Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Last call–Pacifico is closing its current location

End of an era, for now.

Posted By on Wed, May 29, 2019 at 4:55 PM

  • Riley Smith

For 25 years Haligonians have been shaking what their mamas gave them, vodka and crans in hand, underneath Pacifico’s ceiling of glimmering of disco balls. But now, thanks to the refreshing of Barrington Street monster monolith, the Maritime Centre, the party is over. At least for now.

Last week the downtown nightclub shared that Saturday, June 1 would be its last hurrah on Barrington and Salter. No more DJ nights, no more bottle service, no more wobbly weaving your way from dance floor to dance floor. But before you start playing that montage of sweaty memories in your brain (to the tune of Darude’s “Sandstorm”)—hold, please. Pacifico promises it will be back “better than ever” somewhere downtown later into the summer season.

With that ominous promise in mind, dig out your dancing shoes and prepare for them to stick to the floor of 1505 Barrington Street once last time this weekend.
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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Almonak opens at Almon and Isleville

A new north end hangout for ya

Posted By on Wed, May 8, 2019 at 5:40 AM

There’s a little something for everyone at Almonak (5659 Almon Street). The north end eatery—which opens today—aims to blend together its kitchen, coffee and bakery into one welcoming space.

“Our unofficial motto for Almonak is: We're here for you wherever you are in your day,” says Kandace Homer, one of four owners. “Whether you want a coffee in the morning, you need a snack, you want to go out with your mom for lunch, you want to go out for a date at night, you want to go for a cocktail–Almonak’s here for you for whatever you're feeling in the day or even the evening.”

Floor to ceiling windows fill the space with natural lighting, plug-ins line the walls and the seating plan is designed to accommodate everyone from the solo person working on their laptop with a coffee to a group of pals laughing over dinner. The kitchen is focused on healthy, homemade lunches from Wednesday to Fridays, brunch on the weekends and dinner service with cocktails Wednesday to Sunday.

“It’s a small drink menu but it’s an eclectic menu,” says Almonak GM, Megan Kaufman. Compass Distillers is providing all of its liquors and is supplying kegged cocktails to serve on-tap, alongside Goodmore Kombucha and Planters Ridge bubbly for mimosas.

Homer says they’re trying to source as much as they can from local businesses–even some of their furniture comes from Project 9 on Agricola Street–and they’re passionate about the restaurant being as waste-free as possible. (There’s a water bottle refill station open to the public, people will be encouraged to stay and enjoy their coffee or bring a reusable mug next time they get a cup to go.)

The dinners will be large, family-style, shareable plates for families and groups, and bringing your own reusable containers to take home leftovers is encouraged. “For lunch hour, our real focus is hearty and healthy,” says Kaufman, describing the colourful bowls and salads designed to be keto-friendly, gluten-free and vegan inspired. The brunch menu will hone in on a big eggs Benny selection and healthy twists on classics, like swapping out Clamato juice with in-house beet juice in a Caesar.

When people come into the restaurant, they're spending their time, their money and their appetite, “so we don't want anyone to ever leave here regretting any decision,” says Homer.  “We want to be that place in the north end that still creates community, where everyone can come and gather." 
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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Cafe Fest comes to town because, coffee

The Quebec-based celebration heads east, bringing hot stuff to coffee shops across the HRM.

Posted By on Wed, May 1, 2019 at 4:19 PM

  • daniel dominic

Cafe Lara is calling all coffee geeks to its launch party of Cafe Fest, a week-long celebration of all things coffee, local and independent from May 5-11. "I like bringing the community together," says Lara Cusson. "I've been trying to get the coffee community together as much as possible—I think it's important that we all support each other."

Cafe owner (and namesake) Cusson reached out to fellow coffee people in the HRM to participate. Nineteen coffee shops got on board, all of which will be handing out coffee passports to their more adventurous patrons.

Haligonian coffee enthusiasts will be traveling from the Cottage Cafe in Dartmouth, to the Raven Espresso Boutique Coffee in Spryfield, Dilly Dally on Quinpool and Trident Booksellers in the south end, collecting stamps for a chance to win "highly caffeinated prizes." The goal is to get people talking about—and hopefully walking into—their local coffee shop. Maybe even inspire them to wander into a new coffee shop, in a new neighbourhood.

The idea originated with small batch coffee roasters Barista Microtorréfacteur in Montreal. They wanted to support other independent coffee shops, but also wanted to have a little fun, and thought festivals were the best way to get people involved in a little bit of both.

  • daniel dominic

The festival has been gaining traction for the past four years in Quebec and has expanded in number of participating shops, special events and now, thanks to Cusson (who's originally from Montreal), its first east coast appearance.

The fest's closing party will coincide with Open City on May 11 and be dedicated to hardworking baristas. Cusson encourages loyal customers to come out and support their favourite barista for some "very silly, very friendly" competitions, including a blindfolded late art challenge and announcing the winner of the photo competition to win a full year's worth of coffee.

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In Print This Week

Vol 27, No 17
September 19, 2019

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