It might not feel that surprising to hear that Tom’s Little Havana (1540 Birmingham Street) is saying goodbye. The adored Halifax watering hole’s been through a lot of change in the last stretch of time—most notably when it moved from its (loveably) dank hole in the wall on Doyle Street back in 2015.
Entrepreneur Deeksha Bhaskar took over Tom’s and The Fireside in 2017 and flipped the latter to become Rasa Flavours of India. She says the writing was on the wall as soon as Tom’s namesake Tom Wile wasn't on the scene.
“It was no longer Havana, that was pretty clear,” says the business owner. “It was getting complicated running two very different establishments and not being able to do justice to Tom’s as it was. It wasn’t our strength anyway, it’s better to run something that represents our strengths.”
Like Sura Lounge, the new concept for the bar, which Bhaskar says will offer tapa-style small dishes, and Indian-fusion cuisine. It won’t be an extension of Rasa, just a better complement.
Tom’s signs off officially on March 27, after 22 years of offering a tucked away spot for Scotch-soaked heart-to-hearts and intimate first dates. With beer galore and an auction of Tom’s memorabilia, Bhaskar hopes it’ll be more celebration than mourning.
“So many people are connected to Tom’s and we wanted to make sure to try our best not to hurt anyone's feelings,” she says, adding that much of that attachment comes thanks to the beloved staff—who will be staying onboard at Sura Lounge. “We completely respect the connection people have, and we have gotten to know those regulars. We want to keep that connection going if we can.”