Das Gasthaus Toronto

You could "win" a Toronto restaurant for $150

In the same vein as this win a Vermont Inn essay contest, Toronto restaurateur Ruthie Cummings has launched a contest to win Das Gasthaus, the German gastropub she's trying to unload prompted by the noble intent to leave town to care for her aging parents.

For an entry fee of $150 (or a 500 word essay on the topic of "How can the quality of care for seniors be improved in Canada?) would-be restaurant operators will be entered for a chance to instantly own the Danforth establishment, complete with licenses, furnishings and equipment (a value determined to be $144,550).

What happens to the restaurant after it changes hands is up to the winner. Whether to carry on as is, change the menu and/or restaurant name, or simply liquidate the prize are all options outlined in the contest press release.

While the official rules read that "there are no liens, taxes, or debts associated with the prize," the winner will still be required to qualify for a lease take-over and obviously assume all operating expenses... and expend every other ounce of resources to make the place profitable.

There are 4,000 entry spots being reserved for the contest, which, if taken, would net Cummings $600,000. The question is, of course, how many people will actually enter? The prize sounds enticing at first blush, but are there thousands of people out there hankering to run or sell a restaurant?

Does it sound like a dream come true? Or more like a viable premise for a 2015 remake of The Money Pit?


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