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Openings 2012 (Toronto)

  • m

I don't think a 2012 openings thread has been started yet (not that I could find at least) so here it goes.

I noticed that Messini authentic gyros is opening a second location at Yonge/Eglinton soon. It is replacing a place called Madanto that had been there for maybe a couple of years.

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    1. Panera Bread has opened their downtown location now where the old Levi's store used to be at 322 Yonge. Saw it was relatively busy last night.

      5 Replies
      1. re: bluefirefly

        Oh that's good to know, actually! Thanks!

        1. re: magic

          You're welcome, magic! Hope you've had a chance to check it out. It's actually larger than it looks, with upstairs seating.

          1. re: bluefirefly

            I will be checking it out quite soon, thanks bluefirefly :)

        2. re: bluefirefly

          And just down Gould St on Ryerson Campus, there are signs up announcing that Stratford's Balzac's Coffee Roasters is opening soon.

          1. re: bluefirefly

            And in the spot of the old Ginger 2/Green Fusion, Eki-Bento is opening soon (it was supposed to open Feb 1 but wasn't open when I walked by thursday)

          2. A new Mexican restaurant called Pachuco has opened on Danforth near Broadview. It's in the same building as Embrujo Flamenco, and has the same ownership. There is a story on it here:


            and here is the website : http://www.pachuco.ca/

            I haven't tried it but the menu looks interesting.

            1 Reply
            1. re: foodyDudey

              I think its been a week or 2 but Chipotle at 123 Front

              And looks like another Five Guys at Yonge and Green Lane in Newmarket

            2. URSA at Queen and Shaw (old Bar One space I think) opened last week. I was there last night and it was packed. Recognised guy in the kitchen from Woodlot and others from around town.. Small menu right now only 3 mains and 5 apps. Good sized portions the Pork was Amazing with belly & loin on the plate over lentils, date had the Whitefish which was also great. Only miss was the broth for the mushroom soup it was a tad over-powering.

              I have not heard anything about this place until we stumbled by.. anyone know anything more?

              1 Reply
              1. re: ParkerQ

                The only thing I did find: http://toromagazine.com/lifestyle/foo...

                "Having spent over 13 years in Toronto’s kitchens — from Terroni to Centro to Prime at the Windsor Arms — executive chef and co-owner, Jacob Sharkey Pearce brings with him some heavy culinary artillery: reputation, skill and, perhaps most auspiciously, the silent partnership of Terroni's Cosimo Mammoliti."

              2. I also heard a rumour that Daisuke Izutsu from Kaiseki-Sakura has opened a new place on the second floor some where west of Bay on Dundas.. proported to be a big space doing a "Guu" type thing.. but I do not have anymore details... anyone?

                2 Replies
                1. re: ParkerQ

                  Yes, he's the head chef at Dondon Izakaya. There is a thread already here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/827829

                  1. re: bluefirefly

                    Hopgood's Foodliner, on Roncesvales.

                2. Yours Truly - 229 Ossington Ave

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: meatnveg

                    meatnveg recommended Yours Truly back in February and it recently earned high ratings from Toronto Life. I was there last night and will not be going back for three reasons: a) we left hungry because the portion sizes are so small (and I am not a big eater); b) the wine list isn’t great and the mark-ups are ridiculous; c) it’s incredibly noisy: a small room with hard surfaces where sound bounces all over the place, and excessively loud music. We requested it be turned down, and it was still too loud. My dining partner and I were shouting to each other over a small table in order to be heard, and it was difficult to hear the descriptions of the foods as they were being served to us. There is no menu, really. It’s a four-course prix fixe price of $45, and you choose from a list of words on a small piece of paper, like: terroir, egg, salt cod, cote de bouef, spruce. My dining partner requested descriptions of the dishes, which the server recited to her. I said I’m an omnivore and would like the chef to choose for me, whatever he thinks is his best. The food was tasty but not memorable, and we did not think we got good value for what we were paying. The cote de bouef, for example, was a 2.5 oz piece of meat with a small dab of berry-based sauce on the side. Simply not enough food. The service was attentive, however when asked whether we were happy, we gave polite feedback about the noise level and the inadequate quantity of food, and the server simply shrugged. In short, overpriced, undervalued and uncomfortable.

                    1. re: enjoygoodfood

                      Oh yah, I forgot to mention. My partner was so hungry she asked for bread. They don't do bread. Period.

                      1. re: enjoygoodfood

                        Thanks for the review. A little tiny quibble though, with your opening sentence. I did not 'recommend' the joint. I stated that it was open.

                        Also, most folks have enjoyed the place. To each his/her own

                  2. Stock, in the Trump Tower, 325 Bay St. (Financial District)

                    Pizzeria Via Mercanti, 188 Augusta Ave (Kensington Market)

                    Gusto 101, 101 Portland St (King West), of which someone has already shared their thoughts: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/832729

                    1. A new Italian sandwich & pizza place called Focaccia's opened up in the food court at Gerrard Square (Leslieville/South Riverdale @ Gerrard/Pape). You can choose the type of bread for your sandwich. I tried mushroom & onion focaccia for my grilled veg - big, authentic, delicious! Quite a pleasant surprise. Hope it makes it, as it is quite a bit better than the rest of the options in the mall, IMHO.

                      1. For those looking for something in the Bay/Elm area other than a few places on Elm, I've walked by a new breakfast/sandwich joint that has opened up in the old hostel (across from Eggsmart) called Sliced. It's been open about a week and they carry a variety of gourmet sandwiches and salads etc.

                        1. When last I checked it's not open yet but Messini is opening at Yonge and Eglinton. North of Eg on the east side of Yonge.


                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Davwud

                            It's been sitting there for a while now..... hope it opens soon.

                            1. re: magic

                              Me too. It'll instantly become the best Greek offering in the area.


                                1. re: magic

                                  STILL not open!

                                  What the.

                                  Starting to wonder if it will happen. Not holding my breath.

                                  1. re: magic

                                    I walk by almost everyday and there is constantly work being done inside and what looks like the appropriate kitchen appliances for a gyro operation.

                                    Should be soon.

                                    1. re: radiopolitic

                                      Yes, after 6 months of no activity I finally noticed progress yesterday. Thanks radiopolitic.

                            2. Yogurty's is taking over the old Tim Horton's space in the Annex (on the south side of Bloor):

                              Funny because I never heard of the place until today but after seeing the sign at the Annex location I noticed another sign at the Whole Foods plaza in Oakville where Blockbuster used to be (guess only a part of the old Blockbuster space)

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: ylsf

                                Yogurty's has replaced Second Cup on Queen West at Tecumseth. Looks to be opening soon.

                                1. re: justsayn

                                  Interesting that a low fat yogurt place displaces two coffee mainstays like Tim's and the Second Cup.

                                  1. re: Brain of J

                                    Very much so! Hail to the indie coffee joints! Good luck to all the yogurt places crowding each other's space!

                              2. The Saint Tavern on Ossington. Tavern/steakhouse/comfort food.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: MeMeMe

                                  Have you been for brunch at the saint tavern??

                                  1. re: kyra2224

                                    Nope - only dinner. And it was gooooooood.

                                2. Jack Astor's is going in beside the Jersey Giant pub on Front St. East.

                                  ChaLau, a new dim sum place is opening soon beside Sushi Sky at 476 Yonge. (It's going into the old discount shop). Nice to see another dim sum option downtown outside of Chinatown. Hope it's authentic!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bluefirefly

                                    Looks like ChaLau is the old Cha Liu Dim Sum Shoppe.

                                    I was hoping they were still looking for a location at Yonge and Eg....so sad they are more downtown.

                                    Delicious - small delicate portions of dim.

                                  2. The Abbot Pub seems to be opening a new location on Eglinton (west of Avenue Rd.), in the space that Le Pain Quotidien use to occupy.

                                    I had a horrendous service experience at their Yonge/Lawrence location my only time there so I won't be rushing here. But I know they have thier fans, so....

                                    1. Stack BBQ opened shop aon Yonge, north of Lawrence (Yonge & Roslin), and the initial chow postings sound encouraging.

                                      1. Oxley at 121 Yorkville Ave. I mentioned back in Feb. in the changes/closings thread that the Oxley was taking over the Courtyard... it's open now, albeit a few days later than originally announced.

                                        Spirithouse at 487 Adelaide St. W. / Portland
                                        The Chickery at 130 Spadina Ave.

                                        1. Greg's Ice Cream is now open in the Distillery... in part of the old Fresh/Wild grocery store:

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: ylsf

                                            ^^^ YAY!! That is great news. Reminds me of university daze :)

                                          2. For those who need a pick up after hitting the books, construction is under way and it appears that Balzac's Coffee will be opening in the main floor of the Toronto Reference Library at Yonge/Bloor.

                                            1. It's been open for a few months now, but Panier Rouge is a new sandwich place on Yonge Street just south of St. Clair. It's pretty much a replica of Pret a Manger, the UK's choice sandwich/coffee on the go chain. Panier Rouge's sandwiches are fresh and really yummy. Much better than the pretentious offerings across the street at the over hyped Delica.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: LoseThatGirl

                                                Anyone tried The Big Johnson at Church and Maitland?

                                                1. re: MargieEv

                                                  Please tell me they only serve sausages and beer.

                                              2. The Thai Room has opened at Danforth and Woodbine. Same owners as the Friendly Thai on Roncesvalles.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: mariecollins

                                                  Okay, I'll bite. Given the name is Thai Room on Danforth, why should I think this is anything but another mother-sauce, glued-noodle, boring franchise?

                                                  1. re: Googs

                                                    Got the menu in the mailbox. Doesn't inspire at all but I'll give it a try soon. As I was peering through the window, some diners gave me a hearty thumbs up, so you never know. Better than another empty storefront for sure.

                                                2. I read that Five Guys Burgers will open at 329 Yonge St (previously part of HMV).

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: gregoryyyz

                                                    It was supposed to be mid-July, according to this: http://www.postcity.com/Eat-Shop-Do/E...

                                                    According to the Five Guys website, it will in fact be 329 Yonge. But a quick peer in window suggests it's nowhere near being ready. Fall, maybe?

                                                    1. re: jmeggs

                                                      Sign is up now but shop isn't quite open yet... looks like soon though. It's between HMV and Future Shop, where the Bell used to be.

                                                  2. Weslodge is open now at King/Spadina. I don't know much about it, but the interior looks really nice from outside. Opened by Hanif Harji and Charles Khabouth; head chef is Stuart Cameron. Some info/photos in this article - http://notable.ca/toronto/bars-and-lo... The article doesn't have the address, but it's on the main floor of the new condo across from Soma.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: ggom1

                                                      Weslodge is amazing! thanks for the article...........

                                                    2. Momofuku Toronto........................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                      1. I posted a thread of it's own but Burger's Priest is scheduled to open a location in the west end. No indication of where but an official release on their FB page says they've put "Pen to paper."


                                                        1. Queen Margherita Pizza is opening a second location in the Bloor West Village/Junction neighborhood at 785 Annette St. at Jane.

                                                          1. A new BBQ place is opening up this year at Harbord and Maning. (September mentioned as possible time frame)
                                                            Some more details at this link but a lot of talk about liquor licence applications and the history of the space itself. Smoke BBQ House
                                                            - http://www.thegridto.com/life/food-dr...

                                                            Anyone know about the chef? Says the owner has 10 years experience in slow cooking/bbq but not sure what that really means. I am holding out hope it is good!

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. Panara Bread has opened a location on North Queen St. in Etobicoke. It is in the Home Depot plaza, close to Sherway Gardens. It is located in the former Williams coffee pub location.

                                                              1. Just Desserts is going into the old Garlic Pepper location north of Wellesley at Yonge. Didn't pass by their current location but am guessing it's just a move across the street.

                                                                1. Hapa izakaya opened in littleitaly this past Thursday. Another Vancouver izakaya chain, highly westernized club/lounge feel' priced on the higher end trying to capture some of Torontos crazed izakaya scene. Limited menu with decent fresh eats but I enjoyed la carnita down the road more

                                                                  1. Weslodge Saloon at 480 King St. West opened. Run by the same guy who owns La Societe (i.e. Charles Khabouth).

                                                                    Also passed by a place called Gangster Burger at 607 Queen St. West that looks to be opening soon with burger names that are less likely to cause any controversy.

                                                                    1. Taco Del Mar has arrived in Toronto at at Breemer and Simcoe, across from the back of the convention centre. It a chain from the U.S. and used to enjoy their wet burritos when in Vancouver. Didn't see wet burritos on the menu here. But they do steam the tortillas and are making them mission style. Not as flavourful as I remember from the west coast locations, but it looks like they're still getting their act together.

                                                                      1. Drums and Flats finally open on Avenue Road south of Wilson. Rock and Roll inspired menu with an emphasis on wings. Nice reno of the former Honey's Bistro. Great looking patio. The resto look pretty family friendly from what i can tell.

                                                                        1. There's a new Fionn McCool's now open in the Yonge and Davisville area - just south of Balloil on Yonge. Some new competition for the revamped Friar a few doors down. This Fionn's features an outside patio - something the now-closed Fionn's at Yonge and St. Clair was sadly lacking.

                                                                          1. Putting this here for records sake more than anything. Momofuku has finally open their doors at the Shangri-La Hotel

                                                                            1. On the farrrr east side, Crazy Tomato Trattoria opened about a month or so ago on St Clair @ O'Connor. I've been a few times and it's definitely a good addition to the neighbourhood.

                                                                              Smith Bros Steakhouse & Tavern at Warden & Eglinton opens Tues, Oct 9.

                                                                              1. Opening any day now...Top Chef Canada's Carl Heinrich's new joint

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: meatnveg

                                                                                  Very odd that they're a stone's throw from the Financial District yet not planning to open for lunch...

                                                                                2. Strada, the new Italian restaurant by the Rubino brothers has been opened only for espresso and pastries for the last few weeks.

                                                                                  I was in there today for a cappuccino and the server mentioned the restaurant part just opened on Friday. So starting Tuesday (Oct 9) they will be open for regular lunch and dinner service. Took a peek at the menu and it seems similar to Terroni and Gusto in terms of food and pricing.


                                                                                  1. Whole Foods in Markham (Unionville) opens this Friday, October 12th.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: bluefirefly

                                                                                      They finally have a sign up on the lot at Broadway (N of Eg.) and Bayview.


                                                                                    2. I spotted Rebozo's while driving along college, east of bathurst today. It looks like a proper restaurant.

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Delish

                                                                                        Do you mean the Mexican restaurant reputed to be the ONLY true and good one is opening downtown?

                                                                                        1. re: Googs

                                                                                          That's the one. Pardon my errant apostrophe (it's Rebozos, not Rebozo's)

                                                                                          1. re: Delish

                                                                                            As mentioned by Delish, Rebozos just opened today... Definitely adding it to my list to try

                                                                                              1. re: crawfish

                                                                                                no, if you look on google maps streetview, you'll see that 424 college is next door to manic, on one side, and scheherazade/pomegranate on the other. i gather it was some place called "agoma" cafe before or something.

                                                                                                anyway, super psyched by this totally unexpected news. i really liked my visit to rebozos, and this location is definitely more convenient.

                                                                                      2. Richmond Station (Carl Heinrich, Top Chef Canada winner) place opened today.

                                                                                        Located at Richmond and Yonge:


                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: ylsf

                                                                                          this is such a wasteland for restaurants. the purple pig didn't last long nor the place that replaced it. i wonder if he is making a mistake by only opening for dinner. this is a location better suited (mind the pun) to the business lunchers nearby. i wish he had a menu posted on the site.

                                                                                          1. re: ingloriouseater

                                                                                            I'm waiting to see a menu as well. I didn't go out to Marben as much as I would have liked to while he was there but I liked what I tasted from what little I had had.

                                                                                        2. I hear TOCA is relaunching this month with a new head chef.

                                                                                          1. I am very interested in details on the Jazz Bistro opening in the building previously well known as the Senator Steakhouse / Top of the Senator, then briefly as the Savoy Bistro ... http://www.jazzbistro.ca

                                                                                            1. Woo hoo. Saw a sign for QMP opening on Dundas W across from Bent!!!

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                  Wow! They are really making a presence in the west end. I posted above that QMP is opening a new location in the Bloor West Village neighborhood at Jane/Annette. Great news!

                                                                                                2. Boulangerie Saint George opened in the old Designer Cookie space, at Eglinton/Avenue Rd. It is an organic bakery. I am curious. Have yet to venture in.

                                                                                                  They must've opened quick! I don't recall anything being there one week ago except an empty space!

                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: magic

                                                                                                    Let us know once you've tried it Magic. I'm always interested in new bakeries/boulangeries!

                                                                                                    1. re: magic

                                                                                                      Tried a couple of their croissants last weekend. Very good. I had the regular and my daughter had the chocolate, of course. Their large round vegetable olive bread looks good. I am going to try that one this weekend.

                                                                                                      Nice people too - I hope that they last in this space. They must be counting on some of the Healthy Butcher traffic.

                                                                                                      1. re: elasticwaistband

                                                                                                        Thanks for the report. WIll definitely be trying!

                                                                                                    2. The Works is opening up a location in Bloor West Village (west of Runnymede) - hopefully a sign of more to come

                                                                                                      1. Troika Vodka Boutique
                                                                                                        95 King Street East (west of Church) from the guys that gave you Samovar & Rasputin, open Tues-Sat

                                                                                                        Dropped by it during the week, great atmosphere and European-Russian-centric menu.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: 5andman

                                                                                                          I used to just love Samovar. Great cocktails and a sexy room. The man has a knack for atmosphere. I wish him well.

                                                                                                        2. Banh Mi Boys has announced their second location - Yonge and Gerrard. Yeah!!!!!!!



                                                                                                          1. Messini. 10 months later. Still not open. Jeez.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: magic

                                                                                                              Messini @ Y&Eg has now been open for a week. They were giving out free gyros on opening day.

                                                                                                              1. re: Degustation

                                                                                                                Haha, thank you for the update!

                                                                                                                It only took them a year ;)

                                                                                                            2. Forgive me if this has already been mentioned. We went to the knife store on Dupont at Spadina, which is awesome, and the owner mentioned that Anthony Rose is taking over the old People's location to open up a restaurant.

                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: dubchild

                                                                                                                The Grid and Toronto Life have posted very few tidbits. The only thing known for sure is that it will be called Rose and Sons.

                                                                                                                1. re: num nums

                                                                                                                  Opening is this Wednesday, breakfast and lunch for now. Dinners once liquor licence arrives.

                                                                                                                  1. re: millygirl

                                                                                                                    thanks millygirl....hoping it would open before we left for the winter...yay!!!!

                                                                                                                2. re: dubchild

                                                                                                                  That's very interesting...we just drove by the old People's and noticed that the sign is still up and obviously a 'restaurant' is in the process of opening, along with an application made for a Liquor License...not sure if it's just beer & wine or?..didn't get that close...Will keep an eye on it....

                                                                                                                  1. re: pearlD

                                                                                                                    I understand that licenses are no longer segregated, ie once you're licensed, you can sell any type of alcohol.

                                                                                                                  2. I'm simply shocked no one's mentioned the opening of Skin + Bones in Leslieville.

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                      Many new openings not mentioned here. Oddseoul, rock lobster, aok foods ramen, rose and sons, yakitori bar

                                                                                                                      1. re: szw

                                                                                                                        Rose and Sons was the last entry just above Googs.

                                                                                                                        1. re: millygirl

                                                                                                                          Glas Wine Bar on Queen - very cozy, great food and excellent value.

                                                                                                                      1. I see that that there is another pizza place on Queen West: Enzo Pizza Bar, Queen/Palmerston. Has anyone tried it yet?
                                                                                                                        I went in for a slice the other day. They had 2 types ready-to-go pies: one was an insipid looking veggie version, the other had peppers, onions and little round pink-y sausage slices. I asked what kind of sausage; they look like hot dogs. The answer? Yes, hot dogs, but good german ones!
                                                                                                                        Couldn't do it. Love a good weenie, but not on my pizza!

                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: gttahaveit

                                                                                                                          I don't like to say too much when a place first opens, but I did try the hot dog slice and luckily didn't know they were hot dogs until reading your post now...as that may have also kept me from ordering it.

                                                                                                                          Anyway, glad I did. It is a totally different type of pizza than readily found in the city. I am looking forward to trying it again soon to see if it will become a go-to for me.

                                                                                                                          1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                            What do you mean it's different from the pizza readily found in the city?

                                                                                                                            1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                              The crust and cheese is along the lines of how I remember Gigis (been a long time) but this overall result will hopefully end up being much better. So its a creamy-ish pizza cheese, not a straight up mozz. The sauce is light. The crust is more of a yeast raised style - not certain about it. Sausage which turned out to be hot dog was juicy and tasty and not hot doggy at all. Early review - holding back. : )

                                                                                                                              1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                The hot dog is freaking me out a bit, but I'll probably still check it out since I'm in the area all the time.

                                                                                                                                1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                  2 more questions justsayn :) What type of cheese blend do you think they use to achieve that creaminess? Also, is it a white pizza or tomato-based? And sorry for the barrage of questions.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                    Pizza Cheese is a type of white-cheese blend which I am sure is not everybody's favourite. No doubt it comes in a million variations like American singles do. It is made to melt easily and stay soft and stringy without getting rubbery at all. This cheese is one of the reasons I am not sure on this pizza yet. The sauce was tomato based but they may have a white sauce as well. The creaminess comes from the processed cheese that melds with the tomato sauce. Don't think hot dog at all - there is no fake smoke flavour nor mushy meat feeling.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                      Interesting! I'm very picky about cheese, so I'm having 2nd thoughts about this place...lol. Let us know your thoughts after you've tried it again.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                        SO subjective. I am sure you will soon see a cross-section of reviews. Brooklyn pizza around the corner doesn't satisfy me but I know people who really like it.

                                                                                                                                        The Poor John cookies on the other hand...if you like shortbread and you like chocolate....you SHOULD really like their version.

                                                                                                                                        Speaking of, Enzo had samples of a sweet chocolate pizza at the counter.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                          I saw your post about the cookies. I'm going to check them out! The sweet chocolate pizza doesn't sound half bad either :)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                            Back at Enzo and I made my own pizza. I discovered they sell two main types of pizza. My first visit I grabbed a rectangular slice which was like a Sicilian style as I had described. This time we made custom pizzas. The custom pizza is a more in keeping with a QMP pizza but without the awesome dough or char. So it's a thin crust and traditional toppings. Mix n match your own.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                              How did you like it this time justsayn?

                                                                                                                            2. re: gttahaveit

                                                                                                                              Thanks for sharing, but if this place opened p this year there is a "2013" version of this thread too...:)