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Amato in Leslieville

Vise May 18, 2007 10:35 AM

Went to Kristapson's for some smoked salmon this morning and was surprised to see an Amato is about to open at Queen & Pape. They've taken over the burger joint on the north side of Queen just east of Pape, from the looks of things they are ready to open any day now. Say what you will about their business practices in the past... but I've had some pretty decent slices from Amato back in the day (from the College & Bathurst location). Will be interesting to see what the quality is like, hopefully it'll be a nice place to stop in for a slice while on the run.

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  1. vorpal RE: Vise May 18, 2007 01:03 PM

    I, for one, am excited to hear this, as it's close enough to walk over for me!

    I'm still fairly new to Toronto (just a couple years) and I never had the chance to try Amato until I heard that it had gone way downhill. Nonetheless, I gave both their Queen W and Yonge / College locations a go and enjoyed the experience enough to repeat it a few times.

    1. e
      enviro_123 RE: Vise May 19, 2007 09:45 AM

      Oh my, I am super excited. Is this a take out only location or are there some tables to eat at.

      I love Amato's pizza. I usually go to the one at yonge and college. Too bad they don't have much seating and it's alway hot in there.

      I am eager and pleased to check out my local leslieville location.

      1 Reply
      1. re: enviro_123
        cord RE: enviro_123 May 22, 2007 08:46 AM

        Regardless of what anyone thinks of Amato, just wanted to share that I drove by the Leslieville location yesterday, and it looked open. Also, I did see several tables/chairs inside.

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        superizzy RE: Vise May 20, 2007 02:40 PM

        Personally i wouldnt get my hopes up.

        Amato used to be so good when it first opened, but it has pretty much sucked for years.

        Time will tell

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          childofthestorm RE: Vise May 21, 2007 08:38 AM

          I'm pretty excited, not so much out of any great love for Amato (or the business practices of at least one, now dead, location). It'll just be good to have some place close by where I can pick up a quick slice. More street eats will help round out the nighbourhood, which is doing great in terms of fine-dining and casual-dining spots.

          7 Replies
          1. re: childofthestorm
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            torontofunk RE: childofthestorm May 22, 2007 06:52 AM

            It shouldn't matter how good the pizza is or how easy to access, Amato's is known for poor business practice and I refuse to support anyone who doesn't pay their employees. Regardless of if it's been resolved by now or not.

            1. re: torontofunk
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              childofthestorm RE: torontofunk May 22, 2007 11:01 AM

              I know that issue was with one location, which is now closed. So wouldn't that just be a problem with one specific franchise owner? Anyone have any more information on this?

              1. re: childofthestorm
                OnDaGo RE: childofthestorm May 22, 2007 12:15 PM

                I know the location in the Queen Street market has been locked out several times for failure to pay rent (at least three times in two years). So I assume even if they paid their employees their pay was never secure as they would show up to work and find themselves locked out and I would assume not paid for the few weeks till the issue was resolved..

                1. re: OnDaGo
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                  torontofunk RE: OnDaGo May 22, 2007 01:59 PM

                  I looked online and there's no info to purchase your own franchise so it appears as though it's one owner, various locations - I could be mistaken on this though. Regardless, with the failure to pay employees, I also found various health violations from the City of Toronto. They're old (2001) violations from a certain location but coupled with the pay issue, which outrages me as a former server, I hope that people stay away. So franchise or not, there's obviously no rules for franchisees regarding business practice and that comes from the top down.

                  1. re: OnDaGo
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                    childofthestorm RE: OnDaGo May 22, 2007 02:00 PM

                    Yes, I never eat there. I guess I'm just wondering, is Amato a franchise situation? Because if it's just one bad egg, then I wouldn't want to take a stand against the franchisee in Leslieville who could be an honest person trying to make a living.

                    If however this is a problem that is endemic with Amato the company as a whole, then yes, I won't be supporting it either.

                    1. re: childofthestorm
                      deelicious RE: childofthestorm May 22, 2007 05:12 PM

                      I know Amato has franchised locations but I do not know the details for this new one.

                      I would imagine that you could find out by going in and asking.

                  2. re: childofthestorm
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                    murpho RE: childofthestorm Jul 25, 2007 01:42 AM

                    Most of the Amato restaurants in Toronto are now owned by franchisees, the owners sold them off over the past couple of years to pay debts. Prior to those sales, the stores were owned by the same person who owned the Queen & Bathurst location, who I believe is the same person who opened the newest Amato at Queen & Pape. This guy is a very bad businessman, he doesn't pay bills and eventually he won't pay his employees. I couldn't find a dinesafe listing for that location, I wonder if it's been inspected yet.

              2. vorpal RE: Vise May 29, 2007 01:52 PM

                Does anyone have a phone number for this location? Amato hasn't updated their website to reflect it and I can't seem to find it online.

                Can you call the main number to order pick up? I don't know how this works.

                (BTW... they are definitely open. I passed by on a streetcar on Saturday.)

                4 Replies
                1. re: vorpal
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                  dragonflygrl RE: vorpal May 29, 2007 02:20 PM

                  The phone number is 416-463-1818. The guy behind the counter said that they would deliver pretty far, (or at least as far as the Beaches.)

                  1. re: dragonflygrl
                    vorpal RE: dragonflygrl May 29, 2007 03:01 PM

                    I had no idea that they delivered! It never mentioned anything like that on their website. This is fantastic news for me! (Or possibly bad news, as I predict a rapidly expanding waistline.) Thanks for this info!

                    1. re: dragonflygrl
                      vorpal RE: dragonflygrl May 29, 2007 03:08 PM

                      That phone number doesn't work... it gives me a Bell Canada voicemail...

                      1. re: dragonflygrl
                        vorpal RE: dragonflygrl May 29, 2007 04:32 PM

                        Ermmm.... I was wrong. Sorry! The phone number does work. If their line is busy, though, it goes to an uninformative voicemail system :).

                        Incidentally, for now they only take cash, both at store and on delivery, and their pizza is pretty good! I enjoyed my dinner.

                    2. Leslieville RE: Vise Jul 20, 2007 01:54 PM

                      Went in to Amato Pizza today to give it a try, but I would definitely not bother going back. Ordered a slice with Pesto ,sun-dried tomato, mushrooms, and grilled chicken. I didn't realize before-hand that there was no cheese. The crust was thin (but hard) and it was the driest pizza I have ever had, also the most flavorless! You almost needed 2 drinks to get this down. I can't believe I'm about to say this, but even the dreaded Pizza pizza does a better slice and I hate P.P. Also the service was very curt and unfriendly, so I will spend my money elsewhere. And before you ask, I went in at about 11:30 and you would not expect the pizzas to be dried out already. But since there were 15 pizzas out on display, that would explain the dryness.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Leslieville
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                        embee RE: Leslieville Jul 20, 2007 04:00 PM

                        I was walking by at about 2:00 one afternoon and was hungry. I've made a point of avoiding Amato after learning about some of their employment practices, but assumed this brand new location, by definition, hadn't been involved. I recalled some good Amato slices in years past. Did I say I was hungry?

                        The place was unchanged from its previous incarnation as a Steak Queen. It looked really worn and ratty, but not actually dirty. Their pizzas on display were not labeled and the counter guy didn't seem eager to explain anything. He was, indeed, curt and unfriendly. Midway through my order (for one slice!), he took a personal phone call. Then he took a second call from someone wanting to know their location. Then he put my slice in the oven.

                        I chose the same slice as Leslieville mentioned above. I also didn't realize that it had no cheese. The toppings were not adhered to the slice and about half of the toppings fell on the floor. I had already paid and a replacement slice was not an option. The crust wasn't awful, but it wasn't fresh. Only the sun dried tomato had any taste, and it was overwhelming. The bits of chicken were dried out. Slice prices were not posted. This slice cost $4.00. Most of it went into the trash. Did I mention I was hungry?

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