Popular Toronto restaurant shuts down abruptly after 10 years
One of Toronto's favourite spots for affordable prix fixe dinners and wine on the patio has abruptly shut down after over a decade in business.
Sidecar (the cocktail bar in Little Italy, not Sidebar, the new restaurant next to Danforth Music Hall) seemingly couldn't serve enough steak frites to keep the place profitable.
Owner Bill Sweete's accounts have been frozen by creditors, meaning staff paychecks have bounced since Sidecar closed its doors. According to him, business has been worse than usual this January, perhaps due to the severe weather or being unprepared for a dip in revenue during Winterlicious.
Staff was increasingly slashed to cut labour costs, Sweete even trying his hand at serving himself.
"The landlord, who I have a good relationship with, has taken possession of the property and chattels. The chattels will be sold to a new tenant together with the lease and any funds recovered after the landlord has been paid will be used to pay staff and other outstanding debts of the business," Sweete wrote in a letter to staff after the closure.
"I will be taking Sidecar bankrupt and I will find out from the trustee if staff can be paid preferentially."
Sweete was the owner of the business above Sidecar as well, Toronto Temperance Society, which has also shut down.
It's always a sad day for Toronto food lovers when a formerly reliable restaurant closes down, but it's even sadder when the employees wind up hung out to dry like they have been too many times in an unstable industry.
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