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Dec 20, 2008 11:49 AM

Shopsy's closing

I was just reading the Star and there is an article stating that Shopsy's at Yonge and Front is closing on December 31, 2008. I have to admit that I am not a big fan of this place, but it is an OK place to bring kids before a show. Are there any decent deli's in that area?

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    1. re: embee

      Too bad it is closing. The food was not the greatest but the atmosphere was priceless.
      Loved all those pictures signed by stars.
      The last time I was in was after visiting the opera and before the new "Four Seasons Centre" opened. At that time the waitress Marie said it may not survive the move of the ballet and opera plus all the other concerts to the new centre.
      I remember when I was about 8 years old until I was 12 going to the old Shopsy's on Spadina with my father. A fun Saturday outing after shopping in Kensington. Same pictures on the walls.

    2. Its a bit of a hike from Front St but the Corned Beef House @ Adelaide and John is arguably the best Deli in the Financial Districts proximity

      1. I read the article as well. They're not so much "closing" as they're "re-locating" due to landlord/lease disagreements. The article stated that Oliver Bonacini will be taking over that location for upscale casual dining or the high end of that sort of thing. I guess they've seen the popularity of places like Earl's, Jack Astor's, Canyon Creek, etc.

        The article suggests that the current owners of Shopsy's (same owners as Irish Embassy) will be looking to re-locate in the near area.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Raquel

          Maybe it's time to bury the name and resto for keeps. Find it hard to believe many more $ could be wrung from Shopsy's remains.

        2. I, for one, won't miss the place.

          1 Reply
          1. re: embee

            Amen. Other than nostalgia (which I don't get) I can't see what could possibly be missed.

          2. It's sad,and I'll miss Shopsys,but now it is only a shadow of it's former self. I knew the original Shopsy family,because of my father's background in the film industry,and for many years on Spadina,my family+I always went there. When they moved to Front Street,it still was very good for many years. After Izzy Shopowitz died,and the place changed ownership,many of the great things on the menu were eliminated. Jenny's Red Pop, the roast beef,hot dogs,the soups,all became only memories. I will go there once more just for old time's sake before they close. It has been about a year since I was there. For deli in Toronto: Yitzes is still very good, Coleman's also does a very good corn beef sandwich. I don't drive,so I take TTC. How is Moe Pancer's? Are they worth the trip? How is Katz's Deli? The deli on Centre Street: Thornhill: can one get to it by local transit? I've tried Druxys: their roast beef is not bad. Is there a Switzers in North Toronto?

            4 Replies
            1. re: marc Bernstein

              Go to Caplansky's at College and Clinton. It's a limited menu and an "unusual" place, but the food is the real thing.

              Shopsy's died long before Izzy, who was merely employed as the host. It was owned for years by Unilever, and was even run by A&W for many years.

              Only you can decide if a place is worth the trip. I no longer think Pancer's has got it, though it isn't terrible. It has been for sale, and I don't know whether or not new owners are in place.

              Katz's food hasn't changed 35 years. It's worth a try. Yorkdale subway or Dufferin bus.

              You can get to Centre St by local transit - possibly from Finch station (check with York Regional Transit), but it's a very long trip.

              Switzer's is now near the airport and is apparently nothing special.

              I have nothing nice to say about Yitz's or about Druxy's (at least as a deli). At Colemans, the only thing I like is the corned beef hash.

              1. re: marc Bernstein

                Last week at the north east corner of Dufferin and Center Street there was a very small sign that said Switzers Coming Soon. Anyone have any more information? Is there any connection to the original fantastic Switzers on Spadina?

                1. re: mexivilla

                  Saw similar sign in a strip plaza on Hwy 7 and Keele. Any news about this?

                  Thanks kindly!

                  1. re: mrsleny

                    According to David Sax ("The Death of Deli"), the Switzer's on Torbram Rd is run by Mel Wagman, who was one of the owners of the Spadina location way back when.

                    While they were, indeed, a great place at one time, I gave up on them long, long ago following a horrible experience at their TD Centre location and several bad meals at their Sheppard location (where the only remaining highlight was the knishes).

                    Torbram is the only location still open, so I don't know whether they are moving or are trying to expand again. It'll be interesting to see what this place is like, but I wouldn't start salivating in anticipation just yet. There's a good chance it won't be anything special, but you never know....