Well before it served its first burger, Brad Long’s new restaurant was getting chatter. At 18,000 square feet, capacity for over 700, a big-name chef, four floors, a huge patio and a Bloor West Village location, the project was an odd confluence of factors, and Toronto foodies were hotly debating it. But Long, his right-hand man Dave Billington and co-owner Randy Metcalfe seemed deaf to it all, slowly converting the former Billy Bob’s Bistro and Saloon into My Place: A Canadian Pub. The restaurant has been opening in stages since September 2, with its final phase—a sports bar—unveiled last night.
“It was never meant to be a gastropub,” explains Long as he describes the restaurant’s transformation. Gone is the funhouse feel of Billy Bob’s, replaced by a soothing palette in the dining room and a more vibrant red-and-black scheme in the main floor pub. The decor is “logistics based,” he says, noting that he preferred to invest in a brand new kitchen than in design—in other words, he wants to attract diners for the food, not the beauty. Read the rest of this entry »
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