simit chai toronto

Toronto furniture store is being replaced by popular bakery for Turkish bagels

Say goodbye to Turkish towels and say hello to Turkish bagels. 

The Leslieville design store Holy Cow closed its shop during the pandemic after nearly a decade of selling imported fabric, artwork and antiques from Turkey. 

The turquoise property at 1100 Queen St. E. is now slated to become Pasaj: a new concept from the local bakery Simit & Chai, known for their molasses-and-sesame-coated baked bagels. 

Since opening their first cafe on King West in 2016, owners John and Dee Ulgen have been the only bakery to specialize in this ancient, Istanbul-style street food.

The Ulgens say that their new concept will feature a brunch inspired by Istanbul's French quarters, Beyoğlu and Pera. It will also have 50 new varieties of products like breads, cakes, and salads.

This new iteration of Simit & Chai was initially intended to open sometime in May 2020.

This has been postponed due to the lockdown, which has drastically impacted the business of their King Street location.

They're now slated to open Pasaj on November 14 for takeout, followed by full brunch service starting November 23.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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