Published Jun 21, 2018Fortunate Ones are the folk duo of Andrew James O'Brien and Catherine Allan. They released Hold Fast, the followup to their 2015 Juno Award-nominated album The Bliss, on May 25 on Old Farm Pony Records (Rose Cousins' label). Since the album includes a plethora of Atlantic Canadian contributors, from Great Big Sea to Repartee, we asked the Fortunate Ones to tell us about their home of St. John's, Newfoundland. Location photos by Noah Bender.
Mallard Cottage (8 Barrows Rd.)
Mallard Cottage is a cozy, unpretentious restaurant in one of the most scenic parts of Newfoundland — Quidi Vidi Village. Mallard features ingredients well-known in Newfoundland, re-imagined into sophisticated comfort food. Our favourite time at Mallard is a Sunday afternoon brunch, when local musicians play tunes while we chow down.
Rocket Bakery (272 Water St.)
A downtown coffee shop / bakery / restaurant with superb food and coffee in a warm and friendly atmosphere. It's a great place to meet up with a pal for lunch, and they also host shows in their event space upstairs. Hot tip: try their almond croissant as soon as possible.
Signal Hill Trail
The perfect coastal trail within city limits, with a gorgeous view of the Narrows (our beautiful harbour). A great 45-minute hilly workout, but beware: it will be windy. Probably really windy.
The Merchant Tavern (281 Water St.)
Spearheaded by some serious culinary heavyweights, Merchant has quickly become one of our favourite places to meet up for a meal. Lots of amazing beer on tap, as well as fancy creative cocktails, but what I cannot stop thinking about is their homemade pasta.
Craft Council (59 Duckworth St.)
An unbelievable collection of handmade goods from local artists and artisans. If you're looking for a gift, this is the spot. Prints, woodworking, jewellery, pottery, scarves, stained glass, jams, spices: I want one of everything.
Fred's Records (198 Duckworth St.)
Fred's is an institution in St. John's, and champion of careers including Great Big Sea, Hey Rosetta, Amelia Curran, the Once and any musician wanting to be heard in Newfoundland. The passion and pride the staff has for music is unparalleled. Its world-class reputation has travelled the globe.
O'Brien's Music (278 Water St.)
O'Brien's is the oldest store on the oldest street in the oldest city in North America. The staff are musicians who care intensely about the craft and the tools of the musical trade. When our instruments need some pre- or post-tour TLC, we trust only the team at O'Brien's.
Black Sheep Pub (164 Water St.)
The Sheep is an important and vital small venue in St. John's. With music of every genre playing seven nights a week, it is a sanctuary for the local scene. From masterful bluegrass nights to Ron Hynes' open mic, this venue makes great music its mandate. It is a diamond in a city of gems.