The upcoming restaurant at 785 Queen Street West has had us baffled for months now. According to this website, the business is the project of three inexperienced Western grads—the Three Game Changers, as they call themselves—and it has changed concepts no less than six times since September. (One recent scheme: “the world’s first food truck INSIDE a restaurant.”)
As it became increasingly clear that the situation was a parody of Toronto’s obsession with food trends, we made it our mission to find out what’s actually going on—because there really is a restaurant opening up at that space. Then a clue appeared on the City of Toronto’s website: a new business licence for an eating establishment called Dear Jools at the address in question.
Since an owner’s name was not provided on the city’s website, we obtained a corporation profile from the Ontario government. According to that profile, the administrator of the corporation behind Dear Jools is an individual named Montgomery Wan. Could this be Monte Wan, the current owner of the perpetually delicious Khao San Road?
We emailed the Game Changers to find out. The response was a phone call from, of course, Monte Wan.
“Congratulations,” he said.
Wan confirmed that he’s responsible for the practical joke, and that he’s opening a new restaurant at the Queen West space within the next few weeks. It won’t be another Khao San Road, though, which is a shame—the Thai restaurant has had formidable queues for a long time now. He hasn’t nailed down an exact concept yet (ironic, no?), but he says he’s not ruling out a Thai influence for the new place.
While the true culprit behind the Game Changers hoax is kind of surprising (we were thinking chef Grant Soto), it actually makes sense. Khao San Road is highly active on Chowhound, so Wan certainly knows how silly the city can get about food.
So now, after several weeks of sleuthing, we have this to say to the crafty entrepreneur: well played, Mr. Wan, well played.