Shop Talk is written by OM senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, OM account executive and fashion maven.
Last week, we brought you news of retail changes in the trendy shopping districts of Westboro/Wellington West. This week, we turn our eyes to the ByWard Market. On the tony strip of Sussex Drive, any murmurings of change generally involve speculation of how the National Capital Commission, being the landlord for many of these storefronts, might have played a role. Us, we aren’t even going to speculate! Sometimes we ask interview subjects about the reasons for closing or the ins and out of their lease agreements. But no one wants to talk about the NCC. Any anyway, there’s enough to talk about this spring, and many new spaces to explore.
457 Sussex Dr.
We spoke with the Montreal-based designer behind this unique line last summer. Since then, they have closed shop. (Insert speculative gossip.) Apparently, they are looking for another location in Ottawa because they were having such success. We loved what they did with the Sussex space — let’s hope they bring their minimalist-industrial style to another storefront soon.
6 York St.
Mandy Gosewich, former manager of Michael Kors in the Rideau Centre, is opening Stunning, a shop for “accessories, and then some.” We hear May 22 is the opening date. Mandy comes from a long line of retailers, and has contributed to the development of a couple other local boutiques in the past year. So far she’s planning on bringing in Sibilia from Buenos Aries, By Boe from New York, Rita D from Toronto, and Charlotte Hosten from Montreal.
Renee Levesque relocates
From 1282A Wellington St. W. and 24 Murray St. to 419 Sussex Dr.
Earlier this year we wrote about the closure of not one, but two RL stores — and Renée’s vision for her new location. I guess the months-long closure was worth it, because she found an outstanding space in the address formerly occupied by Nicholas Hoare (in case you missed it, the bookseller claimed the NCC raised the rent 72% and wrote “good riddance to bad rubbish,” in an e-mail to the National Post). ST popped in this week, and found an all-white interior, with plenty of colourful jewellery, clothing, and art, as well as teas and housewares and an atelier.
700 Sussex Dr.
What will go into this big space? So far the west side of Sussex doesn’t get too much action. At this time One Tooth is subletting space from Armen, but it’s fun to think what a major upscale retailer could do for the area. Maybe Ralph Lauren?
Modern Shop relocates
541 Susex Dr.
For the past ten years this popular home décor store helped build Old Ottawa South into the interior design mecca it is today. But Christine Shaikin is retiring from Justine’s — after 20 years! Her son Michael, the owner of Modern Shop, will move his modern furniture, lights, and accessories to this old stone building. (If you think the mix of old and new is strange, check out what neighbours McMillan have done with their space.)
From 234 Dalhousie St. to 45 William St.
Their former location anchored the Dalhousie shopping district and beckoned those looking for an alternative to mall shopping off the beaten path. It closed at the end of February, but the new space isn’t too far away. And their social media indicates they’re getting along splendidly with new neighbours.