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Taste of Italy

Megan Wennberg browses for business news.


Rogi Orazio Pasta and World Cucina is now open in the Hydrostone Market in the former home of the Pasta Cafe. Business partners Boris Mirtchev (owner of the Hamachi Houses) and Atho Kartsaklis took over the space on May 1 and have renovated extensively. “We gutted the whole place and started just with four walls,” says Mirtchev. “We made it really nice’s cozy, but really bright and spacious. It’s country rustic Italian-themed, you walk inside you almost feel like you’re in a place somewhere in the southern Mediterranean.” In keeping with the decor, the menu is Italian with Mediterranean influences, and Rogi Orazio is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. “It’s going really well,” says Mirtchev. “On the first day we served 110 customers. It’s really nice and quaint, and a nice choice for diners in Halifax.”

Renewable business

Renovators Resource, the architectural salvage, dismantling and furniture shop at 6040 Almon, is for sale. “It’s a big step, but it’s one that I think needs to happen to make sure it gets into the hands of someone who has a lot of time and energy. That seems to be the thing I’m running really short on these days,” says owner Jennifer Corson (who also co-owns Local Jo coffee shop and Solterre Design, and is a mother of two). Corson ran Renovators for 13 years, and is looking for someone who’s interested in carrying on the green business principles of salvage and waste diversion. “It could be someone’s next career,” says Corson. “There’s always something new that’s happening in terms of buildings coming down, or an issue in the city where something shouldn’t be coming down. Battles of salvage and keeping things out of the landfill.” Interested parties can contact Corson at 429-3889. Corson will continue with business as usual until she finds a new owner.

Driving in circles

Midas Auto Service Experts at 2662 Robie is closed. A call to the store yielded this message: “Due to circumstances beyond our control, this location is temporarily closed. If you require warranty service related to Midas guaranteed parts installed on your vehicle, please call Midas Auto Service Experts in Lower Sackville at 864-0500.” Shop Talk’s call to Lower Sackville got a live response: “You probably want to talk to somebody who really knows what’s going on, and I don’t know if anybody knows what’s going on or not. It would be all hearsay wouldn’t it? Unless you get it from Midas Head Office.” Quite so. Here’s what Midas International had to say about when the shop will re-open and why it is closed: “We have no idea. It could be a variety of reasons.”

Furry cremains

Metro Pet Crematory is scheduled to open July 17 at 192 Joseph Zatzman in Burnside. The new business offers full cremation services for families of deceased pets (the incinerator can accommodate up to 500 pounds). Owner Edward Rhindress worked in a funeral home for two years, and began contemplating a pet crematory after his cat died. “After the passing of my own cat, I realized that HRM didn’t have any local services,” says Rhindress. As for the differences between helping customers through the loss of a human or an animal, “there’s very little,” says Rhindress. “People are just as attached to their pets, certainly the ones that decide to go through a cremation service for their pets, they often view them as a family member. It’s very similar.” Unlike the human death-care industry, however, the pet death care industry has yet to expand into such funeral home-type services as embalming bodies for viewing. “It may in the future,” says Rhindress, “but for now cremation is the most popular option.” Metro Pet Crematory applies the same procedures used by human crematoriums to ensure ashes are not mixed-up, and also offers group cremations for veterinary clinics. Temporary containers are available, as are a wide range of urns (priced from $40-$300, many made by local artists). The ceramics division of the crematory is run by Rhindress’ wife Heather Windsor. For more information visit

Hell is closed

Hell’s Kitchen below the Marquee closed last Saturday, after a three-month revival. “There wasn’t enough business,” says manager Dana Bolton. “We tried to make a go of it and unfortunately, for any number of reasons, it just didn’t go. We didn’t make the numbers they wanted to make.”

May the force be with you

Not one to be discouraged, Bolton, also former manager of The Seahorse Tavern, is starting a new business. Bolton and former Seahorse co-worker Keith Shea are building custom-made Adirondack chairs under the business name chairforce. “I’ve been doing wood-working forever, besides running a bar,” says Bolton. Bolton and Shea personalize each chair, from individual measurements—“We’ll measure from the back of your leg to your ass,” says Bolton, “it will fit you perfectly”—to custom paint jobs, which so far include the Rolling Stones’ tongue icon, Superman and skull-and-cross bones designs. “They’re custom-made chairs, and they’re off the hook,” says Bolton. “They’re just awesome.” Chairs range in price from $130 (for unfinished chairs) to $500 for a full, custom finish. Watch out for a website at

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