All stories relating to Hank’s

The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: McGugan’s, a friendly new Scottish pub on Gerrard Street East

Torontonians have earned the right to be a tad cynical about the opening of yet another ye olde Irish/Scottish/English pub, with their mini-kilt-clad babes, sweet potato fries and calamari rings. But Ted and Mary (née McGugan) Koutsogiannopoulos, along with executive chef Bryan Burke, are hoping to bring something a little more authentic with McGugan’s, their new Scottish tavern on Gerrard Street. The trio, which is also behind Hank’s, Wine Bar and Great Burger Kitchen, secured the place late last summer, and has been sweating away to get it ready for launch ever since (indeed, Burke and Koutsogiannopulis did the woodwork themselves). We dropped in to check it out.

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The Dish

Licious

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Winterlicious 2012: Toronto Life’s picks for King West and the Financial District

WINTERLICIOUS 2012 | DOWNTOWN SOUTH

The dining scene in and around the Financial District has seen a lot of changes since last year’s festival, with new restaurants (Aria, Estiatorio Volos) and new chefs at existing restaurants (Lucien, Brassaii). Here, 24 Winterlicious picks south of College.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Weekly Lunch Pick: a hearty soup and sandwich in Corktown

The chicken galantine sandwich and curried pumpkin purée soup at Gilead Café (Image: Andrew Brudz)

With Jamie Kennedy’s withdrawal from the Wine Bar and Hank’s, and his Gardiner Museum restaurant turned into an event and catering space, the Gilead Café and Bistro is now the best place to go for his French-inflected locavore cuisine. Inside, the trademark wall of colourful preserved fruit and vegetables makes a cozy spot for a fall lunch.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Where to eat lunch this week: Hank’s (redux)

We revisit the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood café to see how it fares in the post-Kennedy era.

The place: No, it’s not déjà vu. Yes, Hank’s has been featured here before. But since then, chef and owner Jamie Kennedy has abandoned ship (along with the Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar next door) and kitchen power couple Scott Vivian and Rachelle Cadwell have taken the helm, giving the downtown café their own culinary spin. The most obvious improvement is the interior. The dining area has doubled, with the stunning sepia-toned mural now a commanding backdrop. The rustic look is carried throughout, with old pews for seating, mason jars for water glasses, and chunky wooden tables.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Tracking the changes at the Wine Bar and Hank’s

Out with the old: the former sign in front of the Wine Bar (Photo by 416style)

Out with the old: the former sign in front of what is now the Wine Bar (Photo by 416style)

It’s been four months since foodie power couples Ted and Mary Koutsogiannopoulos (Joy Bistro) and Scott Vivian and Rachelle Caldwell (Jamie Kennedy Kitchens) bought the Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar and adjoining Hank’s café. Their rebrand is evident everywhere: Hank’s now has table service and dinner (a barbecue-inspired evening menu debuted this week), but the big change that has locavores squealing like whey-fed pigs is that the Wine Bar now takes reservations. “I got a lot of shit about it,” says Vivian about the old policy, “especially from people like Joanne Kates.”

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The Dish

Restaurants

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The sandwich generation: how the recession helped the lowly lunch box staple conquer Toronto

sandwich_juneAs people downsized discretionary spending (and foie gras consumption), the city’s chefs embraced their new bread and butter, turning humble sammies into the greatest thing since, well, sliced bread (sorry, we’re, um, on a roll). We chart the best of an ever-increasing bunch.

• See the sandwich guide>>

The Dish

Restaurants

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Jolt of caffeine: 13 new independent cafés open in Toronto

Brew colours: Espresso's popularity endures (Photo by Iain Farrell)

Brew colours: coffee houses are sprouting up everywhere this recession (Photo by Iain Farrell)

While McDonald’s, Tim Hortons and Starbucks duke it out across North America in their giveaway coffee war, a new batch of independent brewers has emerged in Toronto. Since our last roundup six months ago, at least 13 new cafés have opened up. Here, organized by neighbourhood, is our survey of the city’s hot new fuel-up joints.

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The Dish

People

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Jamie Kennedy sets the record straight on the Gardiner, the debts, and the Wine Bar sale

Present indicative: Jamie Kennedy is evolving his restaurant empire to suit the times (Photo by Davida Aronovitch)

Trim the fat: Jamie Kennedy is scaling back his restaurant empire to suit the times (Photo by Davida Aronovitch)

Last month, Jamie Kennedy called a press conference to talk about the transformation of his Gardiner restaurant from a fine dining destination to a café lunch spot—but that was only the beginning of the story. Kennedy is also facing crippling debt, bailout bids and the sale of his signature Wine Bar.

Kennedy says he will sell the Wine Bar, but only under the right circumstances. “I’m in no hurry,” he says, “This is not a fire sale.” In a Splendido-style hand off, Kennedy has offered the place to the next generation: senior staff Jamie Drummond, Laura Cleland, Aron Mohr and Scott Vivian. If the new JK cohort can scrape the funds together, the founder favours a clean break, though he’s conscious that his managers may want to keep up the association. “The Wine Bar was a beautiful thing and it should continue,” he says, “It occupies an important niche in the landscape of Toronto as a meeting point for local food.”

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The Dish

Deathwatch

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Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner to close on June 7

A place setting and the soon-to-be shuttered Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner (Photo by StudioGabe)

A place setting at the soon-to-be-shuttered Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner (Photo by StudioGabe)

Having opened two café-style eateries in the past year, the once-unstoppable Jamie Kennedy will shutter one of his original haute-cuisine headquarters, Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner. Whispers were confirmed today in a letter from the Gardiner’s chef de cuisine, Scott Vivian. After being stationed there for two years, Vivian will serve up the restaurant’s last lunch to woebegone locavores on June 7.

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