The husband and wife team who run popular Dartmouth restaurant The Canteen are set to open a new tavern in spring 2020.
Doug Townsend and Renée Lavallée are now working toward the opening of the Town’s End Tavern on Portland Street.
“We’re not always the best at keeping secrets. When we get excited it’s hard to hold it in, but we’re excited to get this out there,” said Townsend.
The 90-seat neighbourhood pub – close to the waterfront in Dartmouth – will feature a chef-inspired food menu and plenty of craft beverages for discerning guests.
“The menu will be recognizable as a pub-style menu, but Rene will focus on local products. Wings, nachos, a great burger and more comfort foods will be on the menu. It’ll be delicious and something people will be excited,” he said.
“The food will have the same care and attention, but it will be more laid-back and approachable. We wanted to do a complementary – and not competitive – concept to The Canteen. As far as our values go, according to the style we use for our food, that won’t change.”
This marks another project with Elliott MacNeil of Bruno Builders, in which they’ll help turn the vacant property across from The Canteen into the new tavern.
“I’ve known Elliott for 15-to-20 years. He’s focused hard on amazing projects in downtown Dartmouth. We’re aligned in what we see as things that add to a vibrant downtown,” he said.
“The property the tavern will be in has been there a long time. The last one – the Best Kept Secret – closed long ago. We have similar ideas with quality and style and we’re excited to move forward with this.”
The downtown Dartmouth core continues to grow, and the two restaurateurs wanted to continue to be part of that growth.
“Over the past ten years, we have witnessed first-hand how downtown Dartmouth has emerged as one of the most unique neighborhoods in the municipality. We’re confident that this trend will continue as new developments bring more residents and businesses into the community,” said Townsend – also board chair of the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission – in a release.
“Downtown Dartmouth is full of entrepreneurs who also live in the neighborhood. These people truly care about the future that we’re all trying to build together.”
Local interior design firm By + Large studio will help create a comfortable interior for guests to enjoy.
“We have clearly-defined values, and the first is community impact. Buying local and supporting people who share those values is important,” he said. “The designers did The Canteen, so we worked with them four years ago.”
“They moved above Lake City Cider too, as did Bruno’s, and it’s amazing to have them both within about 100 feet. It makes getting things done in the neighbourhood quickly.”
Townsend says he can’t wait to bring this new venture to people and give them something fresh.
“We believe strongly there are already great things happening in downtown Dartmouth. We don’t want to steal market share from other businesses. But we want to make the area destination dining,” he said.
“We are always looking for spots we’d be comfortable to bring our family. We felt there was a great opportunity to open an establishment in the style we like to do it.”
The Town’s End Tavern is set to open in spring 2020, and work will begin in the next few weeks.
“Downtown Dartmouth is such an exciting place right now, and we love the collaborative community of businesses here,” he said. “We just want to continue to add what we can to make the area a great place to hang out.”