mother tongue blue mountain

Toronto Filipino restaurant opening new location in region that's out of lockdown

As the stay-at-home order lifts in Toronto but indoor dining remains prohibited under grey zone lockdown restrictions, one restaurant is opening a new location in a region that has already entered the green zone

Filipino restaurant Mother Tongue is opening a Blue Mountain location, in the Grey Bruce Health region where seated dining is permitted.

"Our second location of Mother Tongue is scheduled to open in the heart of the Blue Mountain Village in May 2021, with 130 seats inside and 120 outside, our largest restaurant to date, and we expect the Blue Mountain Village will still be in the green zone at that time," Shelby P. Turner, Operations Manager for Turner Hospitality Group, told blogTO.

"Since we already operate two other restaurants in the Blue Mountain Village and one in Thornbury, we have all the systems in place to abide by the regulations as well as an exceptional team to execute these systems."

Turner Hospitality Group also operates lounge Twist and Italian restaurant Magnone's in Blue Mountain, as well as Winifred's English Pub in Thornbury.

"Following the success of Mother Tongue downtown which we opened in 2018, we have been patiently waiting for an opportunity to open a second location of Mother Tongue in the Village," says Turner.

"The soon-to-be open location was in the planning stages when the first lockdown hit in March 2020, which stalled our plans, but we are now very confident this is the right time to open as COVID-19 cases decline, vaccine roll-outs accelerate and good weather for outdoor dining is just around the corner."

Mother Tongue is known for creative takes on dishes like bao, fried rice and dumplings, as well as modern cocktails, and Blue Mountain can expect much the same menu at their new location. 

In Toronto, they've occupied a subterranean space in the city's now-ghostly Entertainment District. The restaurant was serving meal and cocktail kits for takeout up until mid-November, when they announced they'd be temporarily suspending operations until they can serve people inside again.

"Our Executive Chef for both Mother Tongue locations, Francis Bermejo, and his team have developed an amazing menu in Toronto, and we are really excited to share that with The Blue Mountains and surrounding area," says Turner.

"So far we have had a great response to Mother Tongue coming to the village, and actually did a pop-up recently at Twist which was received very well. There is nothing like this in the Village or the entire area, so we think this will be met with great enthusiasm."

Though we have tons of restaurants that are just as special as Mother Tongue in Toronto, sadly we can't dine indoors at the original location or any other spots right now. Hopefully that will change soon for us city folks.

"As we move forward with Mother Tongue 2 we are patiently waiting to re-open once Toronto enters the orange zone of the COVID-19 Framework, or the weather is nice enough for outdoor dining with CafeTO program, whichever occurs first," says Turner.

"Until then, it is not viable for us to reopen unfortunately."

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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