For those of you loyal readers, you may remember our former Gossip Grill video series, this ain’t it. Think Seen and Heard, toned down a couple notches — or ten–meets Restaurant Closing and Openings.
Our new and improved Gossip Grill column is in our best efforts to keep you informed and in anticipation on what the ‘Word on the Street’ is in the 6ix. We always do our best to research, validate and confirm the details mentioned, but don’t hold us to it. After all, it is the ‘Word on the Street’. For those times where we may come close, but not quite, forgive us in advance. We tried! The intention is never to shame, but more so to keep YOU, our loyal readers up-to-date on whats happening in our own backyards.
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Let’s jump right in, theres lots to cover!
Restaurants on Death-row, Newborn, and Reborn
It’s been a rough period for restauranteurs in The 6ix. Thoroughbred, Boralia, People’s Eatery and Ceili Cottage are all shutting their doors. Luckily, there’s a new Vegan pop-up going into Thoroughbred’s place for the next 3-months (let’s hope it sticks). It’s called Stella Restaurant, opening November 1st by MasterChef winner, Dino Luciano, and will be dishing up authentic Sicilian-inspired vegan cuisine–a Toronto first.
The beloved Home of the Brave has shutdown, but don’t worry, Locals Only (from down below) is to be soon taking over the full space. Just think what they can do with more space for neon lights and #InstaWorthy bathrooms. Selfies galore!
If you haven’t heard already, Pick 6 has served up it’s last roll. After the shooting and recent flood damage, they decided to shut it down. But don’t worry, Drake isn’t done with the restaurant industry just yet. They are apparently working on reopening in the spring as a new concept.
A resurrection on the horizon, the event space on the Exhibition grounds, formerly known as Muzik nightclub, is said to be reimagined and will reopen in new year with an entirely new concept. It’s alive! Think Grand Bazaar meets delicious food.
The well known Top Chef Canada judge, and former executive chef of Lavelle and Goldie, chef Romain Avril is said to be opening a new restaurant concept called Neruda Restaurant in mid November. Paying homage to Latin, French, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern heritage. They’ll be giving you the meat sweats serving up some carnivore porn. Lets just say in a recent Instagram post, chef Avril confirmed that the new restaurant will sport a serious live fire grill by Grill Works. It’s intense!
The construction struggle is real! The 9500+ sqft, Zebu Steak + Bar, originally set to launch late this summer, and future home to Toronto’s first so called true “Wine Bar,” has further delayed their opening. The word out is it’s been pushed to early December. That said, they haven’t let these delays be too much of a burden, as they have definitely used it as an opportunity to continue to get their name out. They were recently seen at prominent events, including the TIFF boombox Halloween party and more.
The owners of the well known Brazilian rodizio style steakhouse, Copacabana opened a new location on Adelaide earlier this year. As if that wasn’t enough, they’re now opening a new restaurant on the lower level called Casa Fuego. An Argentinian Steakhouse with South American flare, set to open early November.
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This signage is definitely “caliente”!🔥 . Wicked lights at CASA FUEGO – an up and coming Argentinean + Peruvian Restaurant at Adelaide and Pearl in Toronto. @casafuegoto by @copacabanato 🇦🇷🇵🇪 . Opening soon, check them out! . Photo by @thatplantdad 📸 . RESTAURANTS x FOOD ~ 03 . @casafuegoto #casafuegoto #copacabana #torontonightlife #torontolifestyle #tastethesix #torontofood #yelptoronto #ritual #blogto @blogto @copacabana_vaughan @copacabana_eglinton @copacabanato @copacabana_eglinton @yelptoronto @ritual_co #torontofoodie #foodexperience #deliciousfood #steak #ceviche #latinfood #peruvianfood #finedining #signage #lighting #neonlights #caliente #FeedtheFire
Last month, the restaurant chain, Recipes Unlimited formerly Cara Operations’ systems were hacked forcing the chain to shut down a majority of their restaurant concepts, including Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s, Milestones, Kelseys, Montana’s, Bier Markt, and East Side Mario’s, for at least a day, or more. While others simply processed orders manually — not accepting credit or debit. The chain confirmed to CBC that their systems have been effected by the cyberattack but have not yet confirmed if any confidential information has been breeched. CBC reported that internal employees confirmed they seen ransom notes on company computers, and that the hackers are asking for bitcoin ransom.
The well known Hy’s Steakhouse on Adelaide is set to close its doors at the end of December 2018. But not for long, it’s scheduled to reopen in a new multi-level, 350+ seat new location, at Wildeboer Dellelce Place, 365 Bay St., spring 2019.
The Yorkville hotspot continues to attack the map. Bar Reyna is opening up a 3rd location (their 2nd full scale restaurant), in the lower east end, just north of the St Lawrence market area. A booming community, with the St Lawrence Market expanding across the street, commercial offices/co-working spaces, and condos opening up all around. The community is still going through gentrification, but definitely due for some new restaurant life. I’m sure out friends in the area at the St. Joseph Media, and also the Jane Gill PR offices will be very happy to hear.
Not Just a Hotel Facelift
The Adelaide Hotel, formerly the Trump Hotel, is rebranding yet again (including the residences), now as the Marriott group luxury brand, St. Regis. The word on the street is that they have delayed the launch until after Christmas to January 2019, and it will include a new luxury restaurant bar to their 31st floor of the hotel called, LOUIX LOUIS (which is said to be possibly ready for end of November).
UFC in The 6ix
There are rumors of a UFC fight coming to Toronto on December 7th.
Retail Shutdowns, Last Breaths, and New Beginnings
Danier leather makes another attempt to survive the evolving retail market. They recently reopened some of their old locations, including their flagship Eaton Centre location previously shutdown before the rebrand. The brand seems to be focusing on their Premiere outerwear collection and fur trims.
Toronto life coach, socialite, and notably stylish gent, Kassius Denizen, recently expanded his MR KAIZEN suiting brand with a soft launched pop-up inside the long standing Yorkville Italian menswear store, Borgo. Word out is that he will be taking over the full retail store in early 2019.
As the Eaton Centre expansion and restoration construction continues, the future home to the BMO team, and yet another restaurant concept. Said to be the first-in-class, on the top floor with an exterior south facing terrace. There is talks of it possibly being tied to a celebrity chef. Considering chef Gordon Ramsey’s frequent visits to Toronto, there’s speculation that it might be associated to him in some way. Now that Nobu is on it’s way, and Jamie Oliver having made Toronto one of the cities for his Italian restaurant concept, Toronto could definitely use a Hell’s Kitchen!
One of the cursed Toronto commercial corners, Yonge and Shuter St. is set to change yet again. Where the Urban Planet shut down this past summer, signs have recently gone up confirming that it will be replaced by Sweat & Tonic. A new 16,000 sqft fitness club, that will include three studios (yoga, high intensity interval training, and cycling), a cafe, bar, lounge, RMT, retail store, beauty bar, and events centre. The club is said to bring together the finest local fitness instructors in The 6ix, and the world’s most innovative fitness facility.
The Indigo’s Bloor and Bay St. renovation is said to be finally over — now lets hope the condo development there can soon be done. We can only hope for a life with no more leaky scaffolds, and cramped sidewalks down Bay St. south of Bloor St.
All the businesses at Yonge & Gerrard are closing. Eviction notices were served to longtime businesses last Friday, like the 17-year-old Doner Kebab House (one of Toronto’s first Turkish doner spots) and 15-year-old VIP Lounge & Billiards Club, frequented by local college students and more — officially giving owners until the end of the month to vacate the building at 385 Yonge St.