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A few long-shuttered spaces have come back to life as restaurants attuned to the post-lockdown landscape
It seemed like a busy long weekend for many Toronto restaurants, with major streets now lined with sidewalk patios full of diners and partiers out supporting the local economy. With all the foot traffic despite the constant threat of rain, it must’ve been a good time to launch a new spot.
Several new restaurants, takeout places and coffee spots opened in the past week – including a few that have brought long-shuttered spaces in Kensington Market, Dundas West and Parkdale back to life with new spots attuned to the post-lockdown dining-scape.
Here are the Toronto restaurants that opened and closed for the week of July 28-August 3.
Five-month-old Dovercourt Park ice cream shop the Neighbourhood Scoop has closed to address complaints from a local resident with the city of Toronto, according to an Instagram post.
Middle Eastern takeout joint the Haifa Room has launched a window serving falafel, sabich and veggie sandwiches. The restaurant, which plans to open for indoor dining, has moved into the corner spot at Dundas and Ossington that was previously home to a pharmacy, Schmaltz Appetizing and then Anthony Rose’s taco joint Gordy Smiles.
224 Ossington, instagram.com/thehaifaroom
A new Mediterranean spot serving up grilled chicken meals (topped with the restaurant’s namesake pepper) opened over the long weekend in Kensington Market. Friggitello has taken over the corner spot previously home to San Cosme.
181 Baldwin, friggitello.ca
The fast-casual Peruvian spot serving up warm bowls and salads has opened in the Junction. The emphasis is on quick and healthy but they’ve also got a shaded patio if you want to dine outside.
297 Campbell, brasaperuvian.com
A family-run snack spot serving up Brazilian street food, including empanadas, tapioca crepes, churros and pastels (a spring-roll-like empanada), is now open on the waterfront.
390 Queens Quay West, brazilbox.ca
Italian pizza and pasta spot Quadro Ristorante has moved into the Little Italy space previously home to Sidecar, which boasts a sizeable back patio.
577 College, quadroristorante.com
St. Clair West has some new, minimalist signage courtesy of soft-launched coffee spot Būno, which is offering a mix of local and international roasts from a space on Lauder.
136 Lauder, instagram.com/bunocoffeeto
The massive back patio in the Parkdale space formerly known as Cadillac Lounge has been taken over by Octopus Garden, an atmospheric dining space full of greenery.
Fried chicken sandwich connoisseurs, take note: this Markham fried chicken takeout joint has expanded with a second location in North York at Yonge and Sheppard.
4716 Yonge, instagram.com/superchickennnnn
Night clubs are open with heavy restrictions, but if you’re not ready hit a reduced-capacity step 3 dancefloor just yet, why not try an Italo disco-themed pasta place? The space also has a private party room that includes karaoke and dancers.
216 Ossington, sprezzaturaspaghettidisco.com
It was only a matter of time before someone seized on the drive-in trend and did a retro carhop. The Dusty Star Drive-In Diner pop-up is transforming the Galleria Mall parking into a retro-50s oasis, complete with servers on roller skates and DJs spinning classic tunes.
Late in the summer, the city of Toronto is launching a new prix fixe restaurant promotion program – just don’t call it Summerlicious. Set to run from September 17 to October 3, DineTOgether will see see participating eateries offer at least one two-course feature menu (a main dish plus appetizer or dessert).