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Oct 15, 2007 11:25 AM

Omi is open?!?!?!

I passed through the Village this past weekend and found that Omi seemed to be open. Confusing, since I've read on this board that it was closing for some time. Additionally, there was a paper banner in the window proclaiming some sort of grand opening.

Is this the same Omi, or an impostor?

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  1. I think they just haven't changed the sign yet. As far as I know, it has already been sold to new owners so no chance for a grand Omi re-opening. Looking into it. Will update if I find anything out.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Googs

      There is a big banner that says "Grand Opening", the same blue awning that says OMI and a new neon sign that says "Omi Japanese and Thai Food"


      I'm guessing that it's a new owner capitalising on the existing name and signage. I can't imagine the old Omi serving japanese and thai food. next time I'm by on foot rather than car, I'll check in and see.

      1. re: orangewasabi

        I live in the neighbourhood, so I'll try to drop by soon as well. I also remember being a bit confused by the "Japanese & Thai" portion of the sign.

        1. re: orangewasabi

          If John Lee went Japanese/Thai that would shock me. I consider him a purist. If it's true that someone else is using it, I think it pretty disgusting that the Omi name is being used and diluted in this manner. No matter though. Whatever the new place is called I'm sure it'll be a household name in no time flat. Perhaps with a TM after it next time.

          1. re: Googs

            If Lee sold the business, doesn't the name come with it?

            1. re: Edith S

              Lee didn't sell the business. He didn't renew his lease agreement as he had a deal for a new location that was all but inked. Until things went awry.

              I'm not a lawyer, but I'll take a shot at your question. It depends. Did he own the name and, even if yes, did he trademark it? In the case of the defunct Betty Ford, the club owners owned the rights to the name in Canada. Betty Ford herself could do nothing about it. The new pub in it's place could only be called Betty's since they took over only the location, not the name. You'd be crazy to give up a trademark like that.

      2. As someone who knows John, I can tell you that John did sell the business including the name. He is not opening another sushi place any time soon as far as I know. He did not, contrary to other posts, have a deal to lease other space, and his lease on Church was not up for another 18 months. I wish John well in whatever comes next for him, and we are all certainly hard pressed to find any sushi in Toronto that compares.

        1 Reply
        1. re: PJO2007

          If John Lee is getting out of the business I'd like to know now. I'll need time to prepare my last will & testament.