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Jun 1, 2006 04:31 PM

Leslieville area question.

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Do any of you South Riverdale people know why East End Appliances is applying for a liquour licence? I found that very interesting . Perhaps Kudo Radio is expanding, since they are their next door neighbour. Any opinions, or better yet, accurate info?

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  1. I believe the liquor license application is for a patio for Kubo radio. Perhaps the sign just looks like it's in EE appliances window... That's how it looked to me last night when I passed by.

    1. New Italian resto going in there! Yay!

      1 Reply
      1. re: chefcliff

        Seriously? Did the appliance place close down or something? All appeared normal the other day but I probably wasn't paying attention.

      2. Kubo Radio is opening a pizza place in that space. Given my personal experience with Kubo Radio, I'm not waiting with baited breath, but will try it at least once - because it's there. I have low hopes for any Kubo-owned establishment.

        The used appliance store was once the main "destination store" in the neighbourhood, so its departure + Starbuck's arrival are a socio-anthropologically significant pair of events ;-)

        The appliance store is moving to the dead zone between Leslieville and the Beach, somewhere around Queen and Jones.

        24 Replies
        1. re: embee

          Cool... I'll reserve judgement until I've tried it out. Either way I'm excited by the prospect, always up for another dining option in the 'hood vs a used appliance store. Seems like lots of new places/openings lately and more to come, all goodness imo.

          1. re: embee

            Embee- At what point in time was East End Appliances the main "destination store "of the neighbourhood? Anyway I'm just glad to see that I'm not nuts, and that at one time I did actually see a liquor licence application in their window!!

            1. re: Leslieville

              For many years since I moved here in 1989, the only reason people came here to shop was at East End (used) Appliances or Usher's (damaged) groceries. Now people come here from all over Toronto to eat.

            2. re: embee

              Hmm Queen and Jones is the "dead zone" and not Leslieville? Embee, you don't consider Gio's, Tomi-Kro, Edward Levesque, Leslie Jones, etc. to be Leslieville restaurants?

              Feeling a little defensive here, ha ha. I didn't realize I bought a house in a dead zone, seems pretty nice to me!

              1. re: childofthestorm

                Of course I consider those places to be Leslieville restaurants.

                By dead zone, I mean for retail, much like Danforth dies a bit east of Pape. New businesses are spreading west from the Beach and east from Broadview. You are kind of in the middle. You've got some great restaurants there, but there's very little pedestrian traffic along Queen (except for the Riverdale Art Walk weekend).

                I think Tango Palace Coffee was among the first of the "new guard" businesses, and there are retro shops galore, but the Jones vicinity is still a place for businesses to mainly take advantage of relatively low rents.

                Don't be defensive - it'll just take another couple of years. I was uncomfortable walking along Booth Ave north of Queen after dark for many years. Now houses on that street have sold for $600,000 and Joy Bistro's patio anchors one end. It's great.

                1. re: embee

                  Embee- I hate to disagree with you again,but I moved here in 1985 and I still don't know anyone who has gone to East End aplliances! Especially when there was a Sears in Gerrard Square which really was a destination for appliances. People came from East of Young for that. Also, I see a lot of foot traffic over here east of Jones , going to the restaurants, retro stores and now the bakeries. On these great Spring days there's loads of people out walking around almost to Greenwood.

                  1. re: Leslieville

                    I'm not sure we really disagree - I think we are misunderstanding each other.

                    Queen Street restaurants were targeted to the working poor and folks on welfare. While a few places (Jim's Westerns, Mr Frankfurt's Chili, and the Real Jerk) had some out of the nabe clientele, people definitely didn't come down here to eat. Some did come to buy used appliances (especially on student budgets), and those people weren't going to Sears.

                    (Remember, also, that until Eaton's failed, Gerrard Square was the only Sears store in central Toronto.)

                    I didn't shop at E.E. Applicance myself, but most of my then neighbours did. My current neighbours didn't shop there, and rents here are rising fast, so they've moved to where stores rent for less. (I'm guessing, though don't know, that they owned their two buildings and sold or rented them to Kubo.)

                    There's another store movement that may help clarify my point. Cajun Corner moved in the opposite direction, from Greenwood to Logan.

                    Incidentally, I wouldn't consider Gerrard Square to be part of Leslieville. It's tucked between Leslieville, Chinatown, Little India, and Riverdale, and has no identity of its own. It's hard to believe that the original owners, Steinberg Supermarkets in Montreal, planned it as a showplace. The new owners haven't figured out what they want it to be, and there are few stores (and no food-related businesses) catering to me. I can't speak for you, of course.

                    I don't see "Chinatown East', which, sadly, seems to be dying, and "Little India", which seems to be flourishing as having a "Leslieville" identity.

                    Leslieville is a quite recent real estate creation, and the restaurant boom is definitely an important part of this phenomenon. In 1985, my neighbourhood (near Queen/Logan) was just the South Riverdale Slums. Now it is a trendy place in which to live. It will be interesting to see how Loblaws targets the announced expansion/redesign of their Leslieville store.

                    Within the next few years, the entire stretch from Broadview to the Beach will likely rival the Queen West of twenty years ago or the Danforth thirty years ago. But it's not there yet.

                    1. re: embee

                      Here is some history on Leslieville - it has a foodie beginning as a key area where market gardeners provided food to the big city across the Don river .... (not a recent realestate creation)

                      Leslieville began as a small village back in the 1850's. The village grew up around the Toronto Nurseries owned by George Leslie and sons, after whom this neighbourhood is named. Most of Leslieville's residents were either market gardeners or were employed at one of several brick making companies that used to operate in the area. One of the first buildings in the village was the Leslieville Public School, built in 1863. Leslieville's first principal was Alexander Muir who composed "The Maple Leaf Forever".
                      Muir's poetic verse was inspired when a brilliant autumn maple leaf fell from a Leslieville tree onto his jacket. That maple tree is still standing today and has become Leslieville's most famous landmark. It is designated by an historic plaque at the intersection of Laing Street and Memory Lane.

                    2. re: Leslieville

                      Well, it is too bad if you missed Reggie and his swearing parrot at East End Appliance. I've got many a deal from him and considered him a bit of a fixture.

                      I love that Queen East has so many great new restaurants, I'm just not ready for it to become too gentrified. Danforth moved through this phase and became a destination area for mostly middle of the road restaurants.

                      1. re: Mila

                        I'm just waiting for someone to open up a bloody bar. Not a gastropub, not a tapas-and-drinks place. A BAR.

                        1. re: childofthestorm

                          have you been to The Comrade yet? I'm looking to stop by this weekend.

                          1. re: dlw88

                            Not yet, been meaning to check it out, although for me that area is a bit far (and more Riverside than Leslieville if one is being nitpicky).

                            Also curious to check out Lolabar's patio at Dundas and Carlaw.

                            I just end up at Strat's a little more than I would like, and if a cool spot opened in that area I would be all over it.

                            1. re: childofthestorm

                              The problem with Dundas/Carlaw is nobody on the street. The place on the corner changes constantly, sometimes more than once a year. It isn't always a food place or bar. Do check it out and advise.

                              1. re: childofthestorm

                                i've been to the comrade a few times and found it quite enjoyable. the owners are the same people who own 'leigh+james' furniture store at queen/spadina, as you may be able to tell from the furniture (thai-indonesian). on both occassions, the service has been down-to-earth, friendly and we've had some tasty cocktails. also had a tasty veg sandwich there prior to their liquor-license approval.

                                since moving into the area two years ago, i've been hoping for a bar or two to open up so that i've got a place nearby where i can meet up w/ friends. hoping that it does well.

                              2. re: dlw88

                                Let us know how The Comrade is, looks pretty cool and I read a decent review elsewhere. Its mucho close so it could end up being a refuge when I need to get away from the wife/kid. :-)

                              3. re: childofthestorm

                                Well, there's Velvet (north side between Logan and Carlaw) but cool it definitely is not.

                                1. re: embee

                                  No sir it is not. My wife won't go in there, it's a bit too sketched out for her.

                                  1. re: childofthestorm

                                    In my opinon, Velvet is not sketchy at all. Maybe it was once, but now it's clean and friendly and full of (seemingly) middle-class folk. A nice, relaxed place. And their fries are tasty!

                                    1. re: sleepymiffy

                                      Food at Velvet is good then? The boast on the window (better than your mother's?) certainly has intrigued me.

                                      Believe me, I hang out in pretty sketchy bars when it's me and the boys - but my wife, not so much.

                                      1. re: childofthestorm

                                        Velvet is so not cool that I'm cool in comparison, and the seating could be more comfortable, but it isn't sketchy at all. Their regular (female) cook is actually very good and most of their food is fresh. (When she is off, one of the bartenders cooks and quality goes down, but it's still pretty good.)

                                        They're sort of caught between the old and new people in the area and their attempt at a trendy Sunday brunch flopped, but there's nothing wrong with the place or its patrons. I can't say you'd want to hang out there, but there's no reason not to check it out. Just don't expect "cool".

                                        1. re: childofthestorm

                                          The food is okay. I've only had the steak sandwich and it was fine, but nothing terribly special. The fries are tasty and cheap and huge. I like Velvet because it _isn't_ cool.. it's just a regular bar. They play eclectic music, but not so loud that you can't hear yourself talk. It's pretty nice, actually. And I don't feel sketched out at all there (me = small, 30-yr old woman).

                                          1. re: sleepymiffy

                                            Ha, I'll check it out. I don't really care so much about cool, I mean, we spend time at Strat's - mainly because the food is great. My wife, who is Indian, loves the curries there.

                                            1. re: childofthestorm

                                              More a burgers/nachos/wings kind of place. Steaks reasonably priced and OK, but not a wow. Cook is Greek and some of the Greek food is very good (though the Greek salad isn't). Fish & chips is usually (not always) OK. No curries or pizzas, the two things Strats does best, but their other food is probably better than the comparable stuff at Strats

                                              1. re: embee

                                                I really like The Velvet. It's a comfortable neighbourhood, with lots of regulars, decent prices and good food. The main menu is pretty standard pub fare, but it's done well, and they have some fun with the specials. I live around the corner. My wife and I go there regularly. The service can be slow, but we just kick back, talk to neighbours and put money in the jukebox.