There's a lot of history behind Blowers Street's newest arrival, The Dandelion Cafe. Its location—5228 Blowers Street—was home to the open-air, people-watching haven Blowers Street Paper Chase Newsstand and Cafe for what feels like a lifetime before it closed its doors (and windows last April). The Dandelion's name is a nod to Halifax's past—John Connors (whose brother David was the owner of the original Dandelion Cafe on Spring Garden Road) and Troy Lyte are responsible for the resurrection of both the name and the building.
After six months of renovations and plans, their two-storey convenience store and cafe aims to finally open its doors to nostalgics and curious cafe-goers this week. "For us to be successful we had to do what David had done with Dandelion—market towards students, music, art and a friendly environment," says Connors. After years of wanting to open a business in Nova Scotia, he and Lyte made the move from Ontario to Halifax when they heard the Blowers Street location was available and have since reimagined the cafe into a bright spot of their own. "In doing a little bit of research we came to understand what George"—Kapsalis, Paper Chase owner—"did here. It was a great place with great energy and a great location," says Lyte. He and Connors aim to build upon that great energy, keeping the downstairs as your standard variety store while serving comfort food favourites, takeaway meals, coffee and desserts, and giving folks a place to unwind, socialize or study, upstairs. Live music and art will also play a big role in the vibe cafe, the pair plans to bring in blues players and up-and-coming musicians and stay open late for the evening crowd. "We're going for an eclectic space," says Lyte. "You're going to get an eclectic group of people here, eclectic in various ways. It's a place to come to and feel free to be you."
The Dandelion Cafe is making plans to celebrate its long-awaited arrival with a grand opening, but hasn't settled on a date yet.