This week’s Toronto restaurant roundup unfortunately features more permanent closures. They run the spectrum – from 10-year-old restaurant Paintbox Bistro to Crosley’s, which just opened last year.
Some Quebec restaurants are also making moves in Toronto, with popular shawarma spot Boustan opening in Scarborough and Mandy’s hinting at an opening in the coming weeks.
Here are the restaurants and bars that opened and closed for the week of January 12 to January 18.
Toronto restaurants closing permanently
Chris Klugman, owner and founder of Paintbox Bistro announced last week that the Regent Park restaurant closed “effective immediately.” “This 22-month-long pandemic with no end in sight has simply been too much to manage. With a new surge and other variants on the horizon, with a renewed government lockdown and cancelled catering, Paintbox is out of financial resources and no longer tenable,” Klugman said in his message.
Pablo Cheese Tart
Known for their popular Japanese cheese tarts, Pablo Cheese Tart will be closing its Dundas location on January 22. The team says their new store will open by the end of March in Markham. In the meantime, they’re also figuring out how to serve their food in downtown Toronto.
Elchi Chai Shop
After nearly five years, the Harbord Village cafe that served chai and popular Indian treats like paratha wraps announced on Instagram that they’re closing on January 30. The team says they plan on selling loose leaf chai “in the coming months.”
The West Queen West restaurant that closed temporarily back in December is now closing permanently. “Because of the Covid impact on the business our financial partners have decided not to continue to finance the operation,” the team said via Instagram. Crosley’s started out as a popular dinner pop-up at Bar Piquette before opening its stand-alone location.
New Toronto restaurant openings
Royal Caribbean Cafe
The St. Clair West restaurant has reopened its doors on January 12, according to its Facebook page. In late 2021 the restaurant temporarily closed so that Chef Ainsley could recover from his knee surgery.
1127 St Clair West, Royal Caribbean Cafe
This “upscale casual” Mediterranean restaurant in the Entertainment District announced January 13 that they are officially open. Currently only available for takeout, Petros 82 offers Greek meals like moussaka, kefte, courcouti cod and bifteki.
299 Adelaide West, @petros82.to
Quebec’s popular Lebanese restaurant officially opened its doors in Toronto on January 11. Boustan is known for its shawarma wraps, falafels, tabouleh and kebbe.
2072 Lawrence East, @boustanrestaurant
Speaking of Quebec spots, this gourmet Montreal salad spot is also opening in Toronto. Mandy’s posted on Instagram that they are in the “last stages of decorating” the space before they open, which they expect will be in a few weeks.
Bold Food Hub
The Baldwin Village mini-food hall had a soft opening on January 14 and is hosting three popular restaurants from China: Three Kingdoms Pizza, A Bite of Sichuan and Fortune Tea Canada. You can grab food and drinks like guokui (a crispy flatbread pizza) from Three Kingdoms, Chengdu-inspired street food from A Bite of Sichuan and bubble tea from Fortune Tea.
5 Baldwin, @biteofsichuan, @threekingdomspizza and @fortuneteacanada
More Toronto food news
The AGO launched a virtual chef talk series called Foodways. In an email to NOW, the team says the talks aim to spark conversation on the intersectionality of food techniques. January in particular focuses on chefs of the Caribbean diaspora. Their next talk takes place on January 21 and features Chef La-toya Fagon, who’s known for combining Caribbean and Mediterranean cuisine. She is also the owner of Twist Catering and a personal chef to the Toronto Raptors.