- Renée Lavallée and Doug Townsend in the under-construction Town's End Tavern
Don’t call them a power couple, but husband-and-wife restaurateurs Doug Townsend and Renée Lavallée are about to expand their food-and-drink dominion over downtown Dartmouth. Three years ago, the pair opened The Canteen, which, with its seasonal menu and casual air, injected new life into the neighbourhood’s restaurant scene.
On Wednesday, Townsend and Lavallée announced their next venture, a classic tavern called The Town’s End (Townsend, get it?). It will be located directly across the street, in the vacant building that until spring 2018 housed sports bar Best Kept Secret.
"It wasn’t something we’d planned for a long time,” says Lavallée, “but when the space became available we started to think it’d be great to try something different than what we’ve done before.”
The building, at 21 Portland Street, is currently undergoing a wholesale makeover courtesy of Bruno Builders, who also restored The Canteen’s historic building. The interior will be taken care of by design firm By + Large Studio, which worked on The Canteen and nearby Lake City Cider. Says Lavallée, “There will be a big beautiful wooden bar, 90 seats, and where The Canteen is very open and white and bright, this will be darker, cozy, intimate.”
Cozy will be the overriding ethos food-wise, as well, leaning heavily on pub classics. “Nachos and wings are my favourite foods," says Lavallée. And pints will come courtesy of regional craft bewers.
The Town’s End is slated to hoped in late spring, and it’s already online.