hastings snack bar

Toronto greasy spoon facing construction nightmare

Hastings Snack Bar at Queen and Leslie has been given a moat and bridge. The owner is still serving breakfast, but the crowd of regulars from the local TTC yard and 55 Division cop shop has dried up in the face of multiple construction projects.

When the city dug out the doorstep of John Chong's little Leslieville greasy spoon to fix a persistent leaky sewer, workers told him to close and use the rear fire escape for access. The bridges arrived shortly after the relentless cook filed a complaint but business has still been slow.

"Lots of people don't come in. When they see it like that, they say 'John's probably not open,'" he says.

It's not just the work on Chong's doorstep that's been having a negative impact. The new access track from the TTC yard at Lake Shore and Leslie St. is stopping his regular crowd taking their normal driving route, he says.

"I don't really care what I'm losing or not - if you have to do it, you have to do it."

"I'm only open four hours but I've worked 50 years. God damn it I can't stop working. Even when the doctor told me, he said: 'John, you've worked 50 years you should stop, I think it's pretty bad for your health. Don't do too much, cut down, do a little.'"

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Tim Shore/blogTO


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