Toronto Life - The Dish

The latest buzz on restaurants, chefs, bars, food shops and food events. Sign up for the Dish newsletter for weekly updates. Send tips to



Introducing: Aft Kitchen and Bar, a new barbecue joint in Riverside

Introducing: AFT

Name: Aft Kitchen and Bar
Neighborhood: Riverside
Contact info: 686 Queen St. East, 647-346-1541,, @aft_bar
Owner: Paul Campbell, formerly of House on Parliament
Chefs: Christian Butcher and sous chef Lawrence La Pianta

The food: American comfort food with an emphasis on southern barbecue, which La Pianta spent two years learning in Texas (everything is smoked on-site). Daily specials include smoked burgers ($13) and wings ($14) on Monday, buttermilk fried chicken ($17) on Wednesday and Texas barbecue on the weekends.

The drinks: Craft beer ($6.95) on tap, along with a large selection of bourbon and whiskey. Campbell plans to introduce classic cocktails like Manhattans, whiskey sours and mint juleps soon.

The place: Aft took over its tiny space from the short-lived Toucan Taco Bar, and outfitted it with plenty of wood, including a long sugar maple bar top with a live edge and shelving reclaimed from a church organ in The Beach. A backyard patio should open by mid-May, doubling the capacity of the restaurant.

By the numbers:
• 800 square feet
• 27, the number of seats inside (the patio will add another 30)
• 16–20, the numbers of hours of smoke the brisket receives (wings get about 1.5, and ribs, 8–16)
• $5–$20, the menu’s price range (from marinated olives to sous-vide steak frites)

Our Introducing series explores newly opened restaurants, bars and shops throughout the GTA
This is not a review.
Toronto Life’s starred reviews can be found in their entirety in our
Restaurant Guide. Got restaurant news, tips or rumours? Send them to