Bedford’s loss is Dartmouth’s gain. Earlier this year, I mentioned El Chico Taco Shop and Bar was going to open on the Bedford Hwy. but that didn’t happen in the pandemic shutdown. Now instead, the same owner is opening El Este Taqueria at 102 Albro Lake Rd. in North End Dartmouth.

Cleves is trying out a pop-up store of mostly apparel and footwear at the Halifax Shopping Centre Annex (where Penningtons was)

A new Syrian focused grocer has opened on Dutch Village Road at Central Avenue called GreenValley Market, adding to the blend of international grocers in the nearby neighbourhood.

Boardgame and play space Press Play is now open at 585 Sackville Dr. in Lower Sackville.

Raven Espresso, the little trailer cafe that sets up at St. Michael’s Church on Herring Cove Road, is closing for the season on November 21. However, next spring, they will be opening in Moncton instead.

Half a decade ago, downtown Dartmouth was in a ton of transition, and five years ago this week, the Portland Street Creperie came to life.

The little cafe quickly weaved its way into the community and every day serves its savoury and sweet crepes. When it was time for the semi-annual Downtown Dartmouth Food Crawls, you could be sure there would be a line.

I asked owner Neil Cook if there is something he would have told himself five years ago.

“It’s going to be OK. Don’t stress yourself so much. People are going to love Portland Street Creperie.”

Since he opened, Cook said, he has learned “the importance of people — employees and customers.”

“The importance of connection, family, fairness and respect to all. I’ve always believed in these concepts, but their importance are magnified when you have a small business.

“We have a great team. Sometimes employees leave, many return after working outside of Portland Street Creperie. The connection we have with the community, and especially the regular customers who return regularly and have made us a part of their lives, is very humbling.”

The Creperie has not rested on its laurels. There are new ideas rolled in constantly, but the favourites remain. There are around a dozen options at a time to keep it manageable.

The summertime Bubble Waffle ice cream window was introduced, and french toast, homemade soup and a grilled cheese sandwich were recently added.

The shop is working on a new website and will soon have its popular frozen crepe take-home bundles available again.

“We are proud to serve our community and bring affordable, delicious food and plan to be here for the long haul,” said Cook.

Walmart is finally accepting tap for transactions.