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Oct 2, 2012 01:38 PM

"The Wren" on Danforth -- anyone heard about what it's going to be?

An old DIY arts studio on Danforth close to "Sauce" is closing down and there is a liquor license application on the window for "The Wren".

Has anyone heard about it? I hope it's a good restaurant and not a bar. That strip has enough bars as it is with Sauce and Morgan's and Sarah's there.

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  1. I hope it's a restaurant, and could the next bar please open East of Coxwell. We have nothing here.

    11 Replies
    1. re: mariecollins

      I could not agree more! That stretch between Coxwell and Greenwood must have more skanky dive bars than any other neighbourhood in town, it's depressing and scary.

      1. re: KitchenVoodoo

        Don't be so quick to judge! As wretched as they might look, more than a few of those places are hidden gems- quiet, owned by nice people, surprisingly hospitable and cheap.

        Every month or so, a small group of friends and I go Danforth diving and hit five or six of these places, usually bringing one or two new people. The common reaction from the newbies is pleasant surprise!

        Just saying...

        1. re: biggreenmatt

          Where do you recommend, if I want to be pleasantly surprised? Please do share...

        2. re: KitchenVoodoo

          Hey, Greenwood to Coxwell has Morgans, Sauce, and now The Wren. East of Coxwell umm, TKO's, the Groove?. Perhaps the new condo building will drive some development.

          1. re: mariecollins

            I like Morgans (great Thanksgiving dinner menu, even if dining alone), and The Wren was OK - sad supermarket burger buns in use and fried chicken pretty flabby.
            But to spend close to half a million dollars for a plywood condo that faces onto a bunch of dive bars and a methadone clinic? That's the reality of that stretch of the Danforth. Walk by those dive bars any time of day or night, observe the clientele, please don't try and tell me that these are undiscovered gems of mom and pop wholesome food.
            I'm glad that Morgans and The Wren have taken the plunge, long may they succeed.

            1. re: KitchenVoodoo

              On the other hand, 10 years ago, Ossington was strictly gangs and dodgy Viet karaoke bars...

              1. re: biggreenmatt

                that methadone clinic opened in the summer. it's humming.
                it ain't going anywhere.
                but hey, wQw is littered with methadone clinics and it hasn't done anything to drive business away. there's also that little building called CAMH which doesn't seem to keep anyone away from the neighbourhood.

              2. re: KitchenVoodoo

                That's not between Coxwell and Woodbine, which is where I'm talking about. The new condo is just west of Woodbine, next to Cake Town Cafe, opposite Celena's Bakery, Moberly Fine Foods, and Royal Beef. The only dive bar there isn't even that divey anymore. Homes in the neighbourhood go for 700K now - I'd want to tap into that market.

                1. re: mariecollins

                  There may not be anything much to tap into, as even if you put 25% down on $700K, you would need to have an income over $160K to pay the mortage etc. I bet the people buying those homes are "tapped out" already!

                  1. re: foodyDudey

                    We have to drown our sorrows somewhere! A recent frigid Saturday evening Morgans, The Wren, Sarah's and Melanie's were all jammed. Ended up with an OK meal at Signature Kitchen. The neighbourhood is even throwing fund-raisers etc. at The Linsmore Tavern. Here is the result of a recent DECA (Danforth East Community Association) survey:

                    Question 1: “What kinds of new businesses do you want on Danforth East?”

                    # 1. More Restaurants and Pubs – when combined they were the top request with many people specifically citing things like: good quality places, family-friendly, healthy food options.

                    Let's face it, it costs 500k + to buy anywhere in the core now. Yes, after mortgage and daycare, I'm broke, but I can still manage a neighbourhood meal with some good beer once or twice a month.

                    1. re: mariecollins

                      Yeah, I was struck by just how crowded the Wren was (30 min+ wait for a table) on a Saturday night in January. People are obviously desperate for anything the least bit cool in this area. I don't even think it's about the food, a somewhat limited menu which I find to be OK to good, not 30-45 minute wait material.
                      People are paying those prices to live in the "core" because they want some of the down town lifestyle.

        3. I heard it was going to be an Irish pub from the owners of sidewalk cafe they know the landlord

          1 Reply
          1. re: shelovesfood

            Darn. Hope they serve decent food, but really, another bar? At least it's not another Ethiopian restaurant.

              1. re: bytepusher

                Unless their blinds are craft paper, not sure they are open. Drives by 30 min ago and it did not look functioning. Could be wrong though.

                1. re: shelovesfood

                  Went tonight had the chimichanga $15 and burger $12 the places renovated okay not for a crowd of over 50. I found it strange that owner wasn't out there asking people how everything was. Will try again in a couple weeks and see how everything is but I'll give it a six out of 10

                  1. re: shelovesfood

                    How was the noise level? I have lots of money to spend in restos but will not patronise any that give me even temporary damage to my hearing.

                    1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                      Weird techno music was playing but not loud the room was crowded but noise level tolerable

                2. The original comment has been removed
                  1. According to their twitter feed, they were open last night. Not sure if it was a one-off or a soft open. Anyone go?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: biggreenmatt

                      I peeked inside while walking by and there was a sign on the door indicating that it was open that night, cash only.
                      From what I could see it looked pretty nice on the inside, will be curious to hear reviews.