Behind the Name: Halifax's Hop Scotch Dinner Club

How a buzzworthy Canadian pop-up-turned-restaurant got its name 

After helming the kitchen at Halifax’s iconic Chives Canadian Bistro while operating one of the region’s most buzzworthy pop-up concepts from 2018 to 2020, Top Chef Canada runner-up Stephanie Ogilvie announced what many in the East Coast had long hoped for; the launch of her first official restaurant concept, Hop Scotch Dinner Club

Taking both the mantle of the pop-up from which it was inspired and the brick and mortar location of the restaurant where it was first conceived, Hop Scotch Dinner Club now offers diners an elaborate range of tasting menus that highlight the abundance of seasonal East Coast flavours, along with a wide selection of local beer and cider, and a small but carefully crafted wine list.

“Hop Scotch Dinner Club started as a multi course tasting menu out of our apartment on our days off. We tried to challenge ourselves to continue to learn and create innovative dishes that were not possible to put on menus in the restaurants we were working at at that time,” explains chef Ogilvie. 

Although the operation was quick to outgrow the size of Olgilvie’s apartment, her strong relationships within the community allowed her and partner Brock Unger to utilize the space in various professional kitchens around Halifax. 

“I guess you could say we ‘hopped’ around town to different kitchens. Collaboration and building the community around us has always been an important part of our concept and what we want for our brand. After all, it's what allowed the opportunity to get started!”

In terms of other naming possibilities, chef Olgivie says there were a few, but a combination of circumstances and time restraints managed to make Hop Scotch stick.

Hop Scotch Dinner Club is open for dinner Wednesday to Saturday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. and for brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hop Scotch’s Dine Around at Home menu is available for pickup Thursday to Sunday from 5:30 to 9 p.m.