The service and entertainment industries across the globe have seen a real shift in operations in 2020-2021 with restaurants, breweries, and musicians looking for creative ways to give the people what they want in the comfort of their home.

The local businesses and artists of St. John’s have been doing their part to give you that St. John’s experience, take-out style. With reduced capacities and crowd restrictions, what started as a means of survival has turned into an opportunity to provide a highly sought after service—the night out, at home.

Looking for a family date night? This local food, craft beer, and entertainment trio might be just what you need!

Rube and Rake - Leaving with Nothing

(Photo by Stephen Andrews)

Full disclosure – Josh Sandu and Andrew Laite, the duo that are Rube and Rake, are my best friends. Placing them here might be showing favoritism, but I DON’T CARE, because they are absolute magic.

Their most recent album, Leaving With Nothing, landed them the award for Folk/Roots Artist of the Year at the 2020 MusicNL Awards, and garnered 3 nominations at the East Coast Music Awards in June 2021.

The album is a story of hope and hurt told with beautiful harmonies and perfectly-toned arrangements that goes nicely with a game of backgammon (or Candyland) at the kitchen table. Take a look at the video, shot in an undisclosed shed location in Petty Harbour, for “10-33.”

Yellowbelly Brewery

Yellowbelly Brewery burger and fries in a takeout container.

The rustic atmosphere at Yellowbelly is always a favourite of mine (as the son of a bricklayer, exposed brick gets me every time), as is the menu—wholesome and kid-friendly. It’s the perfect daddy-daughter date night fare.

The take-out offering gave my daughter and I those same warm vibes from the comfort of our own home. I went with one of my favourite burgers in the city of St. John’s, the aptly-named Guilty Pleasure; I won’t list everything on this beast here, but the slice of breaded provolone and deep fried pickle make this a real two-hander. Bonus points for picking up a bottle of Yellowbelly’s own craft beer.

An adorable little girl eating a slice of Yellowbelly pizza. The rest of the pizza sits in a takeout box.

Ophelia, my 5 year old daughter, has a much simpler pallet and went with the classic kids-size cheese pizza. She almost ate it all, which is about as glowing a review you can receive from a 5-year-old who has never finished a plate of food in her short, adorable life.

A glass full of craft beer sits on a table next to two cans of Landwash Smiling Land.

Nothing makes me happier than family date night, so a beer named “Smiling Land” seemed like the right way to go. Spoiler alert: it was. 

Inspired by German Kölsch, this lagered ale is clean and crisp with hits of citrus. Ode to thee, Landwash, for making this sessionable beer a dad-friendly 4.5% alc/vol.; one has to be responsible on family date night because 6:30am dance parties come at you fast.

Sure It's Only Early...

You’ve had your dinner. The beer is setting in and the music has you wanting to chase the night from the comforts of home. Luckily, the music scene in St. John’s has been making it work through the pandemic, and you can bar hop like it’s George Street Festival 2018 across all the streams available from local venues and personal artist pages.

The best place to find out where you can see it all, either in person or online, is through the social media accounts of NL Live Events. Glenn Pardy, founder and curator, collects every music event happening in the city in one place to make decisions that much harder.

Adam Smith has lived in the West End of St. John’s for 13 years. He is a father and a friend, and is a member of the bands The Old Contemporaries and Double Denim.

Published: June 14, 2021