Open/Closed: Toronto Restaurant News June 27-July 3, 2019

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Thank goodness for the long weekend, because you’ve got 13 new destinations from A-Z to fit into your already-booked celebrations.

And stay tuned. I’ve got an exciting announcement this weekend!

Here’s the very latest:

OPEN

After a prolonged delay, Leslieville’s Avling Brewery (1042 Queen St E.) finally opens doors Wednesday.

East York food options just got a serious upgrade thanks to Texas ‘cue by The BarBQ Factory (1559 O’Connor Dr.).

The third outpost of vegan and gluten-free dessert mecca Bunner's Bake Shop (134 Dundas St. W.) has landed at Dundas and Ossington.

Cafe Con Leche (1571 Dupont St.) was started by No.7 Mexican Hot Sauce founders Sandra and Carlos Flores in October 2012. They sold the coffee shop to friends in 2016 to focus their energy on the brand. But the café never left their hearts and soul, so the married couple officially take over the space – again! - on Holiday Monday, with a few interior changes and new food items added.

Doors opened Tuesday for restaurateur Kurt Zdesar’s Chotto Matte at Brookfield Place (161 Bay St.). Expect outta this world Nikkei cuisine and cocktails in a stunning setting. Stay tuned. 

Faim de Loup (940 College St.) debuts tonight with modern, fine French fare.

You may know Hotopia Sichuan Cuisine from their North York eatery (25 Spring Garden Ave.). Now you can enjoy their bold Sichuan fare downtown (45 Carlton St.) across from the Carlton Cinema and Maple Leaf Loblaws.

Lourdes Coffee (1867 Davenport Rd.) is one of the few coffee shops in the city that doesn’t have any social media presence, so you’ve either got to go in person or read about it here. I got the scoop on what to expect: Reunion Island Coffee, baked goods included imported French pastries, and seating for 12-15 guests.

Toronto’s largest pop-up patio Postscript (275 Bathurst St.) launches Wednesday and goes until July 14. The Toronto Fringe Festival's outdoor escape takes over a hockey rink, complete with food, craft beer, cocktails and free all-ages concerts on weekends.

Mississauga’s new Samoon Resto & Lounge (1971 Lakeshore Rd. W.) specializes in sandos, fruit cocktails, gelato, and shisha.

Tacos Clandestina (2107 Yonge St.) - a Mexican taquería by Queen West’s Fonda Lola and Comal De Piedra in Mexico City - has settled in North Toronto on Yonge between Eglinton and Davisville.

 Peruvian pop-up Waska (247 Augusta Ave.) by Chef Elias Salazar (formerly Kay Pacha kicks off on Sunday - just in time for Kensington Market Pedestrian Sunday. You’ve got ‘til the end of August to dig into items including Ceviche ($10-$13), Leche de Tigre ($8), and Purple Corn “Chicha” ($7). A brick-and-mortar spot of same name is set to follow.

In need of caffeine RN? Yorkville Village (55 Avenue Rd.) just added Zaza Espresso Bar to their food court.

CLOSED

For over 30 years, Island Foods (1182 King St. W.) has been a Parkdale staple. The Caribbean restaurant closes up shop at the end of the month.

Relish Bar & Grill (2152 Danforth Ave.) just celebrated 14 years at their Woodbine spot. They’re closing Sunday and moving just a few subway stops west next week. Stay tuned for full deets in next week’s Open/Closed. [UPDATE: June 28, 8:57 am - The date of closure has been moved back to July 9th].

Bloordale vegan bakery Through Being Cool (1277 Bloor St. W.) shutters Sunday.

Sunday is also the last day for sushi at Jugemu (193 Carlton St.). 

EVENTS

Canada’s largest Asian festival, Taste of Asia starts tomorrow.

Bring on the meat sweats at Toronto Ribfest this weekend. 

Drop off your surplus kicks at this cool Neo Coffee Bar Pop-Up.

NEWS

Amazing news: Canada has finally banned the import of shark fin.

ICYMI

#BourdainDay

Louix Louis on the 31st floor of St. Regis Toronto is a serious stunner. And wait ’til you see the cake. Discover more in The Arrival.

Summerlicious is almost here.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants announced “The World’s Best Female Chef” on Tuesday. I asked Toronto’s top chefs and restaurateurs what they think of the separate category for women.

FYI 

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Hear of a place that’s about to open or just closed? Have an upcoming food or restaurant event? Let me know – writerscramp@stephaniedickison.com.