Taking care of business
A year-end, indie business highlight reel.
A year isn’t a year until you start making lists, checking ’em twice and remembering all of the good, bad and ugly things that came together to make and/or break it. In the world of local business we saw lots of growth—especially in Dartmouth and north end Halifax—dealt with some really bad bosses and thanked god the old Oxford Theatre hasn’t been knocked over, yet. A lot of cool stuff happened, but here are the Coles notes about how 2018 went down.
Despite bidding neighbourhood haunts like The Anchor (3625 Dutch Village Road),
La Cave de Strasbourg (3104 Highway 2), Canadiana Restaurant (15 Lakelands Boulevard) and Epicurious Morsels (5529 Young Street) adieu, the food and drink scene did pretty well for itself. Dartmouth scored big time with Lake City Cider and Brightwood
Brewing’s (35 Portland Street) shared swilling space, Aly Mae’s Bread Basket (11 Mount Hope Avenue) reminded us the Mary’s Bread Basket cinnamon bun is still alive, Upstreet BBQ Bre
whouse (612 Windmill Road) gave Burnside a saucy spot to hangout and Cafe Good Luck (145 Portland Street) made us all feel like we won the god damn lottery. The Little Oak family brought The Ostrich
Club (5529 Young Street) to life in the Hydrostone, Deeksha Bhaskar debuted Rasa (1542 Birmingham Street) in the former Fireside,
The Exchange on Hollis (1579 Hollis Street) went big with its 200-plus seater while Yoshi Suzuki encouraged take-out from his tiny To
kyo Roll (1598 Argyle Street). You didn’t live if you didn’t Instagram your tayaki ice cream cone at Taiyaki 52 (2009 Brunswick Street) or visit Shivani Dhamija at her new Shivani’s
Kitchen at the Seaport Farmers’ Market, probably died when you heard Vandal Doughnuts (2605 Agricola Street) was closing and can’t stop taco-ing (sorry) about the Rinaldo brothers’ Taco
Lina’s which took its place in Gus’ Pub. Hopyard
Beer Bar (2103 Gottingen Street) kept it interesting with rotating menus while
Kam Moon (2013 Brunswick Street) introduced us to Egyptian flat bread, and Cha Baa Thai (5813 Demone Street),
Lemon Tree (805 Bedford Highway) and Morris East (1984 Vernon Street) multiplied. Coffee drinkers had to keep caffeinated to follow all the action: Pro Skates lost Anchored Coffee (6451 Quinpool Road) and gained The
Atomic Cafe in its place, four of six Smiling Goats went out to pasture after labour issues went public and Glitter Bean (5896 Spring Garden Road) gave us a reason to believe good things happen to good people. Coffee Mat
ters opened three locations, The Nook (936 Bedford Highway) doubled up, Cafe Marco
Polo (15-105 King’s Wharf Place) brought some buzz to Dartmouth’s condo strip, Cafe
Lara (2347 Agricola Street) brightened a bleak abandoned laundromat, The Tare Shop (5539 Cornwallis Street) went waste-free and Lion
& Bright (2534 Agricola Street) faded to black. We got a Rage Room (2820 Isleville Street), a pussy palace ( Lily Pad Cat Lounge, 590 Portland Street) and a meditation space ( Flo, 1574 Argyle Street). Bib ‘N Tucker (6423 Quinpool Road) bowed out after over 40 years while
Flower Child (5189 Prince Street) and Baby Chic (1139 Bedford Highway) welcomed little ones and their caretakers to try something new and Coffin Skate Shop (2456 Agricola Street) rolled into town full steam ahead. We said hey to Blue Collar Barbershop (2272 Gottingen Street) and Darling Tattoos (2590 Oxford Street), later days to longstanding gems P’Lovers and Gedde’s Furniture (2739 Agricola Street) and poured one out for Liu’s
Formosa House (278 Wyse Road). There was a lot of action during this blur of a year. We haven’t even touched on bakeries—
The Bread Lounge (5880 Demone Street), Dina’s Sour Dough (3540 Novalea Drive) and Halifax
Bread Factory (800 Windmill Road)— The Has Bin (269 Windmill Road), Zakka Mart (2180 Robie Street) or when everyone freaked about Kelly’s
Deli’s (30 Farnham Gate Road) $3.50 subs. For a more fleshed out look at 2018’s arrivals and departures, head online where word counts are unlimited.
Clockwise from top left: The Has Bin, Zakka Mart, Cafe Good Luck, Darling Tattoos, Rasa.