By Grace Murray
Special to the Truro Daily News
TRURO - One of the major milestones of childhood development is learning to walk. Then in no time, that child is off and running - there's no holding him back.
And so it is with the Split Crow/Ryan Duffy enterprise in Downtown Truro. Now 18 months old, the Split Crow is ready to abandon walking for a full-out run, and it promises to be an exciting run, one that will bring more new dining and entertainment options to a downtown that is also growing and changing at an unheard of pace.
A new partner in the company, Truronian Derek Forsyth, says the changes now well underway will "bring something totally new to central Nova Scotia, something people of the area are ready and waiting for."
Highlighting the new development is the construction of an outdoor patio running the entire length of the building and connected to the second floor pub addition by roll up garage doors. "This expansion to street level is a huge step for the Split Crow," said Forsyth. "It gives us much better visibility and allows us to better integrate services between the Split Crow and Ryan Duffy's.
"We're totally revamping the kitchen and have brought in a new chef, Courtney Desjardins, who has been with the company in Halifax for three years. She wanted a change of lifestyle and she's really excited about this opportunity in Truro."
Forsyth knows exactly how Desjardins feels about life in Truro.
"I'm a westerner who moved east 10 years ago and I wouldn't move back for anything. Truro is my home now and I love what I see taking place these days. There are huge developments happening here and a younger generation coming to the forefront with amazing plans to keep Truro moving forward. Truro is shedding any old-school image it may have once had because people are pushing the envelope.
"We want to be part of that thinking," he added. "No question, there are good food and entertainment options in Truro, but our development will add something totally new and different. Our target market is the 30-55 year olds, who may like to have a nice dinner at Ryan Duffy's and then extend the evening with some entertainment in a cozy, friendly pub without ever leaving the building. Offering two ‘brands' from one building is the trademark of all the Split Crow/Ryan Duffy franchises."
While the addition of the patio is perhaps the most exciting part of the revamp for Forsyth, the atmosphere being created in the new upstairs pub comes a close second.
"It's going to be so cool - a beautiful refurbished antique oak bar that can seat 40, 100-year-old timbers, a big stage area, an amazing 20 beers on tap ... it's absolutely going to blow people away."
He noted live entertainment and a casual pub atmosphere are two of the main attractions.
"The Split Crow has always been known for its Maritime hospitality," he said.
The operation will also focus on local products, with a variety of Jost wines available and produce "purchased just down the street at the Farmer's Market as often as possible."
Forsyth pointed out the downstairs space will also lend itself well to private parties for up to 150 people, adding that Ryan Duffy's has also become popular for a lot of private functions, both personal and corporate.
"Ryan Duffy's partnership with the Marigold Cultural Centre has been working well too," he said. "Just show us your ticket to a Marigold performance the day before, the day of or the day after the performance and receive 20 per cent off your meal."
So with summer now in full bloom, what better time to introduce a new pub and patio? Forsyth advises all fun-loving people to stay tuned for the Split Crow's grand opening celebrations in the near future.
"I can promise it'll be noticeable, it'll be fun and it'll definitely be something you won't want to miss."