The beat goes on

Guy Quenneville browses for business news.

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When Sam the Record Man on Barrington closed two weeks ago, downtown Halifax music collectors had reason to be dismayed. Good news comes from Taz Record Store: the store, which moved to Gottingen Street two and a half years ago, will be moving back downtown, with an expected opening date of April 1. The new store will be located at 1593 Market, behind the Cambridge Suites and up around the corner from Strange Adventures comic book shop, two blocks away from Taz's original stomping grounds. Taz clerk John Graham says the store owners are happy to be moving downtown. "We don't get a lot of the walk-by traffic on Gottingen that we used to get before," he says. Graham says they will try to keep the store open while inventory is moved from one location to another. The store had moved to Gottingen Street because its previous downtown location had been too small. "We ran out of space," he says. "It was a little cramped, to say the least." Graham is happy about the move. "There'll be more people around," he says, while at the same time acknowledging that moving the store's inventory can be difficult. "The move, of course, is always quite hectic—carrying the stuff. Putting it back up." Customers looking for more information can call TAZ at 422-5976.

Driving influence

There's a new designated driving service in Halifax. Two Saint Mary's students are spearheading a new initiative to keep drunk drivers off the streets—and they're hoping to make a little money at it, too. Jim Kennedy and Peter Garonis are the minds behind Designated Drive-yers. "My brother just recently went on a trip to Europe with his fiance," says Kennedy. "In England, they had trouble getting around when they had a rental car. They wanted to have a drink but didn't want to drive. Luckily there was a service in England. If you had been drinking, you called them and they showed up in a motorized scooter. They put the scooter in the trunk, drove you home. And then they took back the scooter and off they went. Our service will pretty much be the same." Kennedy says the service will generally be cheaper than paying cab fare, and that his service is especially helpful because it means the customers won't have to fetch their car the next morning and thereby possibly have to spend more on a cab. "All of the employees we're hiring for this are passionate about the issue of drunk driving—we won't just hire anyone," says Kennedy. Kennedy is aware he might be stepping on the toes of Halifax's cab companies, but says, "I think there's enough room in Halifax for everyone. I mean, how many times have you waited too long for a cab on the weekend?" Those interested in procuring a driver for a trip home can contact the service by calling 406-SAFE.

Home stretch

After running her Padmavati Yoga Centre on Queen Street for the last two years, owner and operator Anastasia Manolakos is moving her operation to her own home at 3555 Robie Street. "I just realized that my house would make a much better yoga centre," she says. "I've put in a new wood stove and wood flooring. There's much more space, and much better light. Plus, because it's my home, it has a much cozier, much more inviting atmosphere. I've got a gong, too. I play gong." Manolakos, who's been practicing yoga for 12 years, used the time during the renovations to deepen her yoga expertise. "As the move was going on, I went to Los Angeles and took some pregnancy yoga training. Having my home as a studio will be much more liberating and allow me to do new things." Padmavati's new space will debut this week; customers new and old are invited to contact Manolakos at 423-9969.

Macch three

Sam's Macchiato opened a new location, its third, in late February at 1435 Dresden Row, in the Dresden Market. Owner Sam Karam says the new cafe will feature a menu different from the other Macchiato locations. The sauce made for the focaccia sandwiches will be made fresh daily, using olive oil, tomato and basil as a base. The new location will also offer fresh chicken. "Our vegetables are bought every day," says Karam. Karam hasn't done a lot of advertising for the new store yet because he's still waiting for the store's signage to arrive, but he says right now he especially wants to test his offerings with the public to gauge their response. The space, he says, also takes full advantage of the location: "We have two sitting areas, including a landing overlooking Pete's Frootique, and a main mezzanine area also overlooking the Frootique. It's very beautiful. It's something that you would see in New York."

Owl's well that ends well

The 14-year-old Attic Owl Bookshop at 200 Portland in Dartmouth has closed. Owner Jan Watson is retiring and has sold her inventory en masse. This leaves only one Attic Owl in Atlantic Canada, a bookshop on Queen Street...in Moncton. Watson says what she'll miss most about running the store is the lively conversations she had with people on topics like philosophy and religion. "I learned a lot from students when the store was in Halifax ...Thank you all tremendously. You will be missed. But I have to retire, relax and move to the country. Fourteen years living on a main road is enough."

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