By Jacob Hoytema –
Looking for an exquisite taste of the sunny Mediterranean as the fall weather begins? Look no further than the first two stops on our latest new business feature.
High-level olive oil and balsamic vinegar have been a passion for Mike George long before he founded Aurelius Food Co., at 1283b Wellington St. W. He grew up visiting family who lived in Italy and wanted to bring those rich flavours back to Canada. The store is named after the famous philosopher and emperor of Rome and the interior boasts a matching level of refinement. The main wall is lined with dozens of metal containers of flavour-infused oils and balsamic vinegars, but the real flagship products are the small-batch imported oil and vinegar at the front of the store. These are made by artisan producers that Mike himself sought out from Sacrofano, Italy. Some of these balsamic vinegars have even been aged for 15 or even 25 years.
At the opposite end of the ward is Wine Bottega, the Ottawa-based “craft winery.” They’ve been based in Orleans for 14 years, and will be opening their Westboro location this fall.
Jonathan Percival, who will manage the expansion, says that they import juice from all over the world — France, Italy, Chile, Spain, and Argentina, to name a few — and then make the juice on-site in Ottawa. They sell wine in large bulk, meaning the price per bottle is quite cheap. The new location already features many old-style barrels, as well as a large open area with wooden benches, where Jonathan says they hope to host community events and tastings.
If your thoughts point more to the south, why not visit Little Mac’s at 989 Wellington St. W.? Founder Jon Reilly-Roe was inspired by the midwestern cuisine of Missouri to start a diner in Ottawa across the street from his other business, Taco Lot. The building once housed Suzy Q and Hintonburger, and now has classic American vinyl booths and a warm atmosphere to match. Jon says their food has been a hit so far, with the most popular items including deep-fried chicken and fries, and waffles. Little Mac’s will soon be expanding to include weekend brunch.
Food isn’t the only thing new in Kitchissippi. Women’s clothing boutique, The Den, has opened up in Westboro at 455 Churchill Ave. N. Owner Kelly Bourada, who has a background in fashion, says that she tried to infuse the space with a Muskoka vibe through a rugged decor (not to mention a friendly in-store dog!). While the store is only a pop-up, Kelly says she has had a good start this year and wants to re-establish in Westboro every summer. Customers can find more info on her location through her website, shoptheden.ca.
Kitchissippi’s newest beauty parlor, Westboro Infinity Nails, has also just opened at 320 Richmond Rd. where NRML used to be. Among their many services is dipping powder, which is a fashionable new way of polishing nails that lasts longer than other techniques.
The summer has also seen some changes to existing businesses in the neighbourhood. Health food retail chain, Kardish, which has locations all over the city, closed its location on Richmond near Churchill. It had been open since 2014.
Local fashion boutiques Canopy and CIEL (which are sister stores) will go through a restructuring over the fall. Canopy will move just up the road into CIEL’s location at 285 Richmond Rd. and will continue carrying the same brands that customers are familiar with.
Contemporary furniture store, Suede Interiors, closed its Richmond Road storefront after 22 years in business under owner Ron Boivin. They held a going-away sale before finally closing in July.