Tuesday, February 5, 2019

RETALES: Propeller brews up new business ideas - TheChronicleHerald.ca

Popular Halifax craft brewery, Propeller Brewing Co., hasn’t been resting on its laurels. Instead, the company has been steadily tweaking its business plan right from the beginning.

John Allen started Propeller on Gottingen Street in 1997 and the business has grown from there. In 2013, Propeller, to keep up with demand, built a second production facility on Windmill Road in Dartmouth. The expansion opened up the Gottingen Street location to new ideas and business ventures.

Since the expansion, the Gottingen Street site has become part of the changing facade of the growing business district in Halifax’s north end, expanding to the street level where the tap room and retail store are. Meanwhile, the downstairs section of the shop has enough room for the brewers to experiment.

The vacant space has allowed Propeller to lend some of its brewing capabilities to other companies, including Stillwell Brewing Co. Allen says he “heartily approves” of Stillwell’s presence at the shop, adding that “they are not a competitor; they are a colleague.” He also adds that Stillwell is a valued customer, as they supply Propeller beer for its Barrington Street bar and seasonal Beer Garden on Spring Garden Road.

Propeller even became a temporary home for the grandfather of the craft beer scene, Granite Brewery. Allen said he and Granite owner Kevin Keefe have been friends since before Propeller started. So, when Granite’s deal to move its brewing operation to a new location fell through, Allen asked what he could do to help. As a result, Propeller is providing Granite with a temporary brewing space, and Granite can take its time to find a proper home.

Just last week, the lower level of Propeller’s Gottingen Street shop also became home to an arcade. Allen gives full credit to his employee Ian Matheson who “saw the potential down there.”

Matheson is an arcade machine enthusiast and has since filled the downstairs room with pinball and other machines. The arcade is open Thursday to Sunday evenings while the retail store is open.

Here are some other retail highlights and happenings:

Thai Express keeps growing. A new location is coming to Spring Garden Road near Queen Street, where Sweet & Tears was previously located.

A new weekend stall is coming soon to the Seaport Market. El Niño Vegan Tacos is hoping to be ready this week, permits pending.

The Petro Canada and Sobeys Express at the Halifax Exhibition Centre on Prospect Road are both now open. The attached Tim Hortons will soon follow, with a planned opening date of Feb. 18.

Rossetto’s Italian Eatery on Ochterloney Street in Downtown Dartmouth has closed. The short-lived eatery only opened last fall.

HomeSense is being added to the existing Winners store in New Minas.

Dartmouth Ramen is opening soon, but a timeline and exact location are not known.

I’m told the former Traditional Pizza on Highfield Park Drive will soon be home to an African takeout, and Sushi Shige announced it will be returning, but this time to north-end Halifax.



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