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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The 10 biggest Toronto restaurant flops of 2013

Restaurant closures Toronto2013 proved to be a boom year for restaurant openings in Toronto, but less advertised were the ones that didn't make it. Some of these places passed the one-year threshold only to close soon after, while others were gone in the blink of an eye.

Honourable mentions go out to Alimento Fine Food Emporium, C House Lounge Cafe, Jungle Juice and Toucan Taco Bar. Gone but not...oh look, something new.

Here are the 10 biggest restaurant flops of 2013 (so far).

White Squirrel Snack Shop

The original cafe is still going strong, but this Queen West offshoot only lasted one season. Having opened in the spring, the snack bar closed in early November and is now P&L Burger (a burger shack from Parts & Labour) - a bold move, considering the close proximity to a Burger's Priest.

Nejibee Izakaya

Location, location, location. If ever this adage was truer, this is the case: the premiere Toronto outpost of this popular Japanese pub chain opened in March only to close in August. The Tokyo-based franchise suffered from a hidden location with zero street presence and a misleading Google address.

Que Supper Club

Opened in August of this year, this Corktown joint attempted to modernize BBQ with fussy fusion preparations like Redneck (meat filled, bacon-wrapped) sushi rolls. Somehow this didn't catch on, the restaurant and lounge was dunzo by October.

Hoof Raw Bar

Dundas West pioneer Jen Agg (owner of the celebrated Black Hoof) debuted this seafood-centric bar back in May 2012. Just over a year later, the cool concept was put on ice, only to be recently reincarnated as Haitian eatery Rhum Corner. Perhaps not a flop so much as a case of culinary ADHD.

Slider Revolution

Introduced in late 2012, this mini-burger and sandwich specialist barely lasted six months. The Danforth eatery lost its sizzle and closed up shop in June. Coming next to 673 Danforth? A BBQ joint.


Kensington Market became ground zero for Toronto's taco obsession this summer, but it remains yet to be seen if the neighbourhood can sustain the influx of new taquerias. Over-saturation has already claimed its first casualty: this short-lived Mexican eatery that opened in June then closed by November.

Vicki'z Vegetarian Eatery

Open in July and closed just three months later, this fast casual vegetarian eatery on College at Bathurst served pretty decent food but kept terribly inconsistent hours and was just generally out of synch with the neighbourhood's lazy lunchers and bustling bar crowds. The address is soon to become an izakaya and ramen shop.

A-OK Foods

Pour one out for this purveyor of house-made ramen and Korean Fried Chicken. Opened late last year, this Queen St. noodle shop and snack bar (from the team behind Yours Truly) was shuttered at the end of October.

Smoke BBQ House

Situated at Harbord and Manning, this smokehouse opened in January only to be renamed Smoke Bourbon Bar-B-Q a mere three months later. The barbecue joint is still cooking, even though "creative differences" saw one of the founding partners leave with all the cool furniture...sounds messy.

The Melting Pot

This U.S.-based fondue franchise is going strong in the States operating 135 locations. The chain entered the GTA market in April 2012 with the launch of a Richmond Hill outpost co-owned by Food Network chef, Corbin Tomazeski, it was closed by March. Shall we just chalk this one up to the Restaurant Makeover curse or just the fact that people don't actually eat fondue anymore?

What did I miss? Add more flops to the comments below.

by Liora Ipsum via blogTO

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