Tuesday, July 16, 2019

North end institution Smith's Bakery is closing next month

Unless you want to buy it? (Please?)

Posted By on Tue, Jul 16, 2019 at 2:24 PM

  • via Facebook

Smith's Bakery & Cafe has been bringing fresh bread, major cakes and a top-notch lineup of squares to Haligonians since 1932.

Let that sink in for a second.

Yesterday, the north end institution and Halifax's oldest indie bakery took to its social media accounts to let the world know that as of August 10 it would be losing its current location at 2525 Agricola Street and therefore closing.

"It’s basically just a leasing issue, that’s the nuts and bolts of it. We can’t stay here and we don't have the money to move," says Dennis Evans, who's been part of the business for the last 15 years. He took over as co-owner with his wife Tara Fleming when the bakery's former owner (his father) retired about five years ago.

The decision to close became a reality after the building's sale was made official last Friday. Evans says the going rate for similar square footage in the neighbourhood is upwards of double what he currently pays. "When I started here 15 years ago, you could pretty much give places away, the neighbourhood is a victim of its own success in a way."

The costs associated with moving and renting a new space aren't the only ones that have made business challenging for Smith's in the last stretch of time. "People are unaware because they don't pay attention when they buy stuff at the grocery store, but we’ve seen a 30 percent increase on basic items," says Evans. "When was the last time you saw someone weigh their fruit and vegetables at a grocery store? We make stuff from scratch. We’re very labour intensive, obviously. If the margin goes up, the rent goes up, the labour goes up...."

The best-case scenario, he says, is if the bakery sells. For anyone interested, Evans is offering a "highly discounted" rate for the business, trade name, beloved recipes and equipment. All that and the rights to the city's best breakfast sandwich.

"Instead of buying a crappy franchise, you could buy a place with 87 years of history," he says. "It’s sad, I feel sad for the longtime customers, but it’s not something we really wanted to do."

Smith's will remain open as normal and baking old favourites until August 10.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Watch That Ends The Night has closed

Canada's Best New Bar of 2018 signs off

Posted By on Tue, Jul 9, 2019 at 12:44 PM

  • Alexa Cude
Dartmouth's slick and stylish The Watch That Ends The Night (15 King's Wharf Place) announced today that the bar/restaurant had closed its doors for the last time. Owners Mark Gray and Alissa Maloney took to Facebook to share the news, writing, "It is with an extremely heavy heart that we must say this, but say this we must. The Watch That Ends the Night is officially closed for business. All we can say is thank you all!!! To our absolutely incredible staff, clientele and suppliers for showing us so much love and support in allowing us to do what we could do."

The Watch (called after the Hugh MacLennan novel of the same name) was originally opened by Joe and Bethany Gurba in fall 2017; Gray (former executive chef at Brooklyn Warehouse, Battery Park Beer Bar) took over ownership of the restaurant in May 2018. Last year, it was named Canada's Best New Bar of 2018 by enRoute magazine.

"It is crazy, in a way, that you can be number one on a national stage and nine months later shut your doors. It goes to show the uncertainty and variability of this industry," says Gray. "It's crazy to go through that high-high and that low-low, but it comes with the territory."

Gray says in the end, the closure came down to finances.

"It's not ever the way people want their business to end. Those are the cards we were dealt, and we couldn’t keep up," he says. "You can speculate all day long about what went wrong but there’s just so many moving parts, I have no idea what happened really."

The Watch That Ends The Night's closure will also signify the end of a chapter in Gray's life—his culinary career. He is currently studying to be an addictions counsellor and has plans to focus his lens on the restaurant industry.

"With my personal struggles with addiction and the process of recovery thus far—it has been an incredible process—I want to give back the gift of sobriety and recovery I was given." Gray, an addict in recovery, is nine months sober. "I want to help others who are in the shoes I was in when I was 20, 22 or 25. I can’t help but think if there was something for me then it might have prevented a few things."

Gray says The Watch's journey was a fantastic one from day one, and that despite its ending he looks back on it with pride and gratitude—for the staff, suppliers, partons and supporters.

"We’ve learned a lot and made tons of great memories there. We achieved great things and tried to push the envelope, and we had an incredible team—now, people who’ve come and gone and people who remained until the end. It’s been a wild ride, for sure, but a great one nonetheless."
  • Pin It

Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Fairview's The Anchor closes

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 9:52 AM

View this post on Instagram

Dear Valued Customers, The purpose of this letter is to reluctantly inform you that The Anchor will be closing our doors after our last service, Thursday November 8, 2018. We have proudly served the Fairview area for the last 2 years, and strived to bring something new and exciting to the community. Unfortunately, due to economic strain, we are no longer able to keep going on this journey. We are very proud of what we’ve built, and we are hoping to find someone to continue and build upon what we’ve started. We regret any inconvenience this may cause our loyal customers, and hope to see you all in the next couple of days. We can not thank you enough for all of your support. Sincerely, The Anchor

A post shared by The Anchor (@theanchorfairview) on

Fairview’s coolest spot for food, drinks and live music has sailed off into the sunset, leaving an empty spot on the strip. Culinary-driven community hub The Anchor (3625 Dutch Village Road) closed its doors permanently late last week after giving it a go and growing its entertainment offerings for two years.

In an announcement online (see above) the restaurant cited “economic strain” as the main reason it was saying goodbye.
  • Pin It

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Anchored Coffee's Quinpool cafe is closing

One last shot for a shot at Pro Skates.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 4:35 PM

  • via @anchoredcoffee and @lindsaymcmullen

Dartmouth's roaster is breaking some Halifax hearts on Valentine's Day. Anchored Coffee announced today via Instagram that it would be focusing "100% of our energy on the coffee roastery" and closing its tiny espresso counter at 6451 Quinpool Road after service on February 14.

Anchored's Zane Kelsall (also of TIBS) and Dean Petty (also of Yeah Yeahs Pizza) opened the satellite location of their Dartmouth bean bank in 2014, bringing their signature coffee, plus fancy toast and pastries to the front window at  Quinpool small business legend Pro Skateboards, Snowboards & Surfboards, which welcomed Oddfellows Barbershop into the building in the same year. See the post below for goodbyes and closing treat deets.

  • Pin It

Friday, January 5, 2018

Riot Snack Bar has closed

Posted By on Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 4:32 PM

Cry not—you can still get Riot-esque burgers at Vandal Doughnuts - ALEXA CUDE
  • Cry not—you can still get Riot-esque burgers at Vandal Doughnuts
  • Alexa Cude

Nearly two years after opening its doors on Quinpool, Riot Snack Bar (6293 Quinpool Road) has announced that it's officially closed up shop, permanently.

Nicole Tufts and Sonia Gillies-da Mota's restaurant recently expanded its fleet to include Vandal Doughnuts, which replaced the dearly departed Ace Burger Co. (6293 Quinpool Road) in Gus' Pub. According to Riot's Instagram announcement—Vandal will remain open and frying despite this closure.

  • Pin It

Tags: ,

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Company House to close

The north end venue signs off September 5

Posted By on Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 4:27 PM


Last weekend, Gottingen Street bar and arts venue The Company House (2202 Gottingen Street) announced via a Facebook post that September 5 would be its last day in business, citing online harassment as the reason for closure. The bar came under fire last spring after community members criticized comedy podcast Laugh House, which records at the CoHo, for telling jokes about trans folks on its stage. Owner EmmaLeigh Rivera told the CBC that her family has incurred "ongoing harassment" since.

Opened in 2009 by Mary Ann Daye and Heather Gibson— who modelled it with the arts mecca The Khyber (which Gibson had previously managed) in mind—The CoHo was long known as one of the city's top listening rooms, home of the In The Dead Of Winter music festival and a LGBTQ+ community hub.

In summer 2016, the pair sold the bar to EmmaLeigh and David Rivera who've continued to bring stand-up comedy, improv and music—like the super popular The Big Sing—to its stage.

  • Pin It

Monday, June 19, 2017

Adieu Agora, hello Haligonian

New stuff on Agricola Street

Posted By on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 5:16 PM

After just under a year on Agricola Street, Agora Cafe & Grill Bistro (2394 Agricola Street)—the colourful little cafe, serving up a menu of Mediterranean cuisine, coffees and baked goods—closed its doors permanently yesterday. The cafe's owner Kubilay Gonul took to Facebook for parting words, and to share the news that a new business would be taking over the space.

The adorable little building and its tucked away backyard terrace will make way for The Haligonian Cafe & Bistro, which will open in the next few weeks. The soon-to-be cafe is currently running a survey to try and get feedback from the community, you can take it here.

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

No more Nook?

Gottingen cafe up for sale, closing April 9

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 2:47 PM

Alas, it's true. Halifax may be saying goodbye to yet another java joint. The Nook owner Kathleen Healy didn't immediately respond to an interview request on Wednesday, but a post on the business' Facebook page confirmed that its last day of service is April 9. However, the property on Gottingen Street is currently for sale to anyone who has the chops to take over (and $90,000).

Meantime...does anywhere else in the area offer matcha lattes? I'm dying over here.

  • Pin It

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Two If By Sea closing Halifax location

Dartmouth cafe is busier than ever.

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 11:22 AM

Two If Bye Sea, am I right? - THE COAST
  • Two If Bye Sea, am I right?
  • The Coast

After April 29, folks on the side Halifax side of the harbour will have to travel to get their Two If By Sea fix.

The cafe’s Waterfront Historic Properties location is set to close as its five-year lease comes to an end. Owner Zane Kelsall says it’s not going out of business, and he has plenty of other things on his plate.

“It felt like a good time to just close that chapter.”

The original TIBS on Ochterloney Street, having opened back in 2009, is still going strong. In fact, Kelsall says “last year was our busiest year that we’ve ever had.” Along with Anchored Coffee, it’s keeping him hard at work.

“It’s going to be nice to centralize our lives back in Dartmouth, mostly.”

The Halifax closure means the Anchored Espresso Bar & Toastery inside Pro Skateboards and Snowboards (6451 Quinpool Road) will have some slight changes to its menu: its baked goods come from the Halifax kitchen, Kelsall explains, but that will no longer be possible.

“There’s a company that’s just starting out—we’re excited to work with on baked goods for that location,” he says. “Hopefully we’ll get to do something new and fun there as well.”

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday, August 7, 2015

How to make the most of Rogues' final days

Thirty-one days until Spring Garden Road's Rogues Roost closes

Posted By on Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 3:23 PM


The impending bulldozing of the Doyle block of Spring Garden Road means the end of Rogues Roost (5435 Spring Garden Road). The Herald reported early this week that the 16-year-old watering hole and brewery, which was acquired by Murphy’s Restaurant Group in late 2014, would be closing permanently before October 1. A call to Rogues reveals the last day at the bar will actually be the very nearby Sunday, September 6. 

This sucks, a lot. But let’s cherish the days we have left, shall we?


1. First and foremost, go to Brian MacKay’s Wednesday night trivia. Hell, go a couple of times so you can really get a glimpse of this intense little community of nerds (FYI being intense and a nerd are both amazing qualities in my books). But, don’t show up at 9pm expecting to get a table, let alone a seat. Regulars at Brian’s weekly quiz night know to show up at least an hour in advance, if not earlier. Have dinner. Build a well-rounded trivia squad, brainstorm a clever, punny (and probably groan-worthy) team name, put your phone away and prepare for a delightful night of brain exercises

2. Drink the classics. Hit up happy hour (Monday-Sunday, 4-6pm and during trivia, 9-11pm) and sample a Red, Nut Brown, Raspberry Wheat, Cream Ale or IPA. Some of the city’s earliest craft beer memories were made here thanks to Lorne Romano’s delish creations. Pour one out (or, in your mouth) as a farewell.

3. Sit on the expanded patio (AKA that area where that Booster Juice used to be on Queen Street) and get some rays on your cheeks. This, like sunshine, is a luxury in comparison to Rogues’ former outdoor space, a tiny cluster of sidewalk tables. 

4. After marveling at how oddly short the stall doors are in the bathroom (or, is that just the ladies room and #mygiantlife?) float on over to Tom’s Little Havana and have a drink there. These two neighbourhood joints will never be together again —though, Tom’s and The Fireside will— enjoy how easy’s they’ve made it for you to bask in both establishments.

5. People watch until you can’t people watch any longer. Grab a window table, order some sustenance and get creeping. This is the front row to Spring Garden Road, and all those jaywalking, book-loving, grande-two-pump-extra-whip-hot-drink-getting people. It’s like a reverse aquarium, and you're the curious orca. 
  • Pin It

Tags: ,

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Farewell to Fiasco

The downtown restaurant signs off this Friday

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 10:58 AM


After nearly 15 years on Brenton Street, and a year under new ownership, Fiasco Restaurant (1463 Brenton Street) will close its doors permanently as of this Friday, June 26. Co-owners—and also the restaurant's chef and pastry chef —Morné Van Antwerp and Sue Ann Lambert extend thanks to their suppliers and customers for their support over the last year.

"When we took Fiasco over, it was kind of somebody else’s dream," says Lambert. "It was a learning opportunity, a way to get to know suppliers and scope out what the market was here, and experiment with where we wanted our menu to go." Sounds like this might not be the last we've heard of this pair. (Check this out for a teaser.)

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Nectar is closing, but North Brewing and Brooklyn Warehouse are moving in

Bittersweet news brings craft beer and award-winning eats to downtown Dartmouth

Posted By on Wed, Jun 3, 2015 at 11:17 AM

Get a final glimpse of Nectar's Dining Room this month
  • Get a final glimpse of Nectar's Dining Room this month

After six years of bringing great meals, cocktails and jazz to downtown Dartmouth, Nectar Restaurant & Wine Bar (62 Ochterloney Street) announced this morning that it would serve its last customers on Sunday, June 21. The doors won't be closed for too long, though—the restaurant has been sold and the unnamed new owners will reveal their plans "in coming days" to North Brewing Company and Brooklyn Warehouse, one hell of a food and drink dynamic duo. This tasty collaboration between Peter Burbridge, and George and Leo Christakos will bring "a beer-centric eatery" and some surprises to Ochterloney Street. "We are very excited in becoming a part of the ever-growing downtown Dartmouth community and food scene," they say, via email.

Nectar's Joelle and Ian Hurst—who took over the five-time Best of Halifax award-winning restaurant in 2012—said in this morning's release that they'll "miss the daily interaction with the members of Nectar's extended family, and our fellow downtown Dartmouth entrepreneurs. This has been a wonderful experience."

From Monday, June 8 through its closing date, Nectar will serve brunch (Saturdays and Sundays) and dinner, and will also host a weekend jazz series during its final weekend (June 19-21).

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Halifax's Ben's Bakery to close

Unfortunate news no matter how you slice it

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 4:00 AM


Don't forget to stop and smell the fresh-baked bread. Yesterday afternoon brought the news that 6239 Pepperell Street's Ben's Bakery— known for its 100-plus year history in Halifax, and the sweet, sweet aromas that waft over Quinpool Road— will be winding down it's operations over the summer and closing its doors come November, leaving 105 employees out of work. This shut down comes about a year after Ben's parent company, Canada Bread Company Ltd., was bought by Mexico's Grupo Bimbo.

According to a statement sent out by Canada Bread, products made at the Halifax bakery—mostly sliced bread and English muffins under the Ben's, Dempster's and Villaggio brands—can be made at other Atlantic Canadian facilities "with improved speed and efficiency.". Most of this production will take place at bakeries in both Moncton and Woodstock, New Brunswick.

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Saege Bistro signs off

The Spring Garden resto serves its last meals February 18

Posted By on Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 1:28 PM

  • via Facebook

After nine years of serving up locally-inspired meals and a consistently on point brunch game Saege Bistro (5883 Spring Garden Road) announced yesterday that later this month it'll be closing its doors permanently. According to a release the building's management, Westwood Group, will be renovating the space over the next few months and the restaurant's owners Geir Simensen and Ray Bear—also the duo behind Scanway Catering— are using it as "an opportunity to move on."

The last day at Saege will be February 18, consider yourself warned.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

Thursday, July 17, 2014

MODA Urban Dining moves on

While the owners head back to their home in Bermuda, MODA's location makes room for a new restaurant

Posted By on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 5:53 PM


There's no place like home, that is if you really love your home like Matthew and Melissa Pridham do. The owners of downtown Halifax's MODA Urban Dining (1518 Dresden Row)—which opened its doors in 2010— originally met in Bermuda, the home they're closing the restaurant to return to.

"Halifax was never meant to be our longterm plan, we knew we always wanted to go home to family," says Melissa, adding that maybe now they'll have time for their honeymoon. "We've been going full speed for the past five years, so we hope to take a little bit of a break."

MODA will close its doors for good after serving up final meals on July 30, making room for the building's next tenant to renovate. Pridham says an upscale Asian restaurant is set to open in the location this fall.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

Recent Comments

Real Time Web Analytics

© 2020 Coast Publishing Ltd.