Nova Scotia

Halifax's next waterfront pub will be heavy on local drinks, light on plastic

The Halifax waterfront could get a new food-and-drinks spot this summer, but it will have to go heavy on Nova Scotia drinks and light on plastic.

Develop Nova Scotia wants bids to make use of Salt Yard space near Stubborn Goat Beer Garden

A new dining and drinking business on this spot along the Halifax waterfront will need to go light on plastic. (Develop Nova Scotia)

The Halifax waterfront could get a new dining and drinking spot this summer, but it will have to go heavy on Nova Scotia drinks and light on plastic.

Develop Nova Scotia has published a request for proposals to open a business in what it calls the Salt Yard — the paved area of the waterfront between Sackville and Salter streets.

Develop Nova Scotia is the provincial Crown corporation formerly known as the Waterfront Development Corporation. 

Deborah Page, director of marketing and communications for Develop Nova Scotia, says 70 per cent of the alcoholic drinks for sale must be from the province. They also hope to see a lot of Nova Scotian food, but haven't put any figures on that.

"We know what has been very successful on the waterfront in the past and we're looking to create more of those opportunities," Page said Monday.

The new facility will be near the Stubborn Goat Beer Garden, which operates in a similar way to what's outlined in the request for proposals.

Ditch the plastic

Develop Nova Scotia wants bids on the 3,000-square-foot space, which includes the old Chowder House kiosk, although that can be removed if the winning bidder doesn't want to use it.

As first reported by the Halifax Examiner, Develop Nova Scotia will charge a monthly rent of at least $4,000, plus a percentage of sales.

Bidders must offer that much, but they get a higher score if they'll pay a higher rent. The base rent drops to $2,000 for May and October.

Page said the winner will get a three-year contract to operate the facility from May to October.

Other ways to score higher include showing how the spot could be accessible and environmentally friendly.

Page said since Nova Scotia will ban plastic bags from next year, and more plastic restrictions could follow, bidders will have to come up with something more sustainable than disposable plastic beer cups.

"We see that the plastic bags are only the first step. We'd like to see what their plan is to meet that requirement, but also what other ideas they have around sustainability," she said. 

The new facility will add to a changing waterfront in 2020. While Develop Nova Scotia plans to put the sea bridge in again to let pedestrians walk around the Queen's Marque site, developer Armour Group says the building is on schedule to begin opening next year. 

"The office portion is anticipated to open in spring 2020, the residential portion later in 2020, and the final phase [hotel, food and beverage] shortly thereafter," said spokesperson Erin Densley.