Wondering about the red-and-black propaganda-style posters that have recently papered over the windows at the former Garden of Eat’n restaurant at 6293 Quinpool Road? Us too. Turns out they’re a sign of good things to come, thanks to entrepreneurs Nicole Tufts and Sonia Gillies- da Mota. They’re working hard to bring Riot Snack Bar—what Tufts calls “a farm-to-table fast food establishment”—to life.
“Both Sonia and I just can’t stand working for other people,” says Tufts, laughing. “We were inspired to not work for the man anymore.” With a her background working as a chef—and personal experience with food allergies—Tufts is planning a menu of normally unhealthy snack foods made healthy, and made using ingredients sourced from as close to Halifax as possible.
“When you’re looking for a quick bite, it’s hard to find something that’s maybe vegan, or antibiotic- and cruelty-free,” she says of the inspiration behind Riot, which will be modelled with a classic snack bar in mind, offering a small menu of eight to 12 items. “The concept of the snack bar came about during war time in the ’40s, a lot of them opened in military bases,” says Tufts. “And I spent six years in the military myself.”
Given the roomy dining room and massive kitchen to work with Tufts and Gillies-da Mota hope to create a community hub with both work space and dining space and to be able to share their kitchen with other small businesses. Riot Snack Bar aims to be open sometime in late spring.