THE SCOOP: Q&A with The Watch That Ends the Night
It's been a particularly good year for Downtown Dartmouth. It started with the relocation and expansion of The Canteen, followed by the opening of Yeah Yeah's Pizza, in the space formerly occupied by The Canteen no less, and more recently the opening of Litte C. But 2017 is far from over. Coming this October to the King's Wharf side of the tracks is The Watch That Ends the Night, where owners Bethany and Joe Gurba, along with well-known chef Mark Gray, aim to add a whole new dimension to the city's constantly evolving dining scene. We can't wait!
Why did you choose Downtown Dartmouth for the location of your restaurant?
Joe: We've been coming here (from Alberta) every year to visit Bethany's best friends since 2009 and have watched this city bloom with all these fantastic businesses. We live here now and just thought it would be good to open something up on this side of the water, as we were spending so much time going to Halifax to go to Highwayman, Lot Six, Little Oak, and Field Guide.
What excites you about Nova Scotia?
Joe: Living in Alberta for the last eight years (before 2016); and seeing the incredible bounty from the land here, you don't grow fruits and vegetables around Edmonton like they're grown here. There's just so much opportunity to do a regionally based cuisine, and extremely inventive cocktails because people know about cocktails now. You don't need to break new ground and can really be inventive.
Tell us about the new space.
Joe: It's on the second floor but with a ground level entrance. There's a view of the harbour with roughly 80 seats, with a mix of formal seating, some open banquets and soft seating with couches and lounge chairs, and 13 seats at the bar.
Tell us about the food at The Watch That Ends the Night.
Mark: The focus of the restaurant is on preservation. So curing meats and seafood, fermentation, pickling, cheeses, and things like that. We'll also have oysters, of course. It's basically going to be a cold kitchen, but we're planning on doing three hot dishes and will have two to four desserts as well.
In terms of the dining experience, what should folks expect?
Mark: It will be very relaxed. People can come in and have a snack, have a cocktail or a glass of wine. There is also seating for people to come in hungry and have something more heavier. You're really going to see a range of textures and flavours that entice you to stay for a couple of hours and try everything.
Joe: We'll also have an extensive wine list and strong cocktails program. A few beers and ciders as well.
For guests coming after work, how does the parking situation look?
Joe: There's lots of parking and the best part is they'll get to enjoy our cocktail hour from 4 - 6 pm, where cocktails will be $9.
Joe: We're tentatively looking at mid-October