Toronto's most bizarre pizza joint has shut down
One of Toronto's weirdest pizza joints has become another casualty of an overdue rent issue during the pandemic.
GarfieldEATS has brought a bizarre level of joy to the city since it opened, serving cat-shaped pizzas covered in neon orange sauce in homage to the classic cartoon character. Now, its operations at its physical location will cease and the restaurant will continue in an e-commerce capacity only.
And so ends the Garfield Pizza saga that has gripped Toronto for so very long. Not with a bang, but a Frozen Big Cow Lasagna whimper. pic.twitter.com/lSbIdgmgpQ— Barry Hertz (@HertzBarry) November 11, 2020
A release in keeping with the founder Nathen Mazri's eccentric nature from "Happiness Manager" Darshan Patel announced that the storefront closed "last Monday," and that the restaurant is looking into helping businesses affected by COVID-19 flip their spaces to become ghost kitchens for GarfieldEATS.
The release simply states that "Nathen had enough of the landlord's shenanigans during this pandemic and called it quits for the GarfieldEATS storefront only" and that "Landlord says 'it looks bad to apply for the COVID-19 tenancy rent program on his file.' He has been threatening us since March 2020."
Welcome to a new era...It is the Death of QSR & I am embracing it. We live in the digital era in an interconnected 🌎 world. Let landlords be landmonsters while we innovate and revolutionize. pic.twitter.com/CM2jbT7jOi— Nathenmazri (@nathenmazri) November 13, 2020
"We have always paid the rent and ready to disclose bank statement and proof of transfers made to the landlord since the lockdown in March 2020, but he wanted more, more & more. He is simply greedy after we updated his entire filthy building," says Mazri in the release.
ATTENTION ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE IN TORONTO WHO ALSO LOVES TO EAT GARFIELD-SHAPED THINGS pic.twitter.com/PQbLub792Z— Barry Hertz (@HertzBarry) May 22, 2020
The restaurant has been in peril before due to landlord disputes, almost shutting down once previously in May.
GarfieldEATS now only sells Frozen Big Cow Lasagnas and merch on an e-commerce basis. Something called ScoobyEATS has also popped up online, but they have yet to respond to requests to confirm whether they'll be located in Toronto.
Finally, garfield & @nathenmazri are FREE. #GarfieldEATS will always be known as the world’s 1st Garfield restaurant in Toronto adored by the nostalgic #Garfield fans globally. GarfieldEATS was one of tourists’ destinations to visit in #Toronto. Love me, feed me, don't leave me! pic.twitter.com/r8NreHAWgE— GarfieldEATS (@GarfieldEATSapp) November 12, 2020
According to a spokesperson for the landlord, "large rental reductions" were offered for eight months through the summer and fall but claims GarfieldEATS "only paid 35%" of the rent."
The spokesperson also claims the landlord "took the large losses monthly and had to cover [expenses] out of pockets just to help the pizza store owner survive."
According to the landlord's spokesperson, the operator of GarfieldEATS also "broke the lease with hardly any notice....and left the place in a total mess, which had to be cleaned up at the landlord's expense."
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