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  #1461  
Old Posted May 16, 2017, 3:18 AM
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I've heard that the Aberdeen Tavern people have purchased the old Baltimore House.
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  #1462  
Old Posted May 17, 2017, 12:33 AM
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^Do you think they'll just run it as is or will it get a complete makeover?
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  #1463  
Old Posted May 17, 2017, 8:09 PM
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In search of Hamilton’s #CityDish
http://www.thespec.com/living-story/...on-s-citydish/

Chicago has deep-dish pizza. Dover has sole. Montreal has smoked meat. Cheshire has its cheese.

But is there a food — or drink — that is truly and uniquely Hamilton?

From Roma Pizza to Beach Road kielbasa to a Tim Hortons double-double, there are many foods that have captured the hearts (and stomachs) of Hamiltonians. Now, we're asking readers to help us choose which dish best represents our unique flavour.

To nominate your favourite Hamilton-centric foods, get in touch with Emma Reilly at ereilly@thespec.com or call 905-526-2452. You can also use the hashtag #CityDish to send us your suggestions on social media.

It can be a food that's made in Hamilton, only available here, or something that originated in the Hammer. Early nominations include Hutch's fish and chips, Karma Candy's candy canes, Denniger's' sausage, and La Luna's shish tawook sandwich.

We'll compile a list and ask readers to pick a favourite, with the aim of finding the one #CityDish that's truly Hamilton's own.
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  #1464  
Old Posted May 17, 2017, 8:10 PM
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  #1465  
Old Posted May 18, 2017, 2:48 PM
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Honest Foods - growing fast in Hamilton

Saw this on The Spec. Quite an ambitious plan!

http://www.thespec.com/living-story/...-for-hamilton/
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  #1466  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2017, 3:21 PM
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Barton Street East becoming new target for Toronto restaurateurs
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilt...ants-1.4133411

...

There's mounting evidence the dream of Barton Street East as a trendy restaurant area is starting to happen. It has a rough recent history — one as a place of crime and street-corner sex work, and vacant derelict buildings where people live in storefronts and pay rent to absentee landlords.

But Cowan opened near Barton and Emerald in November, and already, he has company.

Next door, the owners of School, a wildly popular Toronto brunch place, are opening a themed restaurant called Motel.

A few doors away, father-and-daughter team Alun and Maddy Elias are opening The Second Bowl Food Project, a vegetarian place with a fresh market, and a wooden nickel system to help those with no money eat there. That will open in July, and they already plan another location on King Street East.

There's another "top secret" food place coming to Barton and Sherman, said Rachel Braithwaite, executive director of the Barton Village BIA.

Go Tango just opened at Barton and Wellington in the Hamilton Health Sciences building. Chao, a ramen place, just opened at Barton and Hughson near the Butcher and Vegan, a trailblazer when it opened at Barton and John in 2015.

They're driven, as Cowan was, by the cheap lease rates, the classic buildings and the sense that they're contributing to an up-and-coming area.
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  #1467  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2017, 6:32 PM
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From Restaurateur Jason Cassis, owner of Equal Parts Hospitality. The Equal Parts family includes The Aberdeen Tavern, The Dundurn Kitchen, just around the corner, The French downtown on King William, and Knollwood Golf Club on Shaver Road in Ancaster.

Quote:
The Diplomat, a new restaurant, lounge and event space opening on King William this fall in what used to be the Baltimore House. Cassis says it's modelled on The Drake in Toronto and will offer a casual, global vibe in a fun, energetic and colourful setting.

The Diplomat will focus on group reservations, corporate and cultural events with a capacity of more than 200, with a 30-seat patio, seafood bar and open kitchen. The series of living rooms unfolding throughout the space will function as semiprivate group spaces.

Cassis says they've turned the traditional event programming model "inside out."

There will be a minimum spending requirement, and food service rather than bottle service.

"People can program in their own space, but they must be ticketed events."

Cassis saw a niche opportunity and came up with a plan, The Diplomat, to capitalize on it.

"Downtown Hamilton will support five to 10 larger restaurants in the 100-seat range. There are lots on the Mountain already."

But the party doesn't stop there. Another eatery, yet to be named but referred to as The Italian for now, will pop up in the fall of 2018 — once again in the King William area. It will focus on "modern Italian cuisine" and house a commissary kitchen.

The finale for this next act will be the launch of Equal Parts Catering, expected in "the second half of 2018."

In the longer term, Cassis also wants to expand Knollwood by adding a boutique hotel.

Cassis believes in building strong teams and pulling in local talent. He has brought in Jerrett Young, formerly VP of operations at Oliver & Bonacini in Toronto, as his co-CEO. Cory Tower, former GM of Canoe restaurant, is director of operations and NOSH week judge Matt Beasley (One at the Hazelton) is executive chef.
The whole article

http://www.thespec.com/living-story/...ants-and-more/
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  #1468  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2017, 3:55 PM
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Thai Memory on King William closed up at some point in the past week or two. Empty now that place had been there for well over 10 years.
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  #1469  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2017, 4:41 PM
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Thai Memory on King William closed up at some point in the past week or two. Empty now that place had been there for well over 10 years.
Their lease was up. Pat who was the familiar face who would serve you most of the time told he was heading out east. Its too bad they closed. It was such a fantastic place and the atmosphere in there was great.
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  #1470  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2017, 1:20 PM
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From “The Inlet”

List of restaurants that are opening soon in Hamilton:

The Fizz – Artisan Sodas and Sandwiches
217 King Street East

The Second Bowl Food Project
342 Barton Street East

CIMA Enoteca
190 Locke Street South

Moody’s
107 George Street

Betula Restaurant
225 King Street West, Dundas

Motel Restaurant
259 Barton Street East

Eatwell/Little Big Bowl
225 John Street South, Corktown Plaza

Pokeh Uptown
Concession Street

There has also been mention of a Fish and Chips resto named Codfather, Frats on King William, a new location for Donut Monster, a fancy soft serve joint on James, a wine bar (?) beside Vintage Coffee and the openings from Equal Parts Hospitality.

http://theinletonline.com/restaurants-opening-soon/
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  #1471  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2017, 7:32 PM
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The new Starbuck's downtown by the Swiss Chalet looks like it is open.
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  #1472  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2017, 6:26 PM
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In search of Hamilton’s #CityDish
http://www.thespec.com/living-story/...on-s-citydish/

Chicago has deep-dish pizza. Dover has sole. Montreal has smoked meat. Cheshire has its cheese.

But is there a food — or drink — that is truly and uniquely Hamilton?
What’s Hamilton’s #CityDish? Vote for the food that best represents the city
Here are our 10 finalists and a few more honourable mentions
http://www.thespec.com/living-story/...ents-the-city/

One thing's for certain: Hamiltonians love their food.

We asked readers to help choose a dish that they feel truly represents the city, in the hope of finding the one food that's truly Hamilton's own. After a deluge of calls, emails, tweets and discussions, we've narrowed the selections to 10 finalists (as well as a list of honourable mentions: those nominated at least once).

The final 10 are mostly simple, longtime favourites — think hotdogs, sausages and doughnuts — rather than dishes from the growing crop of restaurants that have popped up in Hamilton over the past several years.

To vote for your favourite, tweet to Emma Reilly (@EmmaatTheSpec) using the hashtag #CityDish, or call 905-526-2452.

The finalists:


Beach Road kielbasa

This smoky, salty sausage has been beloved by Hamiltonians for decades.

The kielbasa — which is made with extra-lean pork and contains less than 10 per cent fat — was reportedly sampled by Pope John Paul II, thanks to Cardinal Jozef Glemp, who brought some back to the Vatican after visiting the Beach Road Meat Market in 1985.

"Back in the day, we used to have lineups on Beach Road probably a mile and a half long, and we'd have to limit it to two pounds per person. Then you would have to go to the back of the line," said Chris Newport, butcher manager of Locke St. Meats and Deli, the current home of Beach Road kielbasa. "People would bring five of their family members so they could buy more."

Hutch's fish and chips

Since Hutch's opened in 1946, their fish and chips have become a mainstay of classic Hamilton cuisine.

People love the restaurant's diner-style decor, beachfront views and, of course, the generous helpings of battered fish and fries.

"It's a family institution," said Rick Creechan, Hutch's general manager.

The reason why Hutch's fish and chips are so good? They're fried in beef fat — the same way they've always been prepared, says Creechan. While vegetarians may shudder at the thought, it's an all-natural, trans fat-free product that makes the dish extra crispy and tasty.

"We try to make sure the food's consistent," he said. "We use all the same ingredients we've used forever."

Easterbrook's hotdogs

Though Easterbrook's is technically in Aldershot, Hamiltonians have embraced their hotdogs as their own.

The restaurant, first opened in 1926 by Mable Easterbrook, was originally a tea house. In 1930, they began selling hotdogs — and the rest, as they say, is history.

Since then, Easterbrook's has sold 1600 miles of 'dogs each year — roughly $500,000 worth.

"We've been around for almost 100 years. Families have been coming here for decades," said Blake Easterbrook, who recently took over the restaurant from his father, Ray.

"We've got the best food in town, of course," he adds with a laugh. "That always helps."

Roma Pizza

Roma Pizza — a mainstay of Hamilton birthday parties, pot lucks, picnics and family gatherings — has a curious allure that's not often understood by outsiders.

Indeed, when Roma's bakery tried to sell its famous pizza in Toronto, the venture fizzled. To this day, Roma Pizza remains an only-in-Hamilton phenomenon.

The concept is simple: tomato sauce, a puffy, breadlike crust and maybe a limited selection of toppings (if you want to get fancy) — but the slab pizza inspires a cultlike following.

Roma Bakery in Stoney Creek produces 2,500 handmade pizzas every week. The secret's in the sauce, said longtime employee Donna Smith.

"It's like no other pizza. It's distinctively Hamilton. It's very unique — it's good hot or cold," she said. "It's one of those things. Once people find it, they always come back."

Tally Ho roast beef sandwich

While other fast-food joints on Main Street West come and go (RIP Harvey's and Burger King), Tally Ho has been a mainstay for hungry Hamiltonians for decades.

Its no-fuss menu is a particular favourite of past and present McMaster students (especially in the post-party wee hours) and Hamilton rocker B.A. Johnston, whose love for Tally Ho is documented in several of his songs.

Tally Ho's signature dish is arguably the roast beef sandwich, prepared from scratch on-site.

"It's very special meat. It's all homemade. It's not processed or anything," said Tally Ho supervisor Athena Keramidas.


Tim Hortons double-double and doughnut


Before Tim Hortons set up shop in every Canadian city, town and hamlet, it was Hamilton's own. The original store, on the corner of Ottawa Street and Dunsmere Road, is now a museum dedicated to the beloved made-in-Hamilton franchise.

A coffee and doughnut from Timmies is classically Hamilton: simple, unpretentious, and just the right mix of bitter and sweet flavours.

Denninger's sausage

Denninger's is the official hotdog and sausage supplier of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and its sausages are like meaty morsels of civic pride.

Made in a Hamilton manufacturing facility from 100 per cent Ontario pork or locally raised poultry, the sausages have been Hamilton favourites since Rudolf and Frieda Denninger arrived in Hamilton in 1953 and opened their first deli.

Today, they're available in more than 15 flavours, ranging from the traditional (bratwurst, honey garlic and Italian) to the more adventurous (chicken mango, chipotle, kale and artisan beer).

Gorilla Cheese lumberjack sandwich

The story of Gorilla Cheese is about as Hamilton as you can get.

During the economic downturn, Graeme Smith was laid off from his job at U.S. Steel. With the help of the provincial Second Career program, he went to culinary school — and from there, Hamilton's first food truck was born.

Since its inception, Gorilla Cheese has consistently drawn long lineups at festivals, been featured on the Food Network's "Eat Street" and Smith even landed an investment deal on CBC's "Dragons' Den."

The lumberjack — featuring bacon, Granny Smith apple, maple syrup and medium-aged cheddar — exemplifies Hamilton's love of hearty, meaty foods, says Smith.

"I've always tried to be what you go to Hamilton for, as far as a sandwich goes," he said. "I like to think of the lumberjack as Hamilton's sandwich."

"It's something neat that Hamilton can claim for itself. I think grilled cheese is by far the food of Hamilton."

Grandad's Donuts

Grandad's Donuts are like little pieces of dessert heaven — though they're not really that little.

The generously-sized desserts have become Hamilton favourites since the bakery opened, almost exactly 10 years ago, in May 2007.

Made fresh at the store at Burlington and James streets — which looks like an '80s time capsule with its retro colours and upholstered stools — Grandad's doughnuts are completely handmade from scratch by five bakers with a combined 150 years of expertise. The bakery produces 2,500 to 3,500 each day in flavours that aren't available anywhere else (including walnut crunch and orange twist).

The doughnuts always sell out, says Samantha Whipps, Grandad's owner, operator and manager — sometimes earlier than they would hope.

"Our bakers work 12-hour shifts. They can only do so much," she said. "Our doughnuts are done the old-school Hamilton way. We're what Hamilton grew up knowing — the doughnuts everybody knows and loves and misses."

Karma Candy canes

Did you know that candy canes are a quintessentially Hamilton food?

Karma Candy on Emerald Street North is Canada's only candy cane manufacturer. It's also the only place in North America that produces mini canes wrapped individually like the large canes. (Other places use what's known in the candy biz as "cushion wrap" — a rectangular, cellophane extrusion where the candy cane sits in the middle).

While the 300,000-square-foot facility may not be a household name — none of their confections are branded — they are active community members. They donate candy to local food banks and also ship pallets of candy canes to Canadian troops overseas.

"We're very involved with the community, and we're trying to get more and more involved," said Tiffany Rushing, Karma Candy's manager.

Honourable mentions

● Dawson's hot sauce

● La Luna shish tawook sandwich

● Mike's submarines

● Nique's sushi nachos

● HAMBRGR's burgers

● Mama Yolanda's lasagna

● Black Forest Inn's schnitzel

● Nickelodeon sandwich from Rankin's Restaurant

● Roma Bakery's chicken on a skewer

● Vegan macaroon from My Dog Joe

● Donut Monster's doughnuts

● Relay coffee

● Cake and Loaf Bakery treats

● Rudy's paletas (Mexican fresh-fruit ices)

● Strub's pickles

● Mustard (G.S. Dunn has been milling seeds in the city for 148 years)

● Pizza from Mother's

● Chicken Roost — no specific dish, but people still rave about its chicken on a bun, cherry cokes, pies, spareribs, fries with gravy, steaks, chicken soup, butter tarts, ice cream puffs with hot fudge, tea biscuits and graham wafer butterscotch pie. Restaurateur Max Mintz opened The Roost in 1948; it closed in 1986.
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  #1473  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2017, 6:33 PM
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My Grandpa who died about five years ago used to live in Nova Scotia, when he was in his 20s he was hired at Stelco and raised his family in Hamilton. So anyways every time he would come to Hamilton we always had to make a stop at Ottawa St to get Beach Road kielbasa (this is before they moved to Locke St) and head to Hutch's for fish and chips.

Now whenever I see Beach Road kielbasa I think of my grandpa, jeez I miss him.
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  #1474  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2017, 11:16 PM
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Here we go again!!!!!!!



While the local food scene is booming, restaurants in the city-owned space have struggled

By Adam Carter, CBC News: Jun 07, 2017 5:27 PM ET

After months with the doors closed and the lights off, Wendel Clark's grill and bar is reopening inside Hamilton's iconic Lister Block tomorrow afternoon.

It's the third opening in three years for one of the most visible spots in the city owned building, which has already housed a short lived, disastrous steakhouse, and a previous iteration of Clark's restaurant, which closed just before Christmas in 2016.

At the time, the city said the then-franchise owners were behind on rent. The group that franchises the chain has since taken it over and renovated, and will run it as a corporate location, says Delfina Duarte, the city's manager of facility planning and business support.

"I think that with these changes and new management, that this could be a success," she said.

The previous franchise owners, Louis and Karen Muscat, told CBC News that they weren't properly supported by the Wendel Clark's franchise or the city.

Muscat says he and his wife spent $485,000 to renovate the space when they first took over, and have since had to sell their home to cover debts, after investing money set aside for their retirement.

"We lost everything in our lives," he said. "We're financially ruined. I sold my corvette to make payroll, and that corvette meant a lot to me."

"We came to Hamilton for an investment in the city. We met every deadline the city wanted."

Dynamic Hospitality and Entertainment Group, which franchises the chain, did not respond to an interview request for this story.

Operation was a 'risk' for 1st time owners, city says

Duarte said that the Muscats were the only people who applied for the space through the city's RFP process, noting that they were first-time restaurant owners.

"That was a risk," she said. "It's tougher to get off the ground when you're new to the business."

While two businesses have now floundered in that city-owned space, Hamilton's restaurant community is booming, just steps away. Several restaurants have opened up on James Street North and King William, like The French, Berkeley North, Nique, most recently, Merit Brewing.

Yet in a space that the city owns, nothing has worked. First there was 28 Lister Chophouse Grill, which the city had to seize after the operator stopped paying his bills.

It was plagued by complaints from contractors and staff who claimed they were never paid, as well as grumbling about the quality of the food and prices from the general public.

City invested thousands in space

Wendel Clark's had less overt problems, but Muscat told CBC News that there were times when only two to three customers would be in the restaurant for lunch service.

The city originally invested $267,000 in the ground floor space, back before the steakhouse opened.

Duarte said the city did pay for part of the renovations in the building this time — namely, cutting out portions of a wall so that the bathrooms in the building actually connect with the restaurant.

She says this was "in the city's best interest," as it would cut down on security guard costs for the rest of the building. Duarte could not say exactly how much the renovation cost.

Wendel Clark's reopens on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. The restaurant says that the former Maple Leafs captain will be there for the event.

adam.carter@cbc.ca

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/clarks-1.4150317
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  #1475  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 6:15 PM
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I saw some people doing something on the patio yesterday and wondered what was going on. I feel bad for the franchisees. I'm curious if the corporate iteration will work. Personally I think a Wendel Clark's might do better on a street like Upper James.
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  #1476  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2017, 12:34 PM
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... Personally I think a Wendel Clark's might do better on a street like Upper James.
^ This. The downtown core of the city is exactly the wrong place for a suburban sports bar. I doubt WC will be open very long, and to be honest I'm not sure if it would work on any of the "Upper" streets either.

The larger chains (Milestones, Jack Astor) succeed in downtown Toronto because they are close to major sports venues; they get a flow of customers who commute in for hockey, baseball, etc.

The City will continue to bleed money on the Lister space until it gets some proper advice on the dynamics of the restaurant business.
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  #1477  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2017, 6:13 PM
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^ This. The downtown core of the city is exactly the wrong place for a suburban sports bar. I doubt WC will be open very long, and to be honest I'm not sure if it would work on any of the "Upper" streets either.

The larger chains (Milestones, Jack Astor) succeed in downtown Toronto because they are close to major sports venues; they get a flow of customers who commute in for hockey, baseball, etc.

The City will continue to bleed money on the Lister space until it gets some proper advice on the dynamics of the restaurant business.

Not sure if anyone here has ever been told about the list of restaurant owners who were interested in Lister before the city scared them all off with their insane procurement process.... some heavy hitters.
Some winery owners from Niagara on the Lake, the French/Aberdeen Tavern folks, as well as some of the well-known TO restaurant groups (think Canoe and the likes)

Instead we end up with some crap joint serving microwaved food.
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  #1478  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2017, 1:04 AM
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I was craving banh mi the other day (my day off) and saw this article in the Toronto Star:

Where to eat in Hamilton
Pokeh owner Salar Madadi gives a tour of his favourite new and old spots for quick eats in and around Hamilton
https://www.thestar.com/life/food_wi...ood-scene.html

The Niagara Region is a bit of a banh mi food desert. Pho-sure, but banh mi is tough to find.
So I made a spur of the moment lunch road trip with my cousin to try out Chao. It's located on Barton just east of James St.
http://saychao.ca/

They make their own baguettes (def. quality bread) and use fresh ingredients. For the summer they no longer serve Ramen but *now* have 5 choices of banh mi (1 pulled chicken, 1 bbq chicken, 1 meatball, 1 coldcut (saigonese) and 1 veggie option). On the day we went they only had the pulled chicken, meatball, and Saigonese-cold cut option so we got one of each.
Would recommend!

It was extremely hot in the restaurant so we took our subs to go and I drove to Bayfront park to enjoy them at a picnic table with a nice view.
Then to cap off our trip I drove to Grandad's to get the tasty donuts like how I remember them tasting as a child in the 80s. We split 4 of the half dozen on the drive back to St. Kitts
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  #1479  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2017, 3:57 PM
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Koosh Bistro @ 1047 King St. W has closed. On a sign on the door states they have closed "do to a 43% rent increase"

They are looking for a new location and are opening a sister restaurant called "Kamoosh" in the fall in Waterdown.
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  #1480  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2017, 4:13 PM
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Koosh Bistro @ 1047 King St. W has closed. On a sign on the door states they have closed "do to a 43% rent increase"

They are looking for a new location and are opening a sister restaurant called "Kamoosh" in the fall in Waterdown.
I guess they must have been open for five years and signed a five year lease, similar to the Baltimore House. Seems to be a reoccurring thing now, although I figured Westdale was always expensive.
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