Emilie Bourque dials before she digs for business news.

New digs
Anyone notice that massive banner at Rawlin’s Cross yet? Well, I did, went straight home, punched in the web address, then called Stella Burry Community Services to get a little more info for you, dear readers…

Turns out the “18 Lives” Campaign is—as you can probably guess—something which will change the lives of 18 people. This project, the second one at Rawlin’s Cross for Stella Burry, will be to convert the O’Mara-Martin Building—a.k.a. the old Lawton’s building—into 18 modern one-bedroom apartments for adults who are either currently homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The layout will include common space for social activities, and the main floor will house Stella Burry’s Housing and Employment Resource Centre. They launched their fundraising campaign on February 20th, and have hopes of raising $200,000 to support this development. Check it out at

Here comes another one
Another interesting tidbit of Stella Burry news is that The Hungry Heart Cafe will open to the public as soon as this April. Located on the main floor of Stella’s Circle, it has been quietly operating since early last year as a food services training program, providing inexpensive meals for members of the Stella Burry community. Come April, it will open to the public as a full-service cafe. It will also offer catering, and serve light meals and snacks.

The concept has three main benefits: it will continue to be a great place for training, their affordable and nutritious menu items will be available to all, and the income generated by the cafe will support the mission of SBCS. Everyone wins!

Pizza on earth
The rumours are true: Meg O’Dea’s gourmet pizza will be served in this city once again. Located on King’s Road, in the same spot as her former pizza shop Giovanni Cabot’s, a whole new operation is underway.

Dave Hopley of Living Planet has teamed up with Meg as a co-owner. The new spot will be opening next month under a new name …which shall remain a surprise for now.

O’Dea told me the new menu is all ready, and features 12 original pizzas—some reincarnates from Giovanni Cabot’s, plus some brand new creations. Of course they will also be serving up appetizers, soups, and salads, as well as O’Dea’s famous desserts.

I sneaked a peek at the space itself, and it has been transformed completely. There are new booths, a new bar, and an open-concept-style kitchen for customizing your pizza toppings. O’Dea says it will basically be the same great pizza, served up in a hip new spot.

Get up, standup
There will soon be a full-fledged comedy club opening in town. Out on Kenmount Road, sometime in May, you will see our city’s very own Yuk Yuk’s International Stand-Up Comedy location. One of the owners, local Bill Jackman of Jackman BrandMarketing—says so far the response from folks around town has been really positive.

The Canadian comedy club chain started out in Toronto as a series of shows in a former community centre bowling alley. Comedians Howie Mandel, Rick Moranis, Larry Horowitz, Tom Green, Norm MacDonald, Mike MacDonald, and Jim Carrey were all mainstays in the early days of Yuk Yuks.
Now, including the St. John’s location, there will be 15 of the clubs in Canada.

The local club will offer live comedy four nights a week, with an admission rate of about 16 bucks. There will be amateur night on Wednesdays, a student/benefit night on Thursdays, and two shows every Friday and Saturday night.

Jackman says the club should help local comedians get more exposure, and will help develop the scene by bringing in bigger names we don’t usually get a chance to see. He says he’s also excited about the potential to start exporting more local comedic talent to the greater Canadian comedy scene.

Booze on the move
The NL Liquor Corporation’s retail store located in The Murray Premises is moving to the former Timothy’s Coffee location, across from Mile One. Assistant manager Randy Smith says the plan is to close up shop at the end of the work day on Thursday, February 28th, finish moving eveything over that night, and then reopen on Friday morning.


We So Excited by Ian

24 March 2011

  1. Leisha · March 24, 2011

    Yummm pizza!! And even more yum – Meg’s desserts!!! This is wicked news Emilie thank you!!!!!!

  2. Vince Hannon · March 24, 2011

    Regarding the 18lives article.

    This isn’t the only project of this nature going on right now either. There’s to be another homeless shelter set up just around the corner.

    Just across from the Bond Building there’s that big abandoned building that’s just kind of been sitting there for years.

    This is also going to be converted into a homeless shelter. Estimated to be complete in two years time.

    I and a number of others that have been with or are with the Choices for Youth program were invited to help design the shelter.

    They took a lot of our input into making the final design and I believe there is going to be space for 12 or 13 people to live.

    But the facility isn’t just meant to be a shelter, it’s also a place to help people get into a place in there lives where they are able to support themselves. They’re given individual mini apartments with small kitchens and there will be gym space, recreation space, teaching facilities etc.

    it was a really exciting project to be a part of and it’s good to know that these places are being built. The Choices mens shelter and the womens shelter just isn’t enough for the people we have in need. Though they certainly do what they can.

    There is a lot more great things that can be said about the project but I think I’ve mentioned enough. You can check it out yourself when it’s done.

    Well…One more thing.

    For the artists. Particularly the graffiti artists, you’ll be glad to hear that I made sure there would be a legal graffiti wall as a part of the design in the entrance courtyard. Three actually. For the artists that need shelter and as well the general public.

    It’s a way for the people in the shelter to show a piece of themselves in a place that for a time really is there home. And also gives room for some of the folks getting sick of being busted by the cops.

    I gotta say, I’m excited to see the finished product.