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Aug 23, 2012 06:48 PM

Longo's on Laird - now open

we dropped by tonight for a quick visit.

the space - HUGE ceilings with original wood. really nice feel to it. It has that typical Longo's feel (see the Maple Leaf Square store as an example). Perhaps more of the US style vs what you see at Superstore or Sobeys.

alcohol - yes please! Corks is on the 2nd floor. Their Ontario wine selection is shockingly excellent. Their beer selection is all Ontario craft beer.

Kosher meat - finally, there's a kosher meat option in East York.

So long, Sobeys. Longo's forever and ever, amen.

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  1. Sounds good. I think I'll wait a couple of weeks before risking my life in the crowds.

    How is the parking situation?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Herne

      I've been twice already and found no parking issues, lots of space. This may change once everything else in that strip mall is open.
      I went on opening day, just to check it out while I had the kids in a cooking class elsewhere. I was expecting a zoo, half thinking that I may just turn around and leave if the parking lot was crazy. I was actually surprised that it wasn't busier. The space is beautiful, the staff were plentiful and friendly and for the most part prices were in line with Loblaws.
      There were tons of samples on the first day. I quite liked the pizza, thin crust, easy on the sauce, good amount of cheese. When the kids said that they wanted pizza for dinner last night I immediately thought of heading over there to pick one up. They have a deal on Thursdays from 4-10, a 16 inch pep or cheese pizza for $7.99. Again, I was worried that the parking lot would be a mess and that there would be a big wait for pizza. We had no problem parking and walked right up to the counter where they were happy to make a 1/2 cheese 1/2 pep for us. It was a 15 minute wait, which gave me time to pick up a few things that I needed.
      This week-end they are opening their Loft space (where cooking classes will take place) from 12-4 each day. I can't remember exactly what they said is going on, but my guess is cooking demos and more sampling.

      1. re: cheesymama

        Thanks for the information. I was afraid they would duplicate the parking at York Mills and Leslie which apparently assumes that we all drive Smart cars or Minis.

        1. re: Herne

          Nope, I'm in a minivan and had no problems!

          1. re: cheesymama

            There was an article in today's Star.

            Amongst other things, they have one of those machines for fresh squeezed OJ, a station to get fresh filled cannoli, and a fresh cut veggie bar.

            Will be checking it out over the weekend......

            1. re: millygirl

              I think I will wait until Monday or Tuesday. Based on the expectations at Chowhound over the past months I think my aversion to shopping in crowds might be better served after the weekend. I imagine the people running the Loblaws and Sobey's are not happy.

          2. re: Herne

            I found the parking at Longo's on Laird challenging but NOTHING like the hell at York MIlls and Lesllie.

      2. I will have to check this place out soon.

        I maintain the 5KM radius around Don Mills / Eglinton has the best grocery shopping, selection and variety anywhere in the GTA.

        The Laird strip alone has a Loblaws, Longos and Sobeys.

        There's Superstore, 3 No Frills and 4 Metro's to choose from, along with other discount grocery stores like Food Basics. There's places that can't spell discount like McEwans, and ethnic markets like Iqbal Foods, Sunny's and Bestwin. Add in the Walmart and the Target opening up at East York Town Centre (which will probably sell groceries) and the price wars will be interesting.

        We really are spoiled around here...

        6 Replies
        1. re: pakmode

          Can you indicate where the 4 Metro's are. I can only recall the one on Don Mills.

          1. re: Herne

            Eglington Square and Parkway Mall. Don't know the location of the fourth one.

            1. re: Herne

              bayview and eglinton, shops at don mills, eglinton square, and vic park and ellesmere?

              1. re: ctl98

                I think you got it. I still remember the store at vic park and ellesmere as a Grand Union.

                1. re: ctl98

                  Thanks ctl - sorry for the late response. Those are the 4 I was referring to.

              2. re: pakmode

                I visited yesterday. Ample parking. Don't know how all these grocery stores will survive in this area though. Margins are really tight in this industry.

                The place was nice enough, friendly service, good ambiance and decent selection. They have some really good grand opening specials on some items right now, especially for those who prefer organic.

              3. Looks great - but a surprising number (for me) of opening glitches - at least I hope they're opening only!

                Layout has a couple of problems - aisles are wide but 'corners' (where they intersect with other departments - e.g. prepared foods) are bottlenecks - one inconsiderate person can block traffic in all directions); exit is clearly marked from INSIDE, but NOT from outside (it's 1-way) - the exit doors also have the 'electronic seeing eye' on the outside of the exit doors - except it's switched off, so I saw several people trying several times to enter the exit door.

                The produce indeed appears excellent - but it's the MANY errors that bugged me. Mislabellings, non-labellings, unlabelled items - any combination you choose. And no ability to check prices at checkout - have to call for help. Happened to the person 2 in front of me - and to me also!

                Item labelled concord grapes WEREN'T (they were Coronation). Morels (at least they have them) weren't priced. Excellent selection of duck items - except MANY weren't priced (specifically duck confit, duck sausages, duck eggs) - that was where I held up the line for price checks. Cheeses were a bit confusing. Many were 'specialty' items - I looked for Wensleydale and could only find it mixed with 3 or 4 different fruits - but none plain. The manchego had no age listed; eventually, by clearing the facing and reading the uncut wheels I was able to deduce that there was a 3-month old (meh) and a 12-month - the latter for only $5 Kgm more.

                Butter was 'OK' - no cultured salted (the only one I buy for spreading) but they did have unsalted. And they did have both clotted cream and Creme Fraiche - except neither was priced.

                Lamb was 'only Ontario' - Longo's used to stock Australian IIRC - but no more.

                Bagels looked good but most breads were unpriced (except Ace products) and I didn't find ANY nut bread - which is my favourite with cheese (although there were a couple of fruit breads).

                So, overall not an auspicious start (for me). But it did look good!!

                2 Replies
                1. re: estufarian

                  As a member of the Longo’s team, I wanted to pop in to this discussion and take a moment to thank everyone for their invaluable observations. Your feedback is a gift that provides an opportunity for us to improve ourselves, our products, our services, and our processes—providing we act on the feedback we receive. And, we do.

                  Based on what we’ve learned from your experiences, here’s what we’ve addressed so far in our Leaside store since opening:

                  -additional electric scooter has been ordered
                  -bike racks are in place outside the store
                  -the exit has now become an exit/entrance
                  -3 highchairs have been purchased for Corks
                  -we will be following up with First Capital on additional handicap parking spaces.

                  Please keep the awesome suggestions coming. :)

                  1. re: CatherineFoodie

                    Awesome! Wish I can do 'like' on your post. Love feedback like this.

                2. The Star article mentions a restaurant serving Ontario wine and beer in the loft space. Is it open? Has anyone tried it yet?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Crepes Suzette

                    we took a peek. here's the problem - when i grocery shop, i don't want to go and drink. i'm not sure who Corks caters to. I wouldn't get beer there, since its mostly stuff you can buy at the LCBO (but points for it being craft Ontario beer).
                    the wine list, though, was excellent. ALL ontario, mostly from great, smaller wineries in Niagara.

                  2. I've been twice...opening morning...not impressed...too many "suits" floating around doing nothing but clogging the aisles...went again today...

                    I continue to worry about the parking, especially when all the other stores in the plaza are's already tight...they do have people guiding you to open spaces but I believe they have over built for the parking space available....

                    The store itself is glad they saved that old building....some good opening specials but, in general, it's pricey...good quality though...

                    Corks, the restaurant is open...some friends were there for lunch and had a lovely charcuterie platter for $10...along with Canadian wine...they were pleased...

                    All in all...I'm glad it's in the 'hood