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Dining-happy condo dwellers push up lease rates for downtown restaurants

The condo boom in the city’s dense downtown core—filled with young professionals with disposable incomes and no pesky kids to stand in the way of a good time—is drawing more and more restaurateurs to the area, even if the spaces for rent aren’t exactly ideal. The Globe explains that the conspicuous success of places like Earl’s has potential owners clamouring for spaces in the downtown core—and that demand is driving up lease rates. As well, because the condo boom is adding density and attracting people who like to eat out frequently, restaurants are actually prepared to pay more (which, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association warns, could drive small, independent restaurants out of the area). The current real estate gold rush is also causing certain spots to resort to some pretty wacky MacGyvering in their kitchens. The American chain the Tilted Kilt is opening a location on the Esplanade this summer, where they’ll store kegs “in the parking area underneath the restaurant, with the beer piped up through the floor”—which, we suppose, leaves more space for the chain’s main attractions. Read the entire story [Globe and Mail] »