The pandemic continues to create an uncertain landscape for Toronto restaurants. Average daily COVID-19 case counts are declining in Ontario but colder weather is forcing more people (with vaccine passports) to dine indoors where capacity is limited.
But the situation doesn’t seem to be slowing the pace of restaurant, bakery and bar openings. This week, a handful of well-known casual and takeout chains are opening new locations in the city. And a British tea and Indian street food brand is touching down in Scarborough.
Goth and metal fans also have a cause for celebration: a horror-themed pop-up bar is getting ready to launch in the weeks leading up to Halloween.
Here are the Toronto restaurants that opened and closed for the week of September 29-October 5.
Toronto restaurants that closed
The Cabbagetown izakaya restaurant is closing down after nine years. However, the owners are planning to open a new business “with a completely new business model” and a new brand name in the same location. Stay tuned to Instagram for future details.
Queen and Spadina gelato spot Kekou is calling it quits when its lease comes to an end on October 10. “Our Yonge location will remain open during the spring/summer season,” the operators wrote on Instagram.
Toronto restaurants that opened
Local healthy eats and coffee chain Impact Kitchen has opened a fifth location in Liberty Village.
99 Atlantic, instagram.com/impactkitchen
Jimmy’s Coffee has been a west-side staple for years. Now the east end is getting a taste: the chain is opening a Leslieville location on Friday, October 8.
806 Queen East, jimmyscoffee.ca
Horror, goth and metal fans take note: a Halloween-themed pop-up bar called Black Lagoon is getting ready to open. It promises nightly shows, “immersive” decor and a mysterious back-room in addition to a selection of over-the-top cocktails. Runs October 14-31.
875 Bloor West, blacklagoonpopup.com
After soft-launching earlier this summer, Korean restaurant and soju bar Dalbam is officially open in the space that previously housed Asahi Sushi on Church just south of Bloor.
640 Church, instagram.com/dalbam_toronto
Brown Donkatsu and Ramen
The Markham-based Korean donkatsu restaurant is expanding with a second location in North York on October 12. Takeout and dine-in deals will be on offer.
6024 Yonge, browndonkatsuramen.com
UK-based Indian street food chain Chaiiwala has made a move across the Atlantic and opened a location in Scarborough.
55 Lebovic, instagram.com/chaiiwalaca
Loop Line Wine & Food
Seaton Village has a new wine bar and bottle shop courtesy of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Stratus Vineyards and Toronto’s CRU Wine Merchants.
643 Dupont, loopwine.com
Long-running Queen West bistro Peter Pan’s pandemic pivot pantry business has opened in a dedicated space next door to the restaurant. In addition to wine and groceries, the shop has a small bar, a small menu and an espresso machine.
371 Queen West, peterpantry.ca
Queen West has a Halal pizza option thanks to 6ix Pizzas, which is now open just west of Bathurst.
638 Queen West, 6ixpizzas.com
After opening on Lawrence West a couple weeks ago, the Food Dudes’ catering and combo-box-focused Pantry has reopened in the PATH at Richmond-Adelaide Centre.
120 Adelaide, instagram.com/orderpantry