February is over

Dana Cooper ain’t yeller. Who you callin’ yeller?

St. John’s, honey, you’re looking a lot better these days. As the dirty old snow melts and sidewalks become passable again, one no longer risks life and limb to walk down the road.

Retailers, relax! The Dark Days of February are long gone. Shopping traffic all over town has picked up considerably in the past few weeks, and—barring some Sheila’s Brush-style weather—this increase looks like it will carry us right into the golden days of summer shopping and (dum-ta-da-dum!) tourist season.

Or maybe I completely jinxed us by saying so. Is that snow I see falling out my window?

Anyhoo, what’s the skinny this fortnight? Well…

Remember Mulligan’s? Where O’Reilly’s used to be? No, me neither. No matter though, this spot re-opened two Thursdays past as The Dock Pub. Steve Lee, bartender, says the turnout has been great so far—but I’m sure the timing helped. He said St. Patrick’s Day was “insane,” with line-ups from one o’clock in the day. We’ll see how they go in the long run. They’re aiming to be the city’s newest live music venue, and have invested in a new sound system and renovations to that end.

Apparently, it does. So much so that some optimist is opening yet another java house in the capital’s centre. You know that triangular building across the road from St. Thomas’s Church, and a stone’s throw from the Fairmont? Yup. There. Main floor, opening in June.

Andrew Planchat, lately of Canary Cycles, has just opened a new bike shop on Lemarchant Road called Cychotic Bikes. Yep, they’re crazy about bikes.

No, seriously, they’re a specialty store for dedicated downhill, freeride and BMX enthusiasts. Andrew says the bikes they sell are “for doing things that make most people cringe.” They say they’ve got a small but committed staff of very knowledgeable cyclists, and they have lots of plans for the summer: building new trails, leading group rides, the works.

We’ve been hearing about Yellowbelly’s, the next big microbrewery, for over a year now.

I like the concept, but I love the location. They’re developing one of the city’s most neglected 19th century vernacular style commercial brick buildings, located on the corner of George and Water (“Yellowbellies Corner,” where the Wexford Irish were known to bloody a nose or two). The building, site of The Galley Fish & Chips until the late 90’s, actually runs right back to George, so it’s going to be a mammoth spot when it gets going. There are signs that that time approaches—I spied some big copper tanks through the front window, so the beer can’t be very far behind.

Dana Cooper

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