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The Guild dives into the deadpool after one year

Posted by Liora Ipsum / March 26, 2014

The Guild Toronto ClosedThe Guild on Dundas West has gone belly up just a year after opening. The brunch spot gained early momentum for its decadent and boozy menu that boasted specialties like foie gras stuffed French toast and champagne cocktails. The business quietly stopped service last month amidst the lull of the winter season and has now been put up for sale with the hopes of keeping the concept intact.

The newly renovated 5,000 square foot space is being shopped around for $325,000. Fully equipped and licensed, it could be a turn-key operation for an ambitious would-be restaurateur. So, who wants to buy a restaurant on Dundas West?



Jimmie / March 26, 2014 at 03:11 pm
Great more shitty expensive cocktails coming to hipstertown.
Chris / March 26, 2014 at 03:16 pm
Did NOT enjoy a brunch we had here once, which is too bad as the neighbourhood could use a new brunch or dinner spot.
BigbossMan replying to a comment from Jimmie / March 26, 2014 at 03:23 pm
Hey Jimmie. You're an idiot.

This story is about a restaurant that served "shitty expensive cocktails" closing and the restaurant being put up for sale. Even if someone bought the space and opened a new bar or restaurant that served "shitty expensive cocktails", "hipstertown" would neither be gaining nor losing any "shitty expensive cocktails". It's the same number of cocktails that were there before, just with a new owner.
Perry Como / March 26, 2014 at 03:30 pm
foie gras stuffed French toast must have been a winner.
Brian replying to a comment from Jimmie / March 26, 2014 at 03:33 pm
I second BigbossMan's comment about Jimmie. You just complain to complain. Stick to your breakfast sandwiches at Timmy's, no one cares about your opinion about people trying to make new businesses succeed on Dundas west.
Betty / March 26, 2014 at 03:35 pm
A bit too pricey for the area, I'd wager. The Federal and This End Up on the same block have done well, so it's not that locals don't eat in restaurants. It's just that foie gras stuffed French toast is de trop, and the space is pretty huge. Best of luck to whoever buys it, but it may be better to ditch "the concept."
HHH / March 26, 2014 at 03:38 pm
I am not surprised this place went under. The interior decoration is one of the oddest i've ever seen. They took all the fads and shoved it into one incoherent place. This is also true of their menu. We walked away from our meal without figuring out the identity the Guild was going for. Looking forward to what will replace it.
CTM / March 26, 2014 at 03:49 pm
As if this matters, except that I am a person in the neighbourhood and do enjoy eating now and again, but e.g. fish sandwich at Brazil Bakery or This End Up = win. Sorry to say it (or rather, sorry it's so late for those of you who tried to run this business and not enough ppl had this complaint and maybe you could have changed your menu accordingly) but the blech menu kept me away.
Donnie replying to a comment from Betty / March 26, 2014 at 04:01 pm
The Federal and This End up are also much smaller establishments with less tables so they fill up easily, giving a busier more popular appearance and they have lower rents to pay. This place is quite large for DuWest to fill up, so it always appeared empty even with a few full tables inside. It is a good location but would be good as a pizza or pasta house.
George / March 26, 2014 at 04:09 pm
Tried this place once. The food was disgusting to say the least. Overkill on everything sugar/fat/candied in one dish. And sloppy over sized portions.
Ernie / March 26, 2014 at 04:27 pm
I thought it was a bit to decadent in the menu and pricing for the area and would've done better for the Bay St crowd. The new DuWest is mainly the middle class after work crowd going out in the evening to grab a somewhat simple bite and some drinks or simple brunch'ers on the weekend.
Adam / March 26, 2014 at 04:53 pm
So for $325,000 your not buying the building or are you? You're just getting the concept and taking over lease before they resort to dismantling the whole thing and sell the kitchen off in pieces?

I'm not clear on what exactly is for sale on the listing.

If its the building and everything included its a deal but if the owner of the restaurant didn't own the building and sunk themselves renovating it and absorbing all the reno costs, that's one reason it probably didn't stay a float, cause now your trying to pay rent and pay back $325,000 in costs at $15 a plate. The Landlord just got a pretty sweet reno for free.

Otherwise if its the building, I'll buy it and live there, it that's cheaper and bigger than a condo.
DKB / March 26, 2014 at 05:02 pm
It is a shame. I was really pleased to see a nice, new restaurant opening up in my neighbourhood. I didn't feel it was overpriced at all but was disappointed with the menu. We only went a few times hoping it would get better. Beautiful space though.
JCB / March 26, 2014 at 06:03 pm
The sale is for the business only, a transfer of the liquor license, and all the chattels.

On one hand, it's a good deal, even if you change the concept. But only for people with more money than the patience to renovate their own place for much less.

On the other hand, 325K is a lot of money for a business that wasn't profitable.
aDawg / March 26, 2014 at 06:13 pm
325k?! AHAHAHA! Good luck with that! If the landlord was
smart, he/she would lock out the business owners, sell the chattels at auction, and sell the business themselves. I can only imagine how many months unpaid rent they're owed...
I know what's good / March 26, 2014 at 06:50 pm
Too big, owner was pushy, menu sounded blah, fois gras c'mon. Unfortunate, but I saw it coming from the second it opened.
aDawg / March 26, 2014 at 07:04 pm
While I hate to admit it, what the Dundas & Dufferin neighbourhood needs is a family-friendly Italian restaurant - like Mamma Martino's, but with MUCH BETTER FOOD!!
Jeromy replying to a comment from aDawg / March 26, 2014 at 07:26 pm
I agree!!! I was originally excited by this restaurant because it was first announced by the owner to be an italian restaurant but then changed to the Guild later on.

This location would make a great family friendly pasta pizza house.
KFC replying to a comment from JCB / March 26, 2014 at 07:29 pm
So your basically buying someone else's money pit? Why not just lease the location directly from the land lord for alot less even if you have to buy your own equipment.
evan / March 26, 2014 at 10:10 pm
I don't think I walked by and saw more than one table seated in this cavernous place ever. I certainly never had any impulse to go in.
CTM replying to a comment from Adam / March 27, 2014 at 07:28 am
Adam, thanks for that analysis from obvi someone who knows what's what in the restaurant biz.
In other news, god, ya. Pizza.
college west / March 27, 2014 at 08:16 am
Owners definitely bit off more than they could chew. It also gets me worried about District Oven on College St. This place is also cavernous and a price point that feels too high for the neighbourhood. I left after only the appetizers and crossed the street to go to Bar Isabel where I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.
Adam replying to a comment from CTM / March 27, 2014 at 11:30 am
Actually not sure if your trying to be sarcastic BUT I know nothing of the restaurant biz other than being a customer and what I expect from an establishment. I do know my neighborhood which is Brockton Village.

This closure and for sale posting is not on a restaurant industry website, its posted on a general Toronto news blog, so please allow us to comment and question this happening in our area whether were industry insiders or not.

SO what's this other news you have as an industry insider?
"In other news, god, ya. Pizza."
annakarenina / March 27, 2014 at 12:57 pm
wow, this place was great. thats too bad
John / March 27, 2014 at 01:07 pm
So sad to see any business fail in the neighborhood. It's a great physical space with tons of potential. Just missed the mark with menu/style/price point/concept.
Annab / March 28, 2014 at 11:48 am
I think most people are missing a big thing here: yes the menu was prohibitive, and the prices a little high, but that wasn't the main problem of the place. The service was TERRIBLE.

We had the worst experience in that restaurant, being the ONLY table we still waited for everything, from menus to food for incredible lengths of time. The food was barely acceptable, and the "sous-vide" eggs I got were a puddle of raw eggs. I wish I was exaggerating (and yes I do know sous-vide!).

This visit followed a first attempt to eat there where we were turned back by the hostess, while half the restaurant was empty, with no explanations offered. Just terrible all around.

While I hate to see businesses fail in the hood, I hope this is a lesson to restaurant owners. No matter your concept, good service is paramount to your success.
aDawg replying to a comment from annakarenina / March 28, 2014 at 06:15 pm
Umm, no it wasn't. It was very, very far from great.
CTM / April 3, 2014 at 08:34 pm
Adam, my comment was a sincere response to what read like a thorough analysis. That's all.
rickeyrider / May 19, 2014 at 06:35 pm
I meant the people who own the building not the owners of the restaurant... She told me the owners of the restaurant were great people.
Jason Glen / February 26, 2015 at 03:59 am
what a disaster. google
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