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EDITORIAL: Tall, cool and bubbly

Pictou County is gaining another feature to help make it a destination on travellers’ tourist plans. And that’s to say nothing about the joys for the local crowd.

Uncle Leo’s Brewery, located in Lyons Brook, is about to open an offshoot outlet in Pictou on the waterfront – a German-style beer garden. It will showcase beers not only from Uncle Leo’s but from other craft breweries across the province. They’ll have a number of offerings on tap, and the selection will rotate – so, a great chance to sample the many different styles available.

Karl Whiffen, who owns the brewery with wife Rebecca, said he’d raised the idea to some people involved with the Hector Heritage Quay, having seen similar relaxed, outdoor beer gardens in Halifax. They suggested the quay would be a perfect spot for it.

People will be familiar with such quaint settings in cities – and certainly as a mainstay in European towns and cities. There’s a bit of an old-world flavour to this, and in a perfect location on Pictou’s waterfront.

The growing interest in craft breweries and their many different styles of brew makes such a venture a splendid addition for the foot traffic of that touristy section.

The wide selection might even help some lovers of interesting, unique beers plan a craft brew tour around the province sometime in their travelling future.

But the aim is also for staff at the beer garden to guide patrons looking for such information to local restaurants and other features of the area.

That’s the kind of symbiotic relationship that adds to a dynamic downtown, a spot for visitors to sit back, relax and take notice of the surroundings and what Pictou County has to offer.

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Another downtown development, this one in New Glasgow, sees a coming change to a longtime landmark on the riverfront. MacGillivray Properties, which purchased the former Maritime Steel facility, will be refurbishing the warehouse building over the next couple of years, transforming the space into a workshop and retail area for artisan-crafted, industrial furniture.

As owner Jamie MacGillivray told The News last week, the aim is to preserve some of the old buildings that help illustrate the town’s history and find a new use for them.

And of course the workshops and the opportunity they represent for downtown commercial activity are a great addition.

MacGillivray Properties has done a makeover on some other buildings in the town’s core, including a work in progress to transform the former Roseland Theatre into office and rental space.

Another relatively recent transformation in New Glasgow saw Jacob Tanner Development turn the former Temperance Street School, more than a century old, into apartments, as well as preserving the character of the building.

It’s fantastic to see a continuing interest and effort to maintain the integrity of key buildings in the town’s core.

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