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Smoke BBQ House flames out after 3 months (sort of)

Posted by Derek Flack / March 13, 2013

Smoke BBQ HouseAnd the record for fastest to the deadpool goes to...Smoke BBQ House. Opened on Harbord Street in December, the meat-focused restaurant announced on Twitter yesterday that it had closed its doors. Perhaps there's some cosmic stipulation that Toronto can only have so many bourbon and BBQ joints — and having reached capacity, one must invariably close when another opens.

Needless to say the folks at Smoke don't believe the gods are so cruel. According to Toronto Life, the chef has bought the business and plans to reopen under the name Smoke Bourbon Bar-B-Q House. As per a second tweet from yesterday, the previous owner promises to reopen (under the original name) "at a new location with a new chef." Call me an dink, but that seems like an awfully optimistic promise.

The barbecue game in this town has gotten rather competitive, and this particular smokehouse received mixed reviews out of the gate. Opening a restaurant in this city is also a rather lengthy process, so if a second Smoke is set to return at some point, here's betting it ain't soon. As for the restaurant at 536 Manning, watch for a new menu in the near future.

Photo by Jesse Milns



Simonyyz / March 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm
We tried to go last weekend and the place was packed - 45 minute wait. Smelled promising, the servers looked harried.
Jer / March 13, 2013 at 12:25 pm
Latest news on this. Chef is rebranding and they are open again as of tonight. Dispute between business partners


Hope they improve the food or this place will be shut for good in no time.
Frank / March 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm
How kind of the former owner to take to Twitter announcing the closure.
ftura / March 13, 2013 at 01:20 pm
went to this place and asked the server how they cook the ribs...he had no idea...seems like someone trying to catch on to a fad without actually having the smoke know how.
duder / March 13, 2013 at 01:28 pm
I love this:

"Perhaps there's some cosmic stipulation that Toronto can only have so many bourbon and BBQ joints — and having reached capacity, one must invariably close when another opens"

Followed by this:

"According to Toronto Life, the chef has bought the business and plans to reopen under the name Smoke Bourbon Bar-B-Q House"
Jeff replying to a comment from ftura / March 13, 2013 at 02:06 pm
A fad... in Toronto... proprietors that are clueless and only riding coattails... noooooooooo. I refuse to believe it.
Brandon / March 13, 2013 at 02:12 pm
Quite unfortunate, as I enjoyed this place and - as an added bonus - happen to live just down the street from it. I don't think it was an issue of unenthusiastic response from Toronto's bbq-hungry denizens, as the place was consistently busy both times I had eaten there. I'm guessing there was some sort of falling out between the owners. Still, such a shame considering how long it took them to renovate the location and to open up.
Greg replying to a comment from duder / March 13, 2013 at 03:30 pm
Can you say hyperbole? Check yo self, dude.
Justin / March 13, 2013 at 04:09 pm
Doesn't surprise me, I went there once and it was some of the worst "bbq" I've ever had.
Dan / March 13, 2013 at 05:33 pm
Meh, the bbq was okay but nothing special and the service really sucked, not to mention the place was almost dead when I was there.
david / March 13, 2013 at 06:04 pm
anybody wanting to open a bbq joint needs to make the pilgrimage to dinosaur bbq. Nobody does bbq in toronto like they do in the u.s, toronto is all sauce no real character to the meat.
jeff g / March 13, 2013 at 06:58 pm
please. stop. using this annoying made up term "deadpool". It's so embarrassing to read.
Josh replying to a comment from Frank / March 13, 2013 at 07:34 pm
Hey if Sarah Thomson can accuse our Mayor Rob Ford of groping her by posting on Facebook first before going to the authorities, government, or lawyers then heck..social media is a fine place to announce a restaurant closing.
Josh replying to a comment from ftura / March 13, 2013 at 07:38 pm
Can't speak for this place but alot of BBQ Smoke restaurants have the meat smoked and bbq'd at an off site facility then have it delivered day of. Alot of places don't have the ability to properly smoke on site.

Unless of course they're using a liquid smoke product on site to get that smoky flavor in a standard oven,
Stern12 / March 14, 2013 at 11:35 am
If it's the same chef then the food will still suck anyways.
nardl blarn replying to a comment from me / March 14, 2013 at 12:19 pm
Me, the deadpool detailed in those links is very different to the way this term is being used by BlogTo (and only BlogTO). Your links refer to a game where people can bet on who they think will die next. Thus people in the deadpool are still very much alive and once they do pass they cease to be part of the pool. Very different to some "other place" to which businesses move once their owners or creditors decide to call it a day.
me replying to a comment from nardl blarn / March 14, 2013 at 09:50 pm
all fair points.
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