Owner Liz Cunningham moved to Halifax from New York City 12 years ago. After working in the television industry for 32 years, she finally realized her dream of opening a neighborhood restaurant in September 2009.
Her friend and local contractor, Rod Malay, had just finished building ├ö├ç┬úThe Nile House├ö├ç├ÿ on Charles Street and there was a space available on the ground floor. Liz jumped at the chance. The building is not only beautiful, but green with its geo-thermal heating and cooling as well as its green roof ├ö├ç├┤ facts that Halifax diners appreciate.
Before long, Liz, friends, and family all pitched in to choose colours, refinish chairs and paint walls. Liz remembers the camaraderie. ├ö├ç┬úIt was a real labour of love and a collaborative effort.├ö├ç├ÿ
Over the bar, visitors comment on a beautiful framed picture of Tess, the owner├ö├ç├ûs mother, for whom the restaurant is named. The reproduction of a 1937 New York newspaper ad features Tess modeling a fur coat for sale at the remarkable price of only $29.98!
Liz recalls, ├ö├ç┬úWe just couldn├ö├ç├ût settle on a name for our restaurant. One day, about a year before we opened, my partner said, ├ö├ç┬úWhy don├ö├ç├ût we name it tess after your mom and hang the newspaper ad in the restaurant?├ö├ç├ÿ We did.├ö├ç├ÿ
tess: a friendly, warm, and cozy neighborhood spot is fast becoming a hit with Haligonians who come back time and again.
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