Loka Toronto closing

Toronto's first Kickstarter-funded restaurant Loka has closed

Toronto-based chef Dave Mottershall has announced the closure of his "crazy local Canadian cuisine" restaurant Loka. 

Launched just over two years ago at 620 Queen St. W., just west of Bathurst, Loka was the product of an idea, a dream and a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Mottershall had been operating pop-ups under the name Loka Snacks at Hi-Lo bar for almost a year before deciding to open up his own, bricks and mortar, all-Canadian-everything restaurant.

A Kickstarter campaign created to fund the new business ended up raising more than $40,000, though Mottershall had been seeking little more than half of that.

"It's with a heavy heart that I have decided to close Loka," wrote the chef on his popular Instagram account this weekend. "After 2+ years I honestly can't thank everyone enough here in the city. I don’t know where to start."

This is one post I have been having a hard time with...It’s with a heavy heart that I have decided to close Loka. Our last service will be Valentine’s Day. After 2+ years I honestly can't thank everyone enough here in the city. I don’t know where to start... this is a list! So here we go...Huge shoutouts have to go to @ayngelina for making the Loka Snacks popup a reality and then building this monster into the first restaurant successfully launched using Kickstarter...(that was a ton of work). Paul @aftbar for believing in this project and always being there for anything. To all the Kickstarter contributors, family and friends who contributed in anyway possible, seriously thank you, I am forever grateful. I feel privileged to have had the chance to open Loka and work with so many amazing farmers, foragers and suppliers in TO. My main man Jeremy @thepackinghouse for being there from the start, always coming through for us. Mark and the crew @grassrootfarms for growing the raddest vegetables, you helped to build our menu weekly. Marc and the team @marcsmushrooms for all the crazy crazy fungus. The whole team @blackbirdbakery you guys totally saved us so many times and just crush the bread scene, keep up the amazing work, love you all! Aron @canway just the man! The fine folks @hooked + @honestweight for all the beautiful seafood. And of course Dyson and the fam @forbeswildfoods for everything, thank you so much. To all of the staff that have worked at Loka...what do I even say....past and present crew you all made this fukn place so amazing. From @smashtron3000 being here since day 1, crushing PBRs and painting the whole place, to @jessebrown building so many things, I will never forget @seanalynn and I in totally thrashed restaurant with @sc00tzzz who has not only been here since day 1, she has returned numerous times to crush it, and has always been our gold star, and was still here on the last service to shut it down, thank you so very much🙏 to our super solid crew @jsspaude @shonnaught @juliandwday @jacoblahn @onehappynarwhal - each of you have helped me too many times to even count. Thank you

A post shared by Dave Mottershall (@chef_rouge) on

"To all the Kickstarter contributors, family and friends who contributed in anyway possible, seriously thank you," he continued. "I am forever grateful. I feel privileged to have had the chance to open Loka and work with so many amazing farmers, foragers and suppliers in TO."

Mottershall hasn't said what's next for him yet, but he has won a lot of fans in Toronto over the years – many of whom are hopeful that he'll stick around the city.

"I've had honestly some of the best meals of my life at your place as well as the best hospitality," wrote one commenter on the closure post. "I remember the first time we met in the back of hi-lo after I missed getting there on time to eat."

"Every dish you've placed before me has been memorable in flavour, presentation and complete passion," wrote another. "I get what you put into Loka. You are in every way a champion in the crazy world of chefs."

Lead photo by

Loka


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

The top 10 restaurants for sausage in Toronto

The top 25 BBQ chicken in Toronto by neighbourhood

The top 10 restaurants near Dundas West station

Caplansky's announces mysterious news for Blue Jays fans

A popular Toronto brunch spot is relocating

Toronto Food Events: Heirloom Cheesecake Pop-Up, Dinner with a View, Brunch Fest

Toronto gyro joint shuts down after 48 years

Markham's massive Asian night market is coming back this summer