By Jacob Hoytema –
As the weather clears and the snow melts away, new businesses are beginning to sprout up throughout the ward. We’ve rounded up a few of the neighbourhood’s latest expansions and start-ups:
Guru’s Inspired Food Bar
Originally from Haryana, India, Gourav “Guru” Sharma came to Ottawa in 2010 to study culinary skills at Algonquin College. Now the 27-year-old chef is carving out a niche in Hintonburg with Guru’s Inspired Food Bar, his first restaurant. Since opening last fall at 1123 Wellington St. W., Guru has been serving up wraps, butter chicken, and hakka noodles.
While his menu carries a few pasta and Chinese-fusion dishes, the basis of the menu selection comes from his roots in North Indian cuisine. The “inspired” in the restaurant name refers to his many inspirations, such as his Uncle Rakesh, who is also a chef.
From straw lampshades to giant painted flowers, it almost feels like a summer day inside clothing boutique Tallow at 1116 Wellington St. W.
“The concept is based off of Australian fashion,” explains co-founder Jasmine Riley. She says she and the other founders were going for a “surf-lifestyle, yoga-lifestyle vibe” with the swimsuit and clothing store, which was named after a beach on Australia’s gold coast. According to Jasmine, they’re one of the first stores in Canada to carry some cult favourite brands from down under, like Spell and Arnhem.
Bachelor by Design
When starting a new interior design company, Diana Delaney already knew the majority of the industry’s clientele were women. She recalls: “When I was looking to stand out and create my own niche, I said ‘well what’s the complete opposite of that market?’”
The result is her new business, Bachelor by Design, aimed at young urban males. Her curated rooms are inspired by Ottawa neighbourhoods and include a trendy, “rugged” series of Hintonburg packages. Check out Diana’s work online at bachelorbydesign.ca.
Taqueria La Bonita
Taqueria La Bonita, a Mexican restaurant in the Ottawa’s east end, made its first ever expansion with a new location at 1079 Wellington St. W., which has been open since the new year.
Owner and operator, Araceli Ortega, (who is also the woman on the logo, which you can see online at labonita.ca) is from Mexico originally, and says she wants to bring authentic Mexican history and culture through her food and decor (though she says they still have some finishing touches to do at the new location).
A taste of Montréal will be coming to Westboro when Dunn’s opens their new location at 295 Richmond Rd. This new location of the well-known smoked-meat sandwich chain has a tentative early-April opening date and will have a “retro” deli look. It will also be geared towards express customers, focusing less on dining and more on take-out.
It’s been a long time coming, but MHK Sushi has finally made the move and reopened their doors at 429 Richmond Rd. in Westboro, just a few blocks from their old location. You can still order take-out from their extensive menu, or eat in their new, more casual seating area.
Ebb and Flo
Sherry Wallace says that ultimately, she would like Ebb and Flo, her Brockville-based leather and cosmetics store, to be a chain. For now though, she’s focused on her first ever expansion, a “small but lovely” store coming to 373a Richmond Rd. late March. Her business model focuses on Canadian- and European-made leather goods such as handbags, as well as clothes for all ages and sizes. “There really is something for every woman,” Sherry says of her selection.
Thyme and Again
Earlier this month, Kitchissippi staple Thyme and Again announced they’d be making their first-ever expansion to 1845 Carling Ave. (just on the inside edge of the ward) and taking over the old Beer Store next to Produce Depot.
Owner Sheila Whyte says that this location will be a “grab-and-go,” spot and will not have a seating area. It will also house another production kitchen to help with their expanding catering service. Construction is still underway but they’re hoping for a May opening. Sheila adds that with the new flexibility provided by the expansion, customers should “stay tuned” for new events and specials at the original location.
According to the Westboro BIA, a Montreal-based bakery is opening on the corner of Richmond Road and Roosevelt Avenue (across from Tubman’s). Details to come.
Sadly, some Kitchissippi shops have closed their doors for good this year.
Susan Venables of Nectar Fine Teas is retiring after more than a decade in business. The shop served its final cup on February 28. “If it wasn’t for you,” Venables wrote to her customers in a Facebook post, “I wouldn’t have lasted so long. Thank you very much for letting me share a tiny bit of your lives.”
Baby en Route in Westboro closed in February and Holland’s Cake and Shake closed on March 10. Click here to read more about this sudden announcement and see what will be going in its place.