Toronto brunch spot hurt by lockdown has turned a storage space into an ice cream joint
A Toronto brunch restaurant has transformed their storage space into an ice cream joint to ride out lockdowns.
From March 15, 2020 to now, the dining room at Rise and Dine Eatery has been open for a total of nine weeks.
That's not good for business.
But then the owner remembered that his freestanding building is actually composed of two units, one of which they were using as a storage and office space.
This other unit has a dedicated entrance around the side of the building next to the parking lot, and they've set it up as a storefront with its own signage.
The new concept serves mini donuts, Slush Puppies, gelato and ice cream from Shaw's, an Ontario company that's been in business since 1948. Rotating ice cream flavours might include options like Strawberry Shortcake, Caramel Apple and Double Stuffed Cookie.
"Lockdown made us go down that road," owner Tom Pedias tells blogTO, saying they had been having "really good luck" with the brunch business during the four years they've been open.
The shop soft-opened on Apr. 9 with limited days and hours, but hopes to extend those as the weather gets better. They've been able to hire back two Rise and Dine employees they'd had to lay off during the long closures.
"We believe between both businesses, they will complement each other when things go back to normal with dining room and patios open," says Pedias.
"For now the response has been great, the customers are loving it and telling us it's what the area needed. We have had a lot of repeat customers in the very short time we have been open."
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