earlscourt bbq toronto

Toronto BBQ joint reopening after being temporarily closed for over a year

A beloved Toronto BBQ restaurant is finally reopening after facing challenges that have kept the doors closed temporarily for over a year.

Earlscourt BBQ was already struggling to reopen in December 2019 after a fire that left the restaurant with $250,000 worth of damages including water damage along with a ruined exhaust system and drywall.

The restaurant was known for heaping platters of favourite BBQ meats like brisket, ribs and pulled pork, as well as sides and signature sauces, a menu which they should be returning to when they open soon. It's been a long road getting to this point, though.

Earlscourt owner Jason Rees says they "had planned to reopen a few weeks after the fire, but our insurance company has caused massive delays."

"We somehow got a noise complaint while we were closed, impossible, and were convicted of this 'offence' and no one told us about it and we had never received any mail about it until municipal licensing and standards revoked our business license," Rees told blogTO.

"We did get one piece of mail about this telling us that our business license would be revoked. We got the letter two weeks after our license was revoked. MLS has not been helpful and just said 'sorry, Canada Post COVID delays, you need a new business license.'"

Rees says he has to pay rent, and so plans to try his hardest to reopen again next month in March.

"I've reached out to our local MP and our BIA has written a nice letter of support to hopefully allow us to get our business license re-instated. There's no way to appeal it as the POA (provincial offences) is not accepting appeals right now due to COVID," says Rees.

Despite the delays Earlscourt has faced up until this point, Rees says the restaurant will be "be open next month, come hell or high water," adding, "We will continue to follow all COVID protocols when we open."

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns


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