relish toronto

Toronto restaurant that's been a local favourite for 15 years has permanently closed

A Toronto restaurant that not long ago moved from a smaller space to much larger digs has been battling valiantly throughout the pandemic, but has finally announced they have to close.

Venue and restobar Relish has been around since 2005, but recently moved from a less spacious spot on the Danforth to a new 3500-square-foot down the street just before COVID-19 hit.

"I will look back over the last 15+ years with so much honour and pride at what Relish Bar & Grill had become, to so many people that it affected," wrote owner Joanne on social media.

Relish was a bar, restaurant and venue beloved by the music community for hosting regular live shows. The rent for their Danforth space with a capacity of 150 was $20,000, and they weren't able to make ends meet by seating just 10 people on a patio during the summer.

"I feel one day soon when this is all behind us, the Phoenix will rise again and Relish, will live again. (I'm keeping the green bench so it better!)" writes Joanne. "Please don't be sad, this pandemic is bigger than all of us. It's not a failure, it's a pause. We will see each other again on the other side, I promise."

Relish was eligible for a tax rebate for venues this year, which helped them stay open for a while, though evidently it wasn't enough to keep them around past the end of lockdown.

The closing announcement has garnered around 100 comments on Instagram, with regulars saying they're sad to hear the "heartbreaking" news, and that they can't wait for a comeback.

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