Remove from the equation the once-coveted stools at the bar and cut back by 50 per cent the seating in the small intimate dining room, and you’ll find that the prospective figures for operating dine-in at Jenner Cormier’s Bar Kismet to be wanting. So, last June, Cormier and his wife, chef Annie Brace-Lavoie, took a pass on Halifax’s controlled reopening and stuck to their highly popular takeout. “We’re just trying to meet this challenge head on and survive long enough to open again someday,” Cormier says. In August, after completing a patio build, they did. When alfresco season ended, the couple picked up their tool kits again, this time taking a turn and building barriers between tables in order to keep the dining room going. Which it did, until late April this year. Then, with Covid infections on the rise, restaurants were condemned to takeout-only for a third time. So, Cormier got back to building — this time, a season-extending roof for his patio. “It’s been nice learning new skills through this whole thing over the last few years,” says the stoic restaurateur. “General contracting and carpentry have called my name and I am really loving it.” All the same, we hope to see the Diageo World Class Canada champion bartender swap buzz saw for a shaker sometime very soon.
Photo Credit: Jenner Cormier