sugo toronto

Italian restaurant in Toronto offers to buy anyone feeling lonely dinner or a coffee

A Toronto restaurant known for great Italian food and a community connection is now offering to buy anyone feeling lonely, isolated or depressed coffee or dinner.

"To anyone who's feeling isolated, cut off, lonely, depressed or like they are losing control. Please give us a call and Come up here, let us buy you dinner or a coffee and a cannoli, you are not alone there are people in your community who love you and can help you find the connection and help you may need," reads the caption to a post from Sugo on Instagram.

"We are open 7 days a week and our dining room is closed but our door and hearts are open."

As soon as the pandemic hit, the people behind Sugo (who also run Conzo's) jumped into action to feed hospital employees and donate to food banks. Owner Conor Joerin told blogTO that he "made the decision to make that post after seeing so many of my friends and people in our city falling through the cracks."

"Overdoses, suicide, suicidal attempts and relapses are all affecting our community and with so many people disconnected from the help and human connection that can often save lives I thought we should let people know they can still find the connection at Sugo," Joerin told blogTO.

"As someone who's personally gone through addiction and mental health issues I know sometimes you can feel totally isolated, alone and there's no place to turn or anyone that can help. I was lucky enough to have people help me through my struggles and only hope that we can do the same for someone who may be struggling."

Joerin hasn't had a huge number of people take him up on the offer, but more than anything wanted to drive home how not having access to gathering places for human connection can have an effect on mental health, and that the restaurant is here to help.

"We are not the solution to these issues but we can definitely play a role in helping anyone who may need to find professional treatment or help for addiction or mental health," says Joerin.

"Sometimes it's just knowing people care and that you can go to a place for a coffee, connection and a push in the right direction. We've had one person reach out and even just one person feeling better makes that post a success in my eyes."

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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