kawhi leonard toronto

Toronto restaurants offer Kawhi Leonard free food for life to re-sign with Raptors

You know you're a big deal when restaurants start posting signs on their doors to indicate that you, specifically, can eat there for free.

This is the case right now for Toronto Raptors star (and, let's be real, saviour) Kawhi Leonard — but only if he agrees to stay for another season.

NBA fans have been abuzz with speculation over whether or not the insanely-talented 27-year-old athlete would stay in Toronto at the end of this year's season, pretty much from the jump.

Leonard seems to have settled into his new home and team just fine since he was traded for DeMar DeRozan last summer, but he's also scheduled to hit the free agent market on July 1.

Just another reason why #HeStay

A post shared by ƬЯƧF (@torontoraptorssuperfan) on

Competing theories posit that the Los Angeles native will either go to the Clippers, stay in Toronto, or choose a new city entirely. He did, after all, just purchase a massive new $13.3 million mansion in San Diego (gulp).

Then again, he's also been crushing it with the Raptors unlike anything seen in a very long time. He's gone from NBA superstar to world-famous icon in this city and shows no sign of slowing down.

Clearly, the people of Toronto want Leonard to stick around (see the hashtag #HeStay for proof) — so much, in some cases, that local restaurants are offering the man free food for the rest of his life if re-signs with the Raptors.

It's all part of a campaign led by Raptors Republic called "the Ka'wine & Dine initiative."

"Similar to the familiar green 'pass' signs in restaurant windows, participating restaurants are proudly displaying Ka'Wine & Dine badges in their windows," reads a release from Rethink, which helped launch the initiative with Raptors Republic.

"We want to rally the city to do everything we can to let Kawhi know that we support him, want him here long-term and ultimately make him feel at home in Toronto," says Raptors Republic marketing and social media head Adam Robles.

"He may need a warm coat, but he won't need his wallet. Let's wine'm, dine'm, and let's re-sign'm."

Restaurants that have already hopped on board, including Rodney's Oyster House on King Street and Le Select Bistro on Wellington.

Other business owners are encouraged to join in by simply downloading and printing out the badge, placing it in their windows and thus pledging to offer Leonard free food for life if he stays in The 6ix.

Personally, I think it's a solid investment in our city. Plus, it's doubtful the notorious class act would even take anyone up on such on offer.

NBA players make enough money to buy entire oyster bars, if they so choose. Perhaps Leonard will look into it if he gives Toronto a second season. Perhaps he'll stay with the Raptors if 2019's playoffs produce a ring.

Fingers crossed.

Lead photo by

Raptors Republic

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