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Introducing: The Rude Boy, Roncesvalles’s new gourmet burger joint

Introducing: The Rude Boy

Name: The Rude Boy
Neighbourhood: Roncesvalles
Contact info: 397 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-533-3269, @therudeboyronce
Owners: Faiez Bapoo, Liam Kelly, Paul Simmons and Alex Sengupta (The Lakeview, Samuel J. Moore), four friends who met working at The Keg over a decade ago.
The chef: Liam Kelly, an 18-year industry vet

The food: Burgers and other sandwiches, made in-house from local ingredients. Kelly grinds his own chuck, makes all his own condiments (like Blanche de Chambly mustard and baconnaise) and plans to produce his own cheese soon too. The signature Rude Boy burger ($13.50) is topped with both maple rye bacon and peameal, along with smoked cheddar and a fried egg, while the Sting ($11.50) has crispy jalapenos, Sriracha aïoli and pepper jack cheese.

The drinks: Twelve different beers and a rye-focused cocktail menu with Canadianized versions of prohibition-era standards.

The place: Formerly home to a Greek diner, the space has been made over with new hardwood floors, a restored tin ceiling and a copper backsplash rescued from behind a wall and polished back to life. Inspired by Banksy, pastoral oil paintings in the back are hung purposefully askew. Catering equally to the area’s plaid-shirted hipsters and young families with strollers, The Rude Boy stays open until midnight (and later on weekends), and will soon serve lunch and brunch too.

By the numbers:
• 850 square feet of dining space
• 28 seats
• 4 weeks, the time it took to turn The Greek Spot into a gourmet diner
• 1 mid-century modern fridge nicknamed Kurtis Blow, bought in Tiny, Ontario

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  • Ken Stevens

    We went with the whole family, ordered burgers and all the sides.

    Food: Fries were outstanding. Salad was tastey and refreshingly different from the usual fare. The main thing that struck me about the burger was that I’m so used to eating lean ground beef these days, that I had forgotten what ground beef used to be like when I was a kid–i.e. with the “fat in”. These were unapologetically *not* lean ground beef burgers. Extremely tastey, but a bit too “juicy”for my old man stomach.

    Service: The service did not live up to its “Rude Boy” name: I.e. service was extremely polite: almost to a fault. It was kind of funny to sit in a dimly lit diner with loud punk rock music blaring, whose motif was “we’ve got attitude” and then be greeted with the manners of a country club butler. The juxtaposition was amusing. The service was 5 stars: on par with the Westerly.

    Target market: It looks like it’s aimed at the well heeled 20-something tattoo condo crowd. $12 gourmet burgers for people who believe they will live forever. Being an older guy with high-school kids I don’t think I’m in their target, but I laud that they’re bringing something new and interesting to the neighbourhood. The lineup was out the door tonight. I hope they continue to do well!

  • gg

    This isn’t a gourmet burger. A burger at Nota Bene is gourmet. Simply having fresh ingredients and grinding your own burger meat is doing it the right way. Nothing gourmet about it.

  • TRB

    We are glad that you and your family felt comfortable and had a good experience last night. Our objective is to provide top notch service and high quality food to the entire neighbourhood. With the recent article, fresh to print, we really did get busy last night (our first Friday) and hence we have noted several improvements to be made. Please check back with us soon… Our chalkboard menu will be evolving… and as operations stabilise, we will be opening for lunches also. Many thanks, TRB

  • Michael Bennett

    …and simply name dropping Nota Bene does not make one a gourmand.

  • June Li

    Ate here the second night they were open- we were the only table in the restaurant, and I soaked up enjoying this spot before it got slammed. Burgers + fries were top notch, and I’ve been dreaming of my Sting every since…

    Welcome to Ronces Rude Boy :) Glad to have you.

  • 1000songs

    Address is 397 Roncesvalles, not 379…..