Storefront 10/25/07

The stylists of Zhaira (L-R): Philip Ryan, Nicholas Dollmont, [client Lori White], owner Debra Blackmore, and Leah Robertson. Also part of the team is Sheri-Lynn Burden.

Emilie Bourque makes the cut.

Now that there’s no denying fall weather is officially here, let’s hope winter holds off for a week or two.
As you keep warm with your mugs of coffee, here’s a bit of local shop news to peruse…

There is a new place to get your ‘do done. Located at 125 Long’s Hill, Zhaira opened its doors on October 19th. Owner Debra Blackmore says the focus is to be “an environmentally-conscious salon.” Having worked in the industry for years, Blackmore decided it was time to open her own place and try to make a difference with how salon waste is managed.

“The amount of waste—the plastics that we’re putting into our landfill, the colour tubes and all that, it started really bothering me,” she says.

Although she admits it’s a challenge to be environmentally-friendly in the salon industry, Blackmore is looking into different ways to reduce waste and to increase what’s recycled. Using paper bags instead of plastic, furnishing the front with retro second-hand chairs, and carefully selecting environmentally-friendly, products with less packaging, Blackmore says they’re learning as they go.

“My ultimate goal is to leave the smallest footprint that we possibly can.”

This December, local businessman Ross Barney will be opening a gaming/internet cafe in the old Glasshopper Studio space on Duckworth Street. Hooked Up will feature 10 PCs, a Wii in the front window, and maybe a couple of Xbox 360s.

Barney says he wants to get gamers out of their basements and into a fun community. His place will also provide a drop-in for folks who aren’t laptop-toters but want to jump online while downtown.

The shop will be open late, offering printing services, and affordable prices to use a PC for as little or as long a time as you need. As a former member of the UN, Barney also has some unique plans in mind besides just running a business.

“I’d like to think that it’s going to have a lot of good will in it as well,” he says.

He will be selling fair trade coffee, and each PC will feature a different splash screen showcasing various donation pages for charities.

Right now, Barney has a local team working (ahead of schedule!) to get the place in tip-top shape. Lee Tizzard, his neighbour and popular sound technician, will be designing the sound system, and reknowned local muralist April Norman will be adding her mural magic inside.

Stay tuned.

Good news: you can now reward yourself after a hard day’s shopping with a big bag of Sugar Cane Lane candy not just when you hit the downtown strip, but also at Da Mall. I heard they had a kiosk in addition to their 202 Water Street location, so I went to the Avalon Mall to investigate. Sure enough, across from Bluenotes, in the area of the mall known as “The Marketplace” (“Da Marketplace?”) sat owner Cory Lenane with a kiosk full of goodies. He told me they were approached by the mall to open a spot, so he said the timing seemed right, and since October 1st they’ve been selling their treats to mall-goers.

Speaking of malls, the popular Harbour Haunt, an annual fundraiser operated by Easter Seals NL, is more of a mall haunt this year. Since 2002, it has been held downtown, but this year crowds get to line up in the comfort of the indoors—at The Village Shopping Centre.

Despite the initial comfort however, their website assures us that the spectacle is just as scary as ever. Apparently the spirits and other-worldly creatures of downtown have actually joined forces with the undead who were already wandering the hallways each night after the mall closes.

Just the music on their website scares me, so personally I can’t face going (ever!) But for all you non-scaredy-cats, the Haunt runs until Sunday, November 4.

A somber “space for rent” sign in the window of Giovanni Cabot’s on King’s Road indicates that they are, sadly, no longer in business. As winners of last year’s “Best Pizza” category in our Best of St. John’s survey, we’re sure the happy memories will linger.
Also closing soon is Urban Home on Water Street. Owner Rosemary Jackman has been in the retail business for over 25 years, after a teaching career before that, and she’s decided it’s time to retire. But there’s still a little time left to shop there—they’ll be open until Christmas.

Best wishes to both.

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