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  #1  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2014, 6:16 PM
HalifaxRetales HalifaxRetales is online now
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Another Blame Downtown

Brussels has closed

Brussels says "Due to the ever changing landscape and declining business downtown Brussels has decided to close it's doors for good. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers for a great 5 years. Cheers!" on social Media

Door says

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  #2  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2014, 7:01 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Oh man, another good spot gone.

They had very good food and a great beer selection. Personally I liked its Granville Mall location because it was away from traffic, was nice inside and of course, for the food/beer. Wasn't all that busy the last few times I had been there, so I guess either people didn't know about it or it wasn't convenient due to the lack of other activity on Granville.

Too bad.
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  #3  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2014, 8:11 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is online now
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Oh man, another good spot gone.

They had very good food and a great beer selection. Personally I liked its Granville Mall location because it was away from traffic, was nice inside and of course, for the food/beer. Wasn't all that busy the last few times I had been there, so I guess either people didn't know about it or it wasn't convenient due to the lack of other activity on Granville.

Too bad.
Eliminating the vista of nothingness to the north of the Granville mall will be essential to the success of pretty much any non-Split Crow business there, I think.

But it's still irritating that every time a business closes they can just blame it on the "declining" business downtown. I'd like to see an actual study of food-and-drink dollars spent downtown vs. five years ago, ten years ago, etc. I bet it's up.
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  #4  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2014, 9:00 PM
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Keith P. Keith P. is online now
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I was there a few times and it was sort of "meh" in my view. Service was hit or miss and so was the food.

IIRC this is a Boris Mirtsev operation. He has been having some financial issues of late.
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  #5  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2014, 9:16 PM
halifaxboyns halifaxboyns is offline
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I think the door says it all; but it may be that the downtown hasn't reached the critical level of saturation.

That is certainly the case in Calgary Centre city - there is a significant north/south divide. The actual 'downtown' (office core) with a smatering of condo/apartment buildings (including where I live) has some busy spots but for is typically empty after the work day is done.

The Southern Beltline portion (the residential communities of Connaught, Victoria Park, etc.) is a different story because there is far more variety of residential and the office development is only in a few spots. So the level of people far exceeds the # of people in the area only to work (where as in the office core its the reverse). I suspect the DT of Halifax is still too far onto the office worker side yet, but that will change in time as more condo buildings/apartment complexes open up. The Citadell complex plus the Hollis Street Site, waterfront developments once they sell and fill up will help.
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  #6  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2014, 9:19 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
I was there a few times and it was sort of "meh" in my view. Service was hit or miss and so was the food.
Service seemed alright to me, but admittedly they didn't have a lot of other customers to deal with at the time.

Also, it's possible my impression of the food was clouded by my enthusiasm for the beer, but it seemed alright to me even in comparison with some of the new "trendy" places I've tried in the north end recently...
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  #7  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2014, 2:35 AM
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I suspect the DT of Halifax is still too far onto the office worker side yet, but that will change in time as more condo buildings/apartment complexes open up.
There are very few development sites for residential north of Sackville Street and below Brunswick. It would be great if the triangle lands at the end of Granville Mall were developed as an apartment or mixed-use building but that seems unlikely.

Longer-term of course this could be fixed by getting rid of the interchange. I think the difference would be like night and day if the old downtown added 5,000 new residents or so (and it would be great for the city's tax base and servicing costs).
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  #8  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2014, 12:12 PM
terrynorthend terrynorthend is online now
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
I was there a few times and it was sort of "meh" in my view. Service was hit or miss and so was the food.
I agree completely, Keith. I did enjoy the location and look of the place, but service and food was inconsistent over the handful of visits I made. I found the same thing with Hart & Thistle. Was fine to start, but over the years their service had degraded steadily to where it was virtually non-existent.
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  #9  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2014, 12:27 PM
ns_kid ns_kid is offline
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Any closure is sad, and Brussels had a lot going for it. That said, I have to concur with Keith that their food never really knocked my socks off and I found the interior a bit sterile: in searching for places to eat downtown -- which I do regularly -- I'm afraid it was never at the top of my list. Mr. Mirtchev seems to blame the street. According AllNovaScotia he said the location was "a challenge" because few people live around there leaving him to the vagaries of the office crowd and the tourist season. Of course there are other establishment in the immediate vicinity that seem to be doing quite well, including the Split Crow a few doors down, Boston Pizza across the street, the venerable Bluenose and the new Tempo within a block. Which seems to suggest the issue is finding the right business model to fit the location.
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  #10  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2014, 1:03 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is online now
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Probably the owner isn't totally off base that the location is a bit of a challenge, in that Granville really needs a pedestrian connection with something worthwhile on the north side in order to get foot traffic flowing both ways. Removing the street grid way back when and leaving the street's terminus as a parking lot and highway interchange is what's left it struggling for so long. Even the successful businesses there are at the corner with Duke, where there are more people strolling by.

Downtown as a whole is clearly doing better; but Granville isn't well positioned to take advantage of it. People don't venture further north up Granville, because, simply, there's nowhere to go there. And no one is making the trip south because unless they come out the hotel doors there.

Until the triangle lands, and really the whole interchange, are redeveloped, Granville will always have this problem.
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  #11  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2014, 3:50 PM
scooby074 scooby074 is offline
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Too bad. Was a great place.

WAS being the operative word. Tried to go there around the middle of December, door was open, sign was out. Was kinda rudely told to go somewheres else because they had an incoming party. Really soured me on the place.

Unfortunately had to go down to Split Crow, with its lousy service, sticky bathrooms, overpriced bland food and lack of beer selection. Heck, they couldnt even be bothered to update the chalkboard after theyve dropped several brands of beer. Gets pretty frustrating when whatever you ask for the reply is "We no longer carry that".... Well, get it OFF the damn sign!!! Oh and fix your WiFi too!!!

So long as nothing happens to Henry House, Ill be happy!
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  #12  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2014, 2:06 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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I never had those negative experiences there. I found the staff to typically be very engaging and knowledgeable about the beer they were serving. Thought the food to be good as well, but perhaps that was dependent on what was ordered. I've eaten at a lot of good restaurants here in town (and elsewhere), so while I'm not a food critic I'm also not comparing it to McDonald's.

As far as the interior decor, one person's stark is another person's attractive. I really liked the woodwork in the dining area, thought it to be really interesting surroundings in which to enjoy a good brew and some "grub".

Oh well, my musings will not bring it back, but to me it is a loss.

I too enjoy the Henry House, btw, another place to get good beer and good food within interesting surroundings.
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