live organic food bar

Toronto's original vegan and raw food restaurant is closing after almost two decades

The list of COVID-related businesss closures just keeps on growing in Toronto, and the latest name to make the list is painful for local veg-heads to see.

Live Organic Food Bar, which opened as the city's first ever raw food restaurant back in 2001, announced on Friday that it would not be reopening its original location at 264 Dupont St. after four-month-long (and counting) provincially ordered shutdown.

"When we closed our doors in March, we did not think that it would be for the last time," wrote owners Jennifer and Christopher Italiano in a Facebook post this morning.

"We anticipated that we would make it through this pandemic and thought we would be back in a few weeks to feed you all. Regrettably, as the weeks turned into months, and with the new restrictions that have been placed on the hospitality industry, we have sadly decided not to reopen."

Calling the decision "difficult," the Italianos thanked the restaurant's loyal customers for all of their patronage and support.

Dear friends and loyal customers, Dear friends and loyal customers, It is with heavy hearts that we’ve made the difficult decision not to reopen our restaurant. When we closed our doors in March we didn’t think it would be for the last time. We anticipated that we would make it through this pandemic and would be back in a few weeks to feed you all. Regrettably as the weeks turned into months, and with the new restrictions that have been placed on the hospitality industry, we have decided not to reopen. We want to thank you for all your patronage and support. It has been our honour to serve you for over 19 years. We have met the most beautiful people over the course of these years from staff to suppliers, to our customers and community. We thank you for all the wonderful memories we have shared together. It’s a journey we will never forget. We wish you all well and we will miss you. To our industry friends, stay strong, you have our never-ending support. We will continue to make delicious, organic, innovative plant based food that can be found at local health and grocery stores. We will also continue with our Plant Box, home delivery service. Stay tuned for exciting new offerings (many of which you have grown to love from our restaurant) that will soon be available for you to share at home. These can all be found on our website at www.liveorganicfood.ca. We hope you find pleasure in this and we thank you for your continued support. With love, Jennifer and Christopher Italiano

A post shared by Live Products & Restaurant (@liveorganicfood) on

"It has been our honour to serve you for over 19 years. We have met the most beautiful people over the course of these years, from staff, to suppliers, to our customers, and community," reads the Facebook post.

"We thank you for all the wonderful memories we have shared together. It is a journey we will never forget. We wish you all well and we will miss you. To our industry friends, stay strong and you have our enduring support."

While the company's original and only remaining restaurant (it previously had another location in Liberty Village) is closing down for good, there's no need to mourn those delicious juices, power salads, organic dream bars, sweet potato noodles or one-of-a-kind, grain-free tortillas.

The business itself will live on through a home delivery service, as well as pre-packaged food items, which can already be found in grab-and-go form at stores all over Toronto.

"We will continue to make delicious, organic, innovative, plant based food that can be found at local health and grocery stores," the restaurant's owners write. "We hope you find pleasure from this and we thank you for your continued support."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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