Bites around the globe

Megan Wennberg browses for business news.

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Mosaic, a modern tapas-style restaurant, will open in late October at 1584 Argyle. The new restaurant “is going to be based strictly on small plates,” featuring dishes from all over the world, with no entree-sized items. “The entire menu’s going to be based on people coming in and ordering three or four dishes each and it comes to the middle of the table,” says owner Chris Tzaneteas, “very social, communal eating. It’s a concept that’s been around for probably thousands of years, and it’s making its rounds in North America now.” True to its name, Mosaic will be decorated with many coloured tiles. The new restaurant will also be the first joint venture between Tzaneteas and Costa Elles (owners of Seven, Opa and The Argyle) and Stephanie Bertossi (of da Maurizio, Il Mercato and Bish). “We’re doing this together and it’s kind of a small step for us towards doing bigger and better things together,” says Tzaneteas. Mosaic will be open for both lunch and dinner, and it will also serve as a lounge in the evenings, with snacking expected to continue late into the night. “We’re in the restaurant business, so we continue to look for new and exciting things to do,” says Tzaneteas. “We’re just trying to give another option to our customer base—it’s another option for Haligonians when they’re looking to dine downtown.”

Beyond pizza

Boston Pizza will open a second Halifax location at 1903 Barrington, across from NSCAD, this winter. “We are very excited about providing another great dining experience to the people of Halifax,” said Jamie Latter, Boston Pizza franchisee. The Barrington store is the second Boston Pizza location in Halifax and features a new look. The 6,200-square-foot dining room, bar and patio will offer customers “a full-service, pizza themed, casual dining restaurant and sports bar experience.” The menu comprises over 100 items, including pizzas, pastas, appetizers, ribs, salads, sandwiches and desserts.

Little Lebanon

Mezza, a new Lebanese restaurant owned by Tony Nahas of Venus Pizza, will open this fall at 6386 Quinpool in the former home of Dragon City Chinese restaurant. “We’ve always wanted to do it,” says Nahas, of opening a restaurant focused solely on Lebanese food. “For three or four years we were looking for the right location and the right time, and this is it. We know what we’re doing, we know this is our business. For Lebanese food, we’ve got the best food in town.” Mezza will serve all the traditional Lebanese favourites like hummus, taboulie, babaganoush and shish taouk. Renovations are underway and Nahas hopes to open by early November.

Stag party

The Red Stag Pub has been open since June in the Brewery Market. “We’re going for the ‘neighbourhood pub downtown’ feel,” says assistant manager Jack Rilett. “Basically what we’re looking at is there’s been a lot of build-up at this end of town, there’s condos and hotels down here, and not really any pubs close by for people to make use of. We’re looking to make it a comfortable place for people to come in and have a drink after work or a nice little meal of upscale pub food.” The Red Stag is solely owned by SAS Restaurants (The Lower Deck, Lone Star, Brewdebakers) and not Keith’s, despite the potential confusion caused by the pub’s name and the location. Keith’s tours also account for a significant number of Red Stag customers—“they get a taste of the beer and they want to try some more,” says Rilett. The cruise ship business has also “been pretty huge for us,” but ultimately the Red Stag hopes to grow a loyal following of regulars. As for the crowd that flocked to the bar in its previous incarnation as Alexander’s —“we did get some people coming in for the $2 drinks and such, but we’re not doing that so generally they didn’t stick around too much.”

Manager of the bride

Lorrie Walker became a professional bridal consultant two years ago. She launched weddingsnovascotia.com, started doing wedding shows and just bought the Atlantic Canada franchise for the Forever Yours Wedding Planner publication. “The first copy comes out next week at my show,” says Walker. The planner is a 160-page wire-bound book filled with “anything you could possibly want to know to plan your wedding,” including budget sheets, calendars, guest lists and gown sizes. Many such planners exist already, but Walker’s planner will differ significantly in terms of advertisers. “Most are from the States, this one is from here and it pertains to vendors and businesses local to Nova Scotia,” she says. “It’s something that can carry around with them while they’re planning their wedding and it’s the first one here like that.” Walker estimates that there are between 3,500 and 4,000 weddings in the province annually. Detail-conscious brides-to-be can pick up their free copy of Walker’s planner at the Forever Yours Bridal Show, which will be put on by Weddings Nova Scotia at the Holiday Inn Select on Robie next weekend.

Not very bright

“Shop Talk” screwed up last week and wrote that “Bright, a new NSCAD-run jewellery store…will open this fall in the Granville Mall area.” Not so. Bright is now hoping to open in the spring of 2007. A location has yet to be determined.

Brighten our day with news. email: shoptalk@thecoast.ca

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