A sloppy farewell to Dangerous Dan’s Diner

The Riverdale burger joint's last days, in photos


If Dangerous Dan’s could be summed up in a single word, it would be salty – in word, deed, and flavour. The famously, charmingly rough-around-the-edges diner, which closed this week after 18 years, was a relic of a bygone era – a time when messy, massive burgers, with evocative names the Big Kevorkian, were sold in defibrillator-worthy portions for well under a tenner, and a Costco-sized order of onion rings went for just over $5 a time when we still remembered who Jack Kevorkian even was a time when restaurant staff could get away with verbally berating paying customers, and one another, and you’d still happily come back for more the following weekend.

That era has finally passed, thanks to the tides of change sweeping through Riverside. When Pizza Nova snapped up 714 Queen East (presumably smelling cold, hard cash, thanks to the spot’s proximity to the incoming Broadview Hotel), McKinnon was presented with an 80% rent increase and decided to throw in the grease-spattered towel for good. He’d originally put the spot up for sale in 2015, seeking to take a step back from the stress of running a diner – but, as a (very passive-aggressive, and very Dangerous Dan’s) note over the cash register read during the restaurant’s last few days: “No, we didn’t want to close.”

Judging by the lines that wrapped around the building’s exterior in the last few days of service, Toronto wasn’t quite ready to let go, either. Our hearts are heavy – even if our arteries feel cleaner already.

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Natalia Manzocco

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Natalia Manzocco

nataliam@nowtoronto.com | @nataliamanzocco

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