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The old Vesuvio's location gets a new tenant, a buzzy taco pop-up shuts down and Maker Pizza heads east
The fourth wave is creating a landscape of uncertainty for Toronto restaurants (and everyone else), but new openings continue apace. In particular, online food businesses and pandemic pivots are setting up storefronts.
This month, a micro-bakery is taking over an iconic location in the Junction, Bar Volo’s bottle shop opens in the Royal Cinema lobby and one of the summer’s buzziest taco pop-ups shuts down – in preparation for opening a permanent spot.
Meanwhile, a Yorkville staple is closing down until times are more certain and a luxury steakhouse hit with a COVID-19 outbreak is back online.
Here is this week’s roundup of Toronto restaurants happenings for the week of August 18-24.
After five years, Charbrol is calling it quits – for now. The bistro moved from Yorkville to a more spacious location at 156 Cumberland early last year, but then COVID hit. “A year and a half into this pandemic, we find ourselves in an uncertain situation,” the owners wrote on Instagram. “The majority of our regular clientele are not ready for indoor dining and we completely understand where they are coming from. Safety above all else. As a result we have decided to close Chabrol down until things are truly under control.
Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo’s buzzy taco pop-up at Queen and Spadina is officially over. Its Instagram is gone, but fear not: a new restaurant called Fonda Balam is coming soon to 802 Dundas West (at Palmerston).
The new bottle shop and retail space from the folks at Bar Volo has officially opened in the Royal Cinema lobby. The expansion means neighbouring watering hole Birreria Volo, which pivoted to retail during COVID, can once again make room for indoor seating.
608 College, instagram.com/bar_volo
Chef Matty Matheson announced last week that Maker Pizza has opened a third location – the local chain’s first in the east end. It’s open for pick-up and delivery Wednesday through Sunday.
388 Carlaw, makerpizza.com
The Junction storefront that housed pizza place Vesuvio for 63 years is coming back to life. Micro-bakery Noctua Bread is soft-launching a permanent home at the Dundas West spot, operating for pick-up only ahead of an official grand opening launch. “We have big shoes to fill, but are both humbled and excited by this very special opportunity,” the owners wrote on Instagram.
3014 Dundas West, noctuabreadproject.com
One of our favourite east-end takeout spots is opening a second location in Etobicoke. Sala is a go-to on the Danforth for exceptional Thai food and now the west side can more easily sample its elegant creations.
20 Lockport, salakitchen.com
Saporito Caffe opened last weekend near the corner of Yonge and Broadway in a space formerly occupied by David’s Tea. They offer Italian coffee, gelato, pastries, smoothies and other goodies.
2389 Yonge. saporitocaffe.com
Coffee spot Terminal 3 has soft launched on Lake Shore West and is giving free drinks to the first seven customers daily as part of an opening campaign.
3337 Lake Shore West, t3roasters.com
60 Harbour, harbour60.com
Controversy has not stopped the American fast-food chain’s expansion plans. It just opened another Toronto location in Scarborough Town Centre.
300 Borough, chick-fil-a.ca
The Canadian grocer has a 35th location in Regent Park and it features a Middle Eastern takeout counter run by Paramount. The two companies have been piloting the takeout concept since last year will continue to roll out more locations.
683 Dundas East, rabba.com
Vietnamese sandwich and street food shop Lamhan Banh Mi is now up and running in Koreatown.
733 Bloor West, lamhan.ca
Former Woodlot pasta chef Jess Maiorano is turning online business Pasta Forever into a brick-and-mortar spot. She announced on Instagram that the location is on Dundas West. She’s aiming to be up and running by early November.
Shaggy is scheduled to bring the Bandshell Park stage back to life at Exhibition Place as the headliner of Fall Beerfest T.O. on September 24. Dwayne Gretzky will headline the second day on September 25. Full details and ticket info here.
Free food alert: If you’re in town on Labour Day weekend, the burger joint is giving a way free burgers from their food truck Trailhead Place (Ontario Place Blvd and Remembrance). The company promises a “never-before-tasted burger featuring a secret ingredient.” Hours are Saturday-Monday, noon-7 pm.