Details surrounding why a Halifax bar won a tender to provide food and beverage services on the Halifax waterfront over other competitors aren't being released, and Internal Services Minister Labi Kousoulis says that is normal.

Kousoulis said given the winner of the contract will pay the province to use the site, rather than the government paying for a service, it doesn't necessitate releasing the details.

As well, the structure of the tender itself means the information doesn't need to be released, he said.

"Where we actually have a scoring component and a cost component, we do not release the financial details of those," he told reporters on Thursday.

3-year contract

On Tuesday, the Waterfront Development Corporation announced the Stubborn Goat Gastropub had won the tender to provide services at Summit Plaza, which is where Stillwell Bar operated a beer garden last year.

The contract is for three years of operation and the business will be open daily from mid-May until October. Just why the Stubborn Goat was chosen is unclear.

Jennifer Angel, the acting CEO of the Waterfront Development Corporation, said it was a difficult decision to determine a winner, but declined to go into detail.

"We are not going to get into the specifics of the evaluation," she told CBC's Mainstreet on Tuesday.

The criteria that was used to evaluate the proposals were weighted between:

  • proposed use of the space — 40 per cent
  • rent proposal — 30 per cent
  • expertise and experience of the operator — 20 per cent
  • financial capacity — 10 per cent

Stillwell Beer Garden 2.0?

Stillwell beer garden

This is what Stillwell's Beer Garden last year looked like. (Stillwell/Twitter)

Stillwell's co-owner, Chris Reynolds, met with Waterfront Development Corporation officials and said he's not sure why Stillwell did not get the tender.

Reynolds plans to provide a similar beer garden somewhere else this year and has narrowed down a new location to about a half-dozen spots.

"We're not obsessed with Summit Plaza. We're gonna find another spot," he said this week.

Angel said fewer than 10 proposals were submitted for the tender, but would not give a specific number. She is confident the new operation will be a success.

"We expect to see a vibrant business with high quality local food and beverages that causes a stir, it draws locals to the waterfront and is also a target destination for visitors to the waterfront from away," she said.

Geir Simensen, co-owner of the Stubborn Goat Gastropub, said one of the things the business will be doing is bringing in a food trailer to improve the food offerings at the waterfront space.

The business will do some of the prep work at the Stubborn Goat's Grafton Street location, but the food will be cooked onsite at the waterfront.