Bubba Ray's closing its doors in downtown Halifax

Bubba Ray's on Spring Garden Road is closing on Friday, but the owner said a new restaurant is expected to take its place.

Owner says a new restaurant will take place of Bubba Ray's

Brad Hartlin, owner of Bubba Ray's, said he's in the process of working with another group to open a new business in the former Spring Garden Road location. (Emma Davie/CBC)

Bubba Ray's Sports Bar on Spring Garden Road is shutting its doors.

Owner Brad Hartlin said the sports bar will officially close on Friday.

"It's time for a change," he said.

Hartlin said the downtown Halifax restaurant, which had considerably higher rent than other Bubba Ray's locations, had been losing money the last three years.

"We've tried a lot of different things. We've expanded, we've downsized, we've put up new signs, we've tried different promotions. At the end of the day, the market has changed."

Other locations staying open

Hartlin said staff were offered positions at the other Bubba Ray's locations in Bedford, Truro, Windsor and on Bayers Road, all of which will remain open.

Juanita Spencer, executive director of the Spring Garden Area Business Association, said the area often sees turnover this time of year.

"Winter can be a tough few months for some businesses and spring is a great time for others to launch," she said.

"The area is undergoing significant change, lots of new construction means we will also see some businesses move around."

Bubba Ray's on Spring Garden Road is shutting its doors on Friday. (Emma Davie/CBC)

Paul MacKinnon, executive director of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, said he's noticed a lot of reinvestment, with new owners taking over local businesses.

"I would say the vacancy rate is fairly low, but there's been some more high-profile turnover," he said.

Another business moving in

Hartlin said people should expect another business to move into the Spring Garden spot, but wouldn't offer any more details.

"I think the new group that's coming in here is going to bring new life into this space and make a great opportunity," Hartlin said.

"It's still in the beginning phases. There's still work to be done."

In the meantime, Hartlin said he'll be focusing on the other Bubba Ray's locations and revamping the Economy Shoe Shop. Hartlin took over the bar on Argyle Street a few months ago.

"We're just going to keep focusing on our businesses that do turn a profit."