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So Long, Red Tea Box
(Image: Merriam H./Yelp)

(Image: Merriam H./Yelp)

 

Queen West residents will soon have one less window to gawk at. Red Tea Box opened 14 years ago near the corner of Queen and Manning, back when the West Queen West strip was still a dodgy place to loiter after sunset. The bakery-café was known for its dainty bento box lunches, exotic loose-leaf teas and fanciful window displays of multi-tiered cakes. Now, it seems the shop is closing due to the departure of a key staff member. Management left a detailed note about the closure in the shop’s window, offering up a few words of advice: “Remember to live more, and blog less. Take the time to notice the small, the shiny and the flavourful. Farewell and keep well. Perhaps we will see you in another incarnation.” [Via BlogTO]

The Goods

Stores

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Sunrise Records is closing its two Toronto locations
(Image: Sunrise Records Burlington Mall/Facebook)

(Image: Sunrise Records Burlington Mall/Facebook)

Sunrise Records is closing both of its downtown Toronto locations (the company has two stores on Yonge street, one south of Bloor and the other just north of Dundas). After Reddit users noticed an alarming sale, store employees confirmed that the indie music chain’s new owner has decided to focus on the brand’s London, Barrie, Brantford and Burlington outlets. The Etobicoke shop will also remain open, but both downtown stores will close their doors on November 15. In the meantime, record buffs can stock up on vinyl, CDs and pop merchandise at up to 40 per cent off.

The Dish

Closings

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Mount Pleasant chipperie closes after 64 years
(Image: Penrose Fish & Chips/Facebook)

(Image: Penrose Fish & Chips/Facebook)

 

When Roly and Marion Johnston opened Penrose Fish and Chips near the corner of Mount Pleasant and Manor roads, Louis St. Laurent was prime minister, George VI ruled England, and Newfoundland had just barely become a province (also, Martin Short, John Candy and Stockwell Day were all fetuses or newborns). Now, over six decades later, the little restaurant is shutting its doors. According to CBC News, the shop’s current owners, the Johnstons’ son Dave and his wife Rosemary, have decided to retire. Last week, they left this parting message on their Facebook page:

Since announcing the retirement of Penrose Fish and Chips, we have been overwhelmed with phone calls, emails and personal memories shared by our customers. We cannot begin to describe the feeling of appreciation we have for you, our cherished customers, in letting us be a part of your lives!

Regulars have almost exactly one month to say goodbye to the restaurant; Penrose closes for good on October 10.

The Dish

Restaurants

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“Healthy” New York burger chain coming to Toronto
 (Image: Brittany LeMire/Instagram)

Healthy? (Image: Brittany LeMire/Instagram)

Bareburger is a New York–based restaurant chain that specializes in burgers that are “healthy,” insofar as any stack of meat and bread can claim the right to that descriptor. (According to the website, all the menu items are free of GMOs and pesticides, and are 100-per-cent organic; however, calorie and fat counts appear to range from reasonable to KFC-esque.) The chain has a pretty sweet origin story: it was launched back in 2009 by a struggling businessman who started selling organic burgers out of the basement of his Brooklyn nightclub. Bareburger’s first Canadian outlet is scheduled to open this November, somewhere in the vicinity of Bay and Dundas. If the Toronto version is anything like the chain’s 19 U.S. outlets, diners can expect a mix of salads, sandwiches and customizable burgers with a range of patty options, including mushroom, quinoa, beef, lamb, elk, bison and wild boar.

The Informer

People

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Deadmau5 and Disney are in a legal fight over who gets to wear the mouse ears

deadmau5-disney-trademarkLocal EDM performer and former Purrari owner Deadmau5 has, somewhat surprisingly, not been sued by Disney over his use of a cartoonish mouse-head logo during live performances and on marketing materials. Or at least, he hasn’t been sued yet. The musician tweeted on Tuesday that Disney is blocking his attempt to trademark the image in the U.S. TMZ spoke with Mr. Mau5’s lawyer, who confirmed the news, adding that the logo is already trademarked in 30 countries other than the States. Deadmau5 has said that he intends to fight Mickey and company, if necessary, but the dispute has yet to develop into a full-blown court battle.

The Dish

Closings

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Closing time for Red Sauce?
(Image: Renée Suen)

(Image: Renée Suen)

 

The Italian sandwich shop at College and Clinton—formerly fine-dining restaurant Acadia—appears to have shut its doors after just six months. Owners Scott and Lindsay Selland told us last spring that they were aiming to open a restaurant with broad appeal. (“We had friends who didn’t get what we did with Acadia, but they would go to The Keg three times a week,” said Scott. “We weren’t reaching enough people with what we were doing.”) The gamble doesn’t appear to have paid off: a Chowhound user reported the closure last week, and BlogTO followed up with a photo of a “For Lease” sign in the restaurant’s window. Our attempts to confirm the closure with the Sellands were unsuccessful, but it seems safe to assume that Red Sauce’s days are over, at least for the time being.

The Dish

Closings

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RIP Mr. Greenjeans
(Image: Lynda W./Yelp)

(Image: Lynda W./Yelp)

 

The Eaton Centre restaurant’s popularity peaked around 1994, when a vocal jam session in the on-site Sing Your Heart Out booth was an essential part of any amazing fifth-grade birthday party. As for the food, who really remembers. (Well, Yelp does, which could have something to do with the restaurant’s closure.) Management shared the news over Twitter yesterday afternoon, thanking staff and patrons for 34 great years. Anyone born in the early 80s (or earlier) should start feeling ancient right about…now.

The Dish

Restaurants

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Sukhothai coming to Dundas West
(Image: Renée Suen)

(Image: Renée Suen)

 

Toronto has dozens of lackluster Thai restaurants, and just a few good ones—most of which are owned and operated by Nuit and Jeff Regular, the husband-and-wife team behind Sukhothai, Sabai Sabai and Pai. According to BlogTO, they’ll soon be adding yet another Southeast Asian spot to the lineup, this time on the trendy stretch of Dundas between Gladstone and Dufferin. The third location of Sukhothai, the Regulars’ original Thai eatery, will take over the huge space at 1442 Dundas West, previously occupied by short-lived brunch spot The Guild. For the area’s sake, here’s hoping they can make it work—decent Thai take-out is nothing to sneeze at.

The Informer

Real Estate

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Bloordale is evidently tired of being a strip-club strip
(Image: Google Street View)

(Image: Google Street View)

The Star reports that a subtle but significant change is underway in Bloordale, the steadily gentrifying stretch of Bloor Street between Dufferin and Lansdowne. A group of residents operating under the banner of a new organization called the Bloordale Community Improvement Association has thrown its weight behind a movement to unseat the long-time chair of the neighbourhood’s Business Improvement Area, Spiro Koumoudouros—a guy who also happens to be the owner of one of the area’s best-known businesses, the House of Lancaster, a storied strip club where the menu includes an item called the Gang Bang Platter. Koumoudouros seems nonplussed by the opposition. “If I’m doing a great job,” he told the Star, “what’s the matter [with] the House of Lancaster? I’m in a legitimate business.”

The Dish

Nightlife

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Andy Poolhall closes on College
(Image: Andy Poolhall/Facebook)

(Image: Andy Poolhall/Facebook)

 

Any Torontonian between the ages of 25 and 40ish has survived at least a few sweaty dance parties at the Warhol-themed corner bar on College Street. The spot opened as Ciao Edie back in 1998 before being amalgamated with the space next door and renamed after the iconic pop artist. Unfortunately, Andy’s dancing days seem to be over, at least for the time being. According to a recent post on the bar’s Facebook page, penned by resident DJ Denise Benson, co-owners Michael Sweenie and Scott Lane have decided to step away from the nightlife industry because of a recent health scare. “They appreciate everyone who contributed to the nearly 16-year-adventure that has been Ciao Edie and Andy Poolhall,” writes Benson. “Thank you for the many wild nights, and great times had together!” There is a small glimmer of hope for Andy fans: Sweenie is apparently in talks with “a few potential new partners.”

The Goods

Stores

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Holt Renfrew is closing outlets in Ottawa and Quebec in favour of Toronto expansion

HR1While Holt Renfrew fans in Toronto have been enjoying the store’s flashy new Yorkdale renovation (and anticipating a soon-to-open menswear boutique), well-to-do shoppers have been less fortunate in Ottawa and Quebec City, where the upscale retailer has decided to shut down two of its smaller stores, according to the Star. Apparently, the brand wants to focus resources on expanding within key luxury markets. (With increased competition from incoming Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, Toronto certainly makes the cut.) Case in point: the company has revealed plans to completely re-do its Bloor Street flagship (à la Yorkdale reno) by 2017, including adding an entirely new façade and private shopping suites.

The Dish

Drinks

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The new Bellwoods brewery may not have a bottle shop flavour-of-the-month-cold-ones-gta-beer-03

Among the things people generally expect from their neighbourhood nanobreweries, some way of buying bottles to bring home is pretty high on the list. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like that will be a feature of the new Bellwoods facility at Dupont and Dovercourt. According to local beer expert Ben Johnson, there’s a provincial rule that restricts small brewers—meaning those who produce fewer than 25,000 hectolitres of beer annually—from operating more than one retail bottle shop at a time. Since Bellwoods already sells bottles out of its Ossington location, and since its total beer production levels will likely never surpass the 20,000-hectolitre mark, the rule will probably prevent the new location from having a retail component. Johnson spoke with Bellwoods owner Mike Clark, who called the rule “crazy” and said he’s already met with area MPPs to try to get the current laws reviewed.

The Informer

People

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Deadmau5’s “Purrari” is no more
(Image: @GteeEhh/Twitter)

(Image: @GteeEhh/Twitter)

Important Deadmau5 news: in a move that may or may not have been related to a certain cease-and-desist letter he reportedly received from Ferrari USA, the local musician/cat aficionado mentioned on Twitter earlier today that he has removed the vinyl wrap from his Ferrari 458 Spider, restoring it to factory white. It may be easier to sell that way. At least we’ll always have the memories.

The Informer

Business

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The city has been forced to shut down its clever anti-littering ad campaign

(Image: city of Toronto)

(Image: city of Toronto)

Everyone has probably noticed these city-produced ads on transit shelters and buses. The mash-ups of different types of familiar product packaging, created by the ad agency Publicis Canada, make the point very eloquently: if you toss garbage on the street, you’re a terrible person. Except, it turns out, the city neglected a crucial detail. The Globe reports that the ad campaign is in the process of being abruptly ended after some of the companies whose logos were used in the eye-catching images complained. “It really had to do with trademark infringement on some of the products,” city spokesperson Jackie DeSouza told the paper. Yes, we imagine it did. Well, so much for that ad concept. Chuck and Vince are probably waiting for the phone to ring right now.

The Dish

Restaurants

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U.S. fondue franchise eyeing the GTA
(Image: The Melting Pot/Facebook)

(Image: The Melting Pot/Facebook)

 

American fondue chain The Melting Pot announced earlier this week that it’s “actively seeking franchisees to bring its interactive dining experience to Toronto.” The experience—which is currently available at 135 outlets across the States and Mexico, plus a single Canadian location in Edmonton—involves, as one might expect, dunking various skewered things (breads, meats) into pots filled with cheese, broth, oil or chocolate. (There used to be a Melting Pot location in Richmond Hill, but it closed last year.) This jokey vid provides a primer on the melty wonders potentially in store. [Via Eater Toronto]

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