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Grocery Stores

Roast Butcher Shop

Posted by Erinn Beth Langille / Posted on January 13, 2014

Roast Butcher Shop TorontoRoast Butcher Shop and Fine Foods on St. Clair at Arlington is perfect if you like a little swank when you buy your flank. The floor, marble counter and subway title all gleam, the dropped red pendants add flashes of colour as their light reflects off the pressed tin ceilings.

Roast Butcher ShopOn the right wall are shelves of special products (Stonewall Kitchen, Late July crackers, Cut Coffee, Caplansky Mustards, Manning Canning and Vancouver Island Sea Salt to name but a few), their labels neatly facing out.

Roast Butcher ShopI was especially jazzed to see they carried Empire Mayonnaise Co. products out of Brooklyn ($8.00 for 9 oz.), including the sinful White Truffle - a perfect accompaniment to a juicy burger or steak. Past the shelves you'll find shiny new fridges full of house-made stocks (veal stock is $6.00 for a half litre), butter and take-home meats.

Roast Butcher ShopThey've got a number of prepared foods ready for a quick dinner, like Slow-Braised Short Ribs or Chicken Chartreuse, both $15.00, or try their meatballs, rabbit ratatouille or chicken pot pie. At the end of the room you can watch as butchers break down larger cuts (sourced from such renown local producers as Belanger Organic Farms and Perth Pork Products) and prep food for display and purchase.

Roast Butcher ShopThe centre point is of course, the glass display case where all the fresh meat is held. Usually there you'll find owner and head butcher Ben Latchford, or one of the other staff, smiling and ready for questions. The fresh cuts of meat are dressed with herb sprigs just waiting for you to make your selection.

Roast Butcher ShopI purchased two lamb shanks, great for a slow braising, at 10$ a pound. Look, I get it. This kind of meat jacks up the grocery bill. Roast's pricing seems somewhere between Sanagan's and Cumbrae's, making it not the cheapest of the high quality stuff, but not the most expensive either.

Roast Butcher ShopBut as someone who has raised and slaughtered her own chickens, I understand just how much time, and effort goes into a well-raised, and killed, animal. Larger beasts are an even more sensitive affair.

Roast Butcher ShopThat's why it is important to choose better, and eat less overall. I'm happy to see places like Roast Butcher Shop offering a little transparency to the butchery process with the glass window prep station. But with the dazzling array of speciality products, tight branding and clean d├ęcor, you're apt to forget the gritty business of animal husbandry and just think "dinner."

Roast Butcher ShopRoast Butcher ShopPhotos by Jesse Milns



Garneau / January 13, 2014 at 12:43 am
Outstanding addition to SCW.
Holy Thundering Jesus / January 13, 2014 at 06:25 am
this is awesome!
iSkyscraper / January 13, 2014 at 08:17 am
But I thought the St. Clair streetcar was a "disaster"? Someone should shove some tasty meats down Rob Ford's mouth to see if he still thinks so. Call it positive reinforcement.

Impressive store, well done. Hope the market is able to sustain it.
Jason replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / January 13, 2014 at 09:19 am
Right? Complete disaster. I hate seeing new stores opening! Although, on a non-sarcastic note, I'm feel pretty lucky I missed out on the construction and had moved on the line after construction was all done.

I've been watching the store front on most days going by on the 512, I'll need to get off and check it out one of these days now!
Welshgrrl / January 13, 2014 at 09:50 am
Have stopped in here a couple of times recently - its up the street from my home - and agree that this is a great addition to the burgeoning STCW strip
Aaron / January 13, 2014 at 10:08 am
Are they open Mondays? Their web page is of no help.

Nadine / January 13, 2014 at 10:49 am
I'm excited to have it in my nbhd, but my mother thinks it's wrong that they opened a couple of doors down from a mom & pop butcher that's been in the nbhd for easily 15+ plus years (at least).
Sam replying to a comment from Aaron / January 13, 2014 at 10:56 am
Agreed website 101 for small business, it should not be hard to find

Store Hours
Address of locations
Contact info
bd / January 13, 2014 at 01:34 pm
This gentrification is just a part of Toronto and younger people moving into older neighborhoods. Mom and pop will probably happily retire at some point. And this new shop could end up causing more walk by traffic, attracting people to old Macelleria as well. Next up, can someone open a clean, modern nail salon on St Clair? Thanks.
Shannon / January 13, 2014 at 02:23 pm
I live in the neighbourhood and am a dedicated customer to the old butcher shop. The butcher shop has been open for over 25 years, but the service is horrible. The older couple who own the butcher shop need to retire. There have been many times I have seen them completely ignore customers and barely speak to others. Their prices are random, and different every week. They need some good competition, maybe they will step it up a notch!!
Mr B replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / January 13, 2014 at 02:30 pm
one new butcher shop does not equal success for St Clair right of way.
don't get wrong, I am glad to see new ventures on st clair west, where I live, but for every new shop that opens one had died.

the st clair right of way did nothing for what it was intended to do, which was to enhance, speed up, the service. But it has made it a pain for some residences who live there; more difficulty getting to their street, division between north and south sides.
Rachel replying to a comment from bd / January 13, 2014 at 02:39 pm
Nabi Spa on St Clair and Christie has been open for over a year now. It's small but much nicer/modern than the rest of the run down salons on SCW.
dan replying to a comment from Mr B / January 13, 2014 at 03:14 pm
I take the St Clair streetcar every day, and it's absolutely an enhanced and faster service over the mixed-traffic service we used to have. I also drive, and I don't find the ROW to be any impediment to getting around. / January 13, 2014 at 10:02 pm
This place sounds great! Can't wait to visit.
Caroline replying to a comment from bd / January 14, 2014 at 08:18 am
Try Nabi. They do great mani and pedis (including shellac) and offer a bunch of other spa services. Their facials are pretty great. It located just above Churrasco at Christie. Don't let the deter you though, it's so beautiful inside (and doesn't smell like chicken lol).
Welshgrrl / January 14, 2014 at 10:11 am
I'd love a good bulk store on STCW too - I go to the one at Alberta/St Clair but the bulk products seem on the verge of being past their expiration dates, and that intersection is just sketch in general (dollar stores and cheque cashing places galore). Good No Frills though.
SCWdweller / January 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm
This place looks fancy but wonder if they misunderstood SCW clientele - I hope that the nabe can sustain this spot but personally given ethnic, cultural (and financial!) diversity I'd advise them to expand to fresh fish, and keep some affordable foods stocked in their fridge and at the counter.
Not Impressed / January 14, 2014 at 05:30 pm
I love how one fancy butcher shop opening on St. Clair proves the ROW has been a huge success. LOL Get a grip! It has screwed up more than a decade can fix! Let's hope this fancy butcher chose the right 'hood in which to seek a steady rich clientele!
LVikki / January 14, 2014 at 07:48 pm
The interior of this shop is so awesome. I will take the time to get there and buy the appetizing looking meats.
Mary / January 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm
I love it to and I encourage all of us who admire this new shop to spend some money there. They can't pay the bills on goodwill alone and too often great places that people are proud to see come to their 'hood don't make it because we assume others will open their wallets and support them. It takes a village and you don't have to spend a lot but every little bit helps an independent business survive and thrive.
Joe Q. replying to a comment from Welshgrrl / January 15, 2014 at 01:53 pm
I'm not a huge fan of the Alberta / St Clair No Frills. They start packing their produce away an hour before closing. Act fast or no veggies for you!

St Clair West itself is in major transition and things are block-by-block. So we have shops like this opening up near Arlington, but farther west (near Oakwood / Glenholme) there are still a lot cheque-cashing places -- even new pawn shops opening up in the last few years. (One took the place of a fresh-fish shop.)

I live in the Corso Italia area and it's hard to know how much of the retail scene along that strip would have been sustainable even if the streetcar ROW hadn't gone in. The nicer restaurants are doing well (breakfast places and Italian restaurants), the grungy diners and high-fashion Italian clothing shops (open 10-5 Monday-Friday and 10-2 on Saturday), not so much.
local replying to a comment from Nadine / January 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm
Very different customers. Roast appeals to those for whom ethically raised meat is paramount, plus the fancy types for whom nice surroundings are paramount. I belong to the former camp and will go well out of my way to buy meat without all the junk in it.
Will / January 19, 2014 at 12:39 pm
More good news for the Upper West Side. This place is awesome.
Bobby / February 1, 2014 at 06:33 pm
A very welcome addition to our ever improving neighbourhood. Let others think it is a disaster so we can enjoy it for ourselves!
Charlotte replying to a comment from Nadine / February 11, 2014 at 03:01 pm
Re the comment that it shouldn't have opened beside a mom and pop shop, actually studies have shown that "clustering" similar type businesses together actually helps the businesses thrive (i.e. Silicon Valley, St. Lawrence Market). So, the new butcher shop might actually help attract more customers.
Stefano / February 27, 2014 at 09:30 am
Corin is a cutie!
Jody / March 26, 2014 at 05:48 pm
I have lived in the neighbourhood for a long time and can't figure out why people are still pissed off about the right of way streetcar. Before the streetcar was repaired we had the highest concentration of ugly dollar stores in the city. Now we have a much faster streetcar service and great new stores. The drawback? Sometimes you have to do a u-turn.
I would say I would like to see a bookstore in the area if they weren't closing down everywhere else.
If you go to European cities, everything is concentrated: wine stores, food stores, butchers, fashions, etc.
Evergreen at St Clair and Bathurst has great bulk foods.
jana / April 4, 2014 at 06:46 pm
Just love the top sirloin roast - turns out great every time. Also enjoy the personal attention and customer service...happy to give my custom to such friendly and knowledgeable staff. What a great addition to our community !
marcello / June 8, 2015 at 03:10 pm
they are a copy cat of cumbraes and the friendly butcher on Danforth the owner should create his own style

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