SaveTheRealJerk.com, a protest launched Monday to stop the closing of beloved Queen E. Caribbean restaurant, is a bit of a misnomer. The Real Jerk, on the corner of Queen E. and Broadview, isn't going to be saved. It isn't quite doomed either - its catering business is thriving.
Besides that, the building the restaurant was renting for 24 some years has been for sale for a few years now. So the eviction was inevitable, or at least shouldn't have come as a surprise.
As cruel as the 30-day eviction notice seems, there's not much more that can be done to "save" the restaurant.
There are already rumours that condos will be developed in the space, even as the curry is still being served in the Real Jerk.
But the Save The Real Jerk campaign has other bones to pick, particularly with the city's treatment of small businesses.
Owners Ed and Lily Pottinger made the petition site to sound the alarm. They say other small businesses in the area will face the same fate if there aren't proper land-use protections put in place.
"My wife and I have worked our whole lives to bring great food and hospitality to this part of Toronto," he said. "Long before it was fashionable, we were pioneers. Before the lofts, before the condos, before the décor shops, before the espresso bars, and before the land speculators, there was The Real Jerk."
You can sense the spite toward wealthy developers here, but you only need to take a look around the condofied areas of Toronto to see Pottinger has a point. What place do small, family-run restaurants have in a city populated with expensive skyscraper condos?
"City Hall has to know that through the development process they are affecting small business owners and the people they employ," says Pottinger.