restaurants toronto drink earlier

Toronto restaurants could soon sell boozy drinks earlier in the day

By now, pretty much every adult has figured out that brunch is just an excuse to drink in the morning. So, why not start early?

This is the logic behind one Leslieville restaurant owner’s argument that she should be able to serve booze as early as the government sells it at LCBOs: 9 a.m.

Leslieville and Riverside are some the most popular neighbourhoods for brunch in Toronto, often drawing lineups.

Cindy Wilkes, owner of Brooklyn Tavern, believes she’s actively losing money she could have made selling drinks like mimosas between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 a.m, saying the majority of customers during that time would likely order a cocktail. She’s even taken to Instagram to show a packed house, full of customers who can’t drink.

“But someone can smoke a joint anytime they want! Gotta love it!” reads the sarcastic caption on the post. Granted, no one would still be able to actually light up inside the restaurant, but Toronto-Danforth councillor Paula Fletcher wants to see if she can legalize 10 a.m. mimosas by bringing the issue up at City Hall.

It’s not unheard of for the City to allow the early sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants. Think of the World Cup or the Olympics. The idea here would be to change legislation allowing for the extended hours of sales, or to set up more special occasion permits for certain areas of the city.

The government announced in December that LCBO, Beer Stores, and other grocers and wineries are allowed to sell alcohol from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. If the new policy goes through, though, the next thing Leslieville restaurants might have to worry about is attracting a bunch of brunch skunks.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns at Brooklyn Tavern


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