McGrath names the chili mussels as a signature item, along with gravlaax, a Norwegian cured salmon dish. For now the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, with breakfast coming soon. The small bistro seats about 60 people. For more information, call the restaurant at 406-3230.

Heal the World

The One World Cafe on Agricola Street, one of the most peaceful places in town, was the stage of a violent attack last Saturday evening. It started when the victim, a 20-year-old male, flipped off a passing motorist who came close to hitting him at a crosswalk. The driver responded by shaking his fist out the window as he drove away. "I didn't think anything more of it other than he was just a really aggressive motorist," says the young man. "Then he came back." The car was a blue BMW, driven by a middle-aged man. "He started asking if I wanted to start something, if I wanted to fight. I kept telling him that I didn't want to fight him and for him to leave me alone." The driver yelled homophobic slurs at the young man before getting back in his car. He drove away, and the young man entered the cafe. Minutes later, the BMW parked outside and the man ran into the cafe and started beating up the young man. It ended with the young man being thrown through one of the storefront windows, the glass shattering onto the street.

This leaves the One World Cafe on their own with a broken window. But they aren't going down without a fight. One World Cafe manager Siobhan Murphy has spoken to police. "I was on the phone with the police for five hours yesterday," she said Tuesday. "I filed a new report. Now we're just waiting for them to get the guy who did it. We don't know if we'll be able to fix the window."

A whole new restaurant

A new restaurant is opening at the corner of Spring Garden and South Park, former home of the Italian Garden. Aladdin's Palace will be opening soon, with Lebanese and Middle Eastern food. Stay tuned for more...Flirt Boutique in Dartmouth has closed its doors. The shop specialized in dresses, hats and handbags by Canadian designers. No word yet as to who will take over the space...This August will see the debut of the Halifax Seaport Beerfest. The event will take place behind the Garrison Brewery at 1149 Marginal Road. Tickets will be $30 plus HST, available at all HRM NSLC stores...Also at the Garrison Brewery, the Halifax Farmers' Market is holding a press conference on Thursday morning to announce details of their new waterfront location. Stay tuned to Shop Talk for more deets as they emerge.

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