Thursday, October 27, 2016Light Rain 7°C

Ole Ole flops after only five months

Posted by Liora Ipsum / February 12, 2014

Ole Ole Toronto deadpoolOle Ole, the three-floor tapas bar on King East that replaced Kultura, has shuttered a mere five months after its debut. One report on Chowhound paints a picture of uncleared tables, dead flowers, and notice posted to the door from the landlord seizing the property due to unpaid rent.

Reached on the phone, owner Andrew Lopez cited internal issues amongst managing partners as the cause for the demise of the restaurant, but hinted that the concept could reopen at a new address -- and presumably with a different ownership structure.

The restaurant launched last September with an expansive menu billed as Spanish-meets-Mexican tapas from 23-year-old chef Rodrigo Aguilar-Salas. While the food was generally well received, any praise was overshadowed by complaints about poor service, long wait times and small portions.

The familiar tale is also being played out at another nearby heritage building-cum-restaurant. The even shorter-lived, Olde Towne Bistro & Oyster Bar has closed after only three months.



cosmosuave / February 12, 2014 at 01:37 pm
No surprise there... We did a b'day there and the food was sub par... Day old tortilla chips and cold food the space was beautiful though...
James / February 12, 2014 at 02:29 pm
Some people (I like to call them "idiots"), just should not be in the restaurant industry. Having the money to open a restaurant doesn't mean you're qualified to open one.
Good riddance to the okay food and the horrendous people they called a staff.
floob / February 12, 2014 at 03:05 pm
Tapas in North America = A dining experience for people who like to get ripped off.
chester / February 12, 2014 at 03:49 pm
I read through all the blogto review comments from their review early. Wow! my favourite one was the couple who wrote about their crap experience and commented and how bad the table beside them got served too. Then the next comment was the table beside them confirming that experience with an even longer disappointing review. Its one thing to have managing partner issues its another to just not train your staff properly.
Alana / February 12, 2014 at 03:50 pm
Tried to go here once - even made reservations in advance. They said we weren't in the system and the hostess spend twenty minutes talking to her manager about seating us. The restaurant was empty!!! We booked it and ended up going to Pacific Junction Hotel instead. Better decision.
Michael / February 12, 2014 at 04:09 pm
How many establishments have occupied that space and never succeeded? I've seen it change so many times. O&B should take over and make a smaller version of their Canteen. The area is frequented by students from George Brown and casual locals. It's also very dark and uninviting. Something cool and casual needs to be injected in that space. Even a Snakes&Lattes would do better there.
Kayla / February 12, 2014 at 04:32 pm
I blame the music. I went there - the food was good, but the music was so obnoxious it made me want to leave.
Nacho Libre / February 12, 2014 at 04:46 pm
Tapas, in general, is a big rip off in Toronto.
Bobo / February 12, 2014 at 06:18 pm
When Kultura first opened, the food was superb, the staff exceptional and the vibe inviting. Then someone bought the place and the food became mediocre, the service surly and inattentive ... even the promotions got a cheesy makeover - a total disappointment.

Not sure if this was the same people. Anyway, the space is great - it would be nice if a talented team came in with some good food and service.

In the meantime, Carbon Bar, which recently opened nearby, is a nice option.

pj / February 12, 2014 at 06:40 pm
Not sure what it is with all these pretentious tapas joints. No one wants to spend a load of cash and leave hungry - which is typical of tapas in Toronto it seems. As for the oyster place - that seems like such a dated concept and immediately removes the appeal of the place to a load of people who just assume it only sells oysters.
Sunny Batra / February 13, 2014 at 04:14 am
This is what I am looking.I really appreciate your work, keep it up.
Terry / February 13, 2014 at 01:27 pm
Kultura was terrible, this was even worse. Service was the key issue...making guests wait when you're entire restaurant is empty is just flat out awful customer service. Not to mention that we didn't see our server from the time we ordered until the time we paid. Management needs to do a better job in training qualified staff.
Other Cities: Montreal