East Side Mario's coming to downtown Halifax

East Side Mario's is setting up a new restaurant and rooftop patio in downtown Halifax that will employ 80 people.

New East Side Mario's will be second largest in Canada

An East Side Mario's will move into this building in downtown Halifax. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Downtown Halifax is getting a little bit of budda boom budda bing.

East Side Mario's will be setting up shop at the corner of Prince and Market streets, just above the Keg.

"This restaurant will be the second largest East Side Mario's in Canada at nearly 9,000 square feet," said franchisee Dan Boyd. "It will have a dining room, bar and rooftop patio."

Boyd says the new restaurant will employ 80 people and the plan is to open in June. The existing kitchen and bar area, as well as the rooftop patio, are now being totally gutted.

"It's a complete conversion and will be transformed into our new prototype," said Boyd.

The massive Nova Centre construction zone has been a nightmare for many small business owners and bar operators that are on streets near the site.

They say people have been avoiding the area because of the construction and in some cases streets are closed. The megaproject is scheduled to finish this fall.

For East Side Mario's, timing is everything. There will only be a couple of months between their opening and the completion of the Nova Centre.

"There's definitely going to be more players in the market but I believe it is going to become a hub that is going to attract people to that area," said Boyd.

"I think everyone will benefit from that and we are excited to be part of the revitalization of downtown Halifax."


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