Aeropostale is hiring for a new standalone store in Mic Mac Mall. After the previous version went under YM Inc. bought the rights and are now re-launching the brand first in Bluenotes stores and now as standalone stores. YM also operate West 49, Stitches, Urban Planet and more.

Replacing Mondo at the top of Montebello is Mun’Cheez Pizza Mart,
and based on the website indicating there will be table service.

CORRECTION: This is corporate office in King’s Wharf and not a store
New Brunswick produce store Tomavo who entered the HRM market last year with the opening of store in Bedford Common last year will be adding second local location at King’s Wharf in Downtown Dartmouth.

While restaurant life is returning to a new normal, a couple of places opened for the first time last weekend. 360 Lounge which has a pub menu soft opened for takeout  in the converted motel at 805 Bedford Highway.  In Downtown Dartmouth Chanoey’s Pasta opened its doors at 41 Portland Street.

Reitman’s has decided to discontinue Addition-Elle and Thyme Maternity and are closing all the stores under those names.

The Fairview Frenchy’s on Dutch Village Road has started liquidating their stock and will be closing soon.

Halifax ReTales Closed

Ethiopian/Eritrean take-out Ali’s Place won’t be returning.on a Facebook statement “I want to thank everyone that supported me thru my first 10 months of operating. Unfortunately we will be closing our doors permanently. Financially I just cannot build from the bottom up again.”

A long-standing name in sports bars has laced up the skates for the last time. Bubba Ray’s has closed their Bayers Road, Bedford and Windsor locations.

Rockbottom Brewpub has served their last pint from their Spring Garden basement home. However, the space will be back as tap room for Nine Lock Brewing.

New Brunswick based Hotchkiss Furniture who had opened a showroom in Burnside in late 2017 has decided to close the Nova Scotia store. They are looking to continue online for Nova Scotia and continue to service their customers from their New Brunswick stores.

The Former Thai Ivory Express in Sunnyside Mall is now Always A Pleasure (Thai & Indian Food)

This doesn’t really come as a surprise, but Studio East is returning. I am just surprised they are returning to the same space.

Habitat for Humanity permanently closing their Bayers Lake ReStore, Burnside to still reopen at a later date.

The folks at Sober Island Brewing are working on Beer Garden at the Sheet Harbour home.

Central Halifax eatery EDNA has decided not reopen under the new normal and have tentatively set an open date of early next year.

The Fairview location of Lemon Tree won’t be reopening, but their Bedford Highway location has opened again with an expanded patio.

It’s the rebirth of a neighbourhood favourite with the opening of Finsbury Market.

For the last couple decades, European Pantry (and Cousins Grocery for years before that) has been a staple of the community at 6516 Chebucto Road in Halifax.

New owner Gavin Meehan is keeping the essence of its predecessor, but with the new name comes new changes.

Meehan came from Dublin, Ireland seven years ago for a job.

“I had never been to North America or heard of Nova Scotia before but it sounded like a right adventure,” he said.

“Friends thought I was nuts but to me, moving to an unknown place on one’s own is a real test of character.”

After three years and “feeling lost,” Meehan took a trip home to Dublin. It was there he took his partner, Vanessa, to his favourite deli, where she said, “Why don’t you do something like that in Halifax?” They already had a plan to drive across the country in a kitted-out minivan. When they got to Vancouver, it was time to gain some experience, first working at a small cafe then learning the art of coffee at 49th Parallel, eventually moving on to be an operations co-ordinator for bakery chain COBS Bread.

They returned to Halifax in 2018.

“I was still short on confidence to do my own thing,” Meehan said.

“Luckily, I found the perfect position with Open Book Coffee.” The cafe is part of Nimbus Publishing’s headquarters on Strawberry Hill. ” I helped open and manage the establishment and felt it was the last piece of the puzzle.”

They moved to the west end, and the European Pantry came up for sale.“It was perfect, great location, family ran, so unique, and the cheese,” said Meehan. He began learning the ropes, working with the former owners.

Finsbury Market was born.

“The name Finsbury comes from my old stomping ground in Dublin. Finsbury was a small housing estate of 30 houses. It just so happened that in the 30 houses there were five other young men the same age as myself. We quickly became thick as thieves. We all went to high school together and were notoriously known as the Finsbury Lads.

Finsbury to me is a sense of community, camaraderie, loyalty and friendship.”

Meehan said he has used the Bruce Lee quote “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own” as a template to how the store (and now cafe) would look.

“First of all, I spoke with and listened to the customers. They told me stories from their childhood of coming into the store to get treats and goodies. It was clear the store holds a special place to them, the memories. That was inspiring to hear. I plan for people to hold Finsbury in the same regard.”

An 83-year-old man told Meehan that if he stopped doing smoked-meat sandwiches, he’d come behind the counter and give him a spanking.

Customers can expect the same wonderful selection of sandwiches, international cheeses, Greek olive oil, olives and grocery treats from Europe and beyond.

There is an espresso machine, and the shop serves Lunenburg’s Laughing Whale Coffee. Other new items include pot pies, loaded grilled cheese sandwiches and baked treats.

The pandemic has slowed the implementation of some ideas, but a little craft area will be added as well as a monthly subscription-based Finsbury Cheese Society.

“Stay tuned, we are just getting started,” Meehan said.