OMG Baked Goodness closes at Dundas West, New Pie Co. opens on Stackt and two fast food giants get fresh
Sidewalk CafeTO courtyards are disappearing from the streets of Toronto, just as restaurants are returning to full capacity. Masks, vaccine certificates, contact tracking and plexiglass aside, it’s starting to feel almost … semi-normal to go out and eat?
Most of this week’s restaurant movements are in grab-and-go, bakeries and fast food. A busy online pop-up that regularly sells out of nostalgic-themed pies opens a brick-and-mortar location, a long-running bakery on Dundas West is closed, and Leslieville has a new place for independents.
Meanwhile, there has been some interesting news in the corporate fast food world as two major players known for burgers and french fries announce deals that will see chains known for fresh and healthier deals expand across Canada.
Here are the Toronto restaurants that opened and closed during the week of Oct. 27-2. November.
Toronto restaurants that closed
OMG baked goodness
After 12 years, OMG Baked Goodness has said goodbye to Dundas West, but the closure is not the end for the company – only this location. In the announcement of the news on Instagram, owner Lesley Mattina wrote that “the next (delicious) chapter is VERY exciting, so stay tuned until we can share the details with you.”
Brazil box office
The emerging Brazilian street food company Brazil Box closed last week after just three months on Queens Quay West, the restaurant announced on Instagram.
Swiss Chalet in Dufferin Mall
The last call for Chalet sauce at Dufferin Mall was Halloween weekend. The Swiss Chalet franchise in the western retail mecca officially closed at the end of October.
St. The Clair West place, which serves pastas – a cross between Cornwall cakes and Mexican empanadas – closed on October 29th. “We started this project with the dream of sharing our Mexican tastes with the whole of Canada, but we never predict that a pandemic will ruin it,” the owners wrote on Instagram.
Toronto restaurants that opened
The folks at Bathurst Local are creating a mini-empire of companies in Bathurst and Dundas. The latest is Goodness Sake, a sake bar on the second floor that serves bottles at retail prices as well as hot dogs and grilled cheese. They are also launching a karaoke bar with a private room focusing on natural wine later this month called Forever Karaoke.
322 Bathurst, instagram.com/goodness__sake
New Pie Co.
New Pie Co., one of our new favorite bakeries, opens a physical location in Stackt Market this weekend (November 5-7). Known for nostalgic and colorful creations such as peanut butter and jelly and birthday cake, the shop is handing out buns to the occasion and offering new flavors.
28 Bathurst # 1-101A, newpie.co
Belly Buster submarine
Sandwich chain Belly Busters Submarines has moved into the former home of the Leslieville store Purple Purl, which closed in 2020 after 13 years. The new venue opened on Wednesday and is close to Queen East and Jones.
1162 Queen East, instagram.com/bellybustersubs
The Toronto coffee company’s expansion continues. Hale Coffee soft launched a fifth location in Bloor and Church this week, four months after opening a downtown café.
175 Bloor East, halecoffee.com
East-end ghost kitchen / cloud kitchen / “virtual dining hall” Kitchen Hub announced this week that Piano Piano, Victory Foods and Brasa Peruvian Kitchen are now available for takeaway from its 234 Parliament location.
A&W brings British sandwich chain Pret A Manger to Canada.
Other buzzy news
Diwali, India’s biggest holiday, is on Thursday 4 November and we are already drooling over the limited menu of sweets and snacks at 6pm. Little sister bakes. Read about one of the most unique Diwali menus in town and the personal inspirations behind it here.
Supermarket success story Peasant boy‘s hot streak continues with an 18. Toronto store opens at 744 Dupont (between Christie and Ossington) on November 4th.
Scarboroughs Street Eats Market (520 Progress) is hosting one Poutine Festival this weekend the 6.-7. November.
If you’ve ever visited the UK on a budget, you’ve probably landed Ready to eat, aka Pret, for a quick bite. Soon you won’t have to fly to London (or New York City or Hong Kong) for a “freshly made” baguette. The sandwich chain has entered into an agreement with fast food company A&W, which will see the brand come to Canada as part of a two-year pilot program that will “introduce the Pret brand in A&W restaurants in select markets in Canada.”
Speaking of fast food companies branching out into “fresh” food, Swiss Chalet and Harvey’s parent company Unlimited recipe have announced that they have acquired the remaining 15% minority stake in a 22-year vegan / vegetarian restaurant and juice bar chain Fresh from Plant Powered Ventures. The company’s 100 percent ownership means Fresh will now expand nationally.