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May 28, 2008 06:21 AM

Shopsy's making way for Oliver Bonacini

According to the Globe and Mail today, Shopsy's at Front & Yonge will be moving to be replaced with an Oliver Bonacini Cafe Grill. This after a major dispute with landlord and lawsuits involving the owner of Irish Embassy and PJ O'Brien's (who also own Shopsy's) --

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  1. Wow... Biff's is already beside Shopsy's, so I guess they're trying to corner the market there.

    2 Replies
      1. re: OnDaGo

        LOL! Glad to see it go though, never been a fan of Shopys.

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. Shopsys: Home of the worlds smallest Montreal smoked meat sandwiches

        1. I must admit, that my patronage of the Shopy's on Front has been all but non-existent of late....but I still do have fond memories of eating there as a kid with the was always kind of fun.

          But I must add, is there really a need for an O&B café? At one point, the location at Bayview was a standard meeting spot simply for convenience. I have never been a big fan of their menu.

          1. Nobody who's into deli will miss Shopsy's. I feel a bit sorry for the Irish pub guy who bought the place, but them's the breaks when you want to play in the real estate big leagues.

            Shopsy's branded products have been really bad since long before I came to Toronto in 1970. However, the deli on Spadina remained a good fressing place until the early eighties. Yonge St never was, nor were any of their other various branches.

            I don't know why Unilever bought a Toronto deli, and they wrecked it pretty thoroughly. The various investors who've owned it since, some of them Jewish, didn't make it any better. Putting (the previously estranged brother) Izzy Shopsowitz at the door when his own deli crashed added a bit of ambiance, but it sure didn't help the food. I think poor Izzy actually died there.

            Shopsy's doesn't deserve an "RIP", since they died at least 25 years ago and only a corpse lived on.

            5 Replies
            1. re: embee

              Yep... good riddance. Brutal, brutal food. Went once last year and vowed never to return.

              An additional Oliver Bonacini's better suits that area, anyway.

              1. re: spades

                There was a time, more than 10 years ago, when you could still go there for a decent tuna melt and fries and sit on the nice patio and people watch and it was a decent, quick, cheap lunch. It has been bad for years.

                That's funny, you're right that Oliver Bonacini's better "suits" that area. Although it might have been interesting to see what the other guy had in mind for it, since both the Irish Embassy and P.J. O'Brien's are decent, for what they are and are very popular in the area.

              2. re: embee

                Isn't the Irish pub guy Quinn some big time hockey dude?

                1. re: Dimbulb

                  No, it seems the pub guy just has the same name as the "hockey dude" and this has led to confusion in the past, including in write ups in magazines that should know better. Pat Quinn, publican of Irish Embassy and P. J. Obrien's fame is not the same person as Pat Quinn, former NHL player and coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. For extra proof, there's a photo of the two Pat Quinns... together... in the window of P. J. Obrien's.