Open/Closed: Toronto Restaurant News August Aug 15-21, 2019

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Have you noticed the influx of bubble tea shops lately? Proving the trend shows no signs of slowing down: Of my 15 arrivals this week, four are all about the boba. 

Here’s the very latest: 

OPEN

Grab bubble tea with exotic names (Deerioca Puff, Northern Lights) at The Alley’s newest outpost: College Park (382 Yonge St.).

Bar Poet (1090 Queen St. W.) is serving up “Toronto-style pizza” alongside beer and cocktails at Queen and Dovercourt. Stay tuned.

Black Mill Tea (275 Dundas St. W.) has everything from milk teas to “fresh fruit dirty” selections.

Bloom Café (596 Yonge St.), formerly Tsujiri, opened Saturday. They still carry some Tsujiri signature items (matcha latte, matcha soft serve), but have branched out with new items including strawberry soft serve and coffee. Grand opening celebrations to follow on Friday August 23rd.

Boat King Thai Noodles (770 Bay St.) softly launched Monday at College and Bay.

The first Bubble Lee in Canada debuts downtown this weekend. The first 100 customers at 469 Queen St. W. tomorrow and Saturday receive a free drink. Everyone else will enjoy 50 per cent off. Watch this space – more locations to come.

Japanese cheesecake alert: The Cheese Garden’s summer pop-up at Scarborough Town Centre (300 Borough Dr., Lower Level) is on until August 31st.

Get your Nashville Hot Chicken fix at Chen Chen’s Hot Chicken. The three-month pop-up at Stackt Market (28 Bathurst St.) will offer new concepts throughout their stay. 

You’ve got two places to grab Colaba Junction’s Bombay-style street food now, thanks to a second downtown location (410 Bathurst St.). 

From Oakville’s Catch Hospitality Group (Cucci, Tavolo, The Firehall) comes Insta-ready Duckies Dairy Bar (2340 Ontario St.), with “ice cream, floats, sweet treats and more,” available until September. 

Mean Bao’s empire continues with a fifth location at Yonge and St. Clair (1440 Yonge St.). Doors opened on Monday.

Richmond Hill’s Rabbit Rabbit Tea (10650 Leslie St., Unit 4) softly opened Tuesday, with the grand opening taking place Sunday noon to 9pm.

San Fransesco Foods brings their famous veal sandos eastside to Greektown (915 Danforth Ave.).

Get “Japanese crêpes with a Tokyo twist and NYC kick” at Mississauga’s T-Swirl Crêpe (521 Curran Pl.).

Top Bistro (275 Dundas St. W.) does soup, salads, bowls and grilled sandwiches

CLOSED

Much of the furniture has been cleared out of Brownstone Bistro (603 Yonge St.).

After four years in Kensington, vegan restaurant and dessert bar Cosmic Treats (207 Augusta Ave) is closing on Sunday, citing they  “cannot afford the new proposed tripling of our rent.”

Creeds Coffee Bar Bayview location(1595 Bayview Ave.) is temporarily closed.

 EVENTS

Don’t miss Rum Royale’s Rum Punch Battle happening at Harbourfront tomorrow.

The CNE kicks off tomorrow. Stay tuned for a look at this year’s food lineup.

The largest Filipino street festival outside of the Philippines, Taste of Manila, takes place this weekend at Bathurst and Wilson.

Head to Chinatown Centre Mall this weekend for the 19th annual Toronto Chinatown Festival.

The Panamerican Food & Music Festival takes over Yonge-Dundas Square this weekend.

Get tickets now for Tuesday’s New Roots Dinner. Net profits go directly to Green Thumbs Growing Kids.

NEWS

Jollibee is opening soon at Promenade Mall, with more outposts to follow in the GTA in 2020. Stay tuned. 

Toronto will be home to ByMinistry, a “cannabis cultural hub - experiential, educational, retail + design,” this winter. 

The Thompson Toronto will be the first Canadian location of 1 Hotel Toronto as of next summer. 

Foodora couriers have completed voting on union certification.

NBD - Cardi B and Offset got ice cream at Sweet Jesus.

ICYMI

In this month’s At The Pass, meet Chef Haan Palcu-Chang who helms one of the top kitchens in the city.

FYI

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Hear of a place that’s about to open or just closed? Have an upcoming food or restaurant event? Want to partner with Toronto Restaurants? Send me an email. writerscramp@stephaniedickison.com