Toronto bar taken over by one of the city's trendiest burger joints
The Annex's hit smash burger shop has moved to Leslieville.
Aunty Lucy's has officially expanded from the Annex Hotel by taking over the stylish digs of the The Dive Shop.
It's temporary, but owner Chieff Bosompra and his team will be slinging their Kumasi burgers and fried chicken combos out of 1036 Gerrard St. East for the next few months.
"Our Annex location is basically permanent," says Bosompra. "This opportunity came up and I've been wanting to pop up in the east since we started."
According to Dive Shop owner Ryan Boudah, the collaboration with Aunty Lucy's made sense. Like all other bars in Toronto, Dive Shop hasn't been able to open since the first week of October.
"Sadly we remain closed," said Boudah. "But we have Aunt Lucy's burgers until we can reopen with our menu and cocktails."
When the Aunty Lucy's team realized the bar space wasn't being utilized, they reached out for a collaboration. Now they're operating on a week-to-week lease for the next three months.
Boudah says it's great news for this particular part of Leslieville, which isn't overflowing with takeout options.
Just a year ago, the space was home to Hotel Delilah, a vacation-style restaurant with Airbnb lodgings upstairs.
But by July 2020, Delilah's owners had gone their separate ways, with Boudah staying behind to partner with Phil Dodd of now-closed venue The Hideout to start The Dive Shop.
"As crazy as this pandemic is, it brought [Phil and I] together.... We built up the patio for two and half a months," Boudah said.
The bar was able to stay open from July until September before business petered out with early last calls, capacity limits and finally, full closure in the first week of October.
Boudah's hoping that the in-house menu and tequila freezies will be able to make a comeback by May, but he's not betting on it.
"I'm not putting my first foot forward anymore since it's been so back and forth."
In the meantime, Aunty Lucy's is already offering takeout from The Dive Shop digs from Thursdays to Sunday. You can order through their Ambassador site, or UberEats and Ritual. Expect a sign announcing their collaboration up on the shop soon.
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