af1 caribbean Toronto

AF1 Caribbean can't survive cursed College St. corner

Little Italy's AF1 Caribbean Cuisine is the latest in a long line of restaurants to shut down unexpectedly after an all-too-brief run at 596 College Street.

Adrian Forte, of the successful chicken and waffle spot Dirty Bird, opened up his "island of Jamaican cool" at the busy corner of College and Clinton just eight months ago.

The reviews were outstanding. Customers loved Forte's take on the dishes of his heritage and childhood in Kingston, as evidenced by all the raving posts on Instagram.

Knowing this, it should come as a surprise that the restaurant just closed down – unless you also know about how many businesses have tried to make it work at that particular location, but failed.

Before it was AF1, the so-called "cursed" corner was Spiceman Mexicana. Before that, it was home to the bars and restaurants Lucky Bastard, Bang Bang Bar, Public, CoTempo, Minimarket and Mattino – and that's only within relatively recent history.

The reason for the high turnover at this seemingly great Little Italy restaurant location is a bit of a mystery. The city did deny this location a patio licence in 2015, but there have been several new leasees since then.

I guess we'll have to wait and see what pops up next at the corner - and for how long.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns


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