Popular Toronto restaurant may close if it doesn't pay $60K for new equipment
After seven years of serving khinkali and shots of Stolichnaya, the Ossington Stop may have to stop.
It's either they lose the kitchen or they ditch the lease, says Denis Ganshonkov, owner of the popular Russian dive bar and restaurant on the corner of Dundas and Ossington.
He says a fire marshall told him during a recent inspection that Ossington Stop doesn't have the kind of commercial exhaust system required to operate its kitchen.
That's frustrating, says Ganshonkov to blogTO, because it's the same exhaust system the bar was greenlit to use and has, he thought, legally been using for the past seven years.
Ganshonkov has been with Ossington Stop since it first opened in the summer of 2014, first as an employee and now as the sole owner, following the original founder's death four years ago.
The complicated legal proceedings of the restaurant's transfer to Ganshonkov required him to file for a new liquor licence recently, a process he expected to be relatively seamless.
Instead, he says he's had to endure "very frustrating" interactions with the fire department that could result in the business having to move elsewhere very soon.
The restaurant broke the news to followers Thursday on social media.
"They came in to do an inspection and said everything was wrong," says Ganshonkov.
Though he says his menu shouldn't require anything stronger than the kitchen exhaust fan currently being used, Ganshonkov says Ossington Stop will still need to replace its system with a commercial exhaust system that could cost anywhere from $60K to $80K.
And even then, he says he's not guaranteed to get his liquor license renewed.
He can remove all his kitchen equipment for his next inspection, says Ganshonkov, but that would mean operating without a food menu moving forward.
Given the fact Ossington Stop has been surviving solely on its takeout, that option feels like a nail in a coffin.
Now Ganshonkov is now looking for a new space to move into. He'd already been slated to move to 869 Dundas St. West for May 1, but says that deal fell through an hour before he could sign the lease.
So it's unclear what the future holds for Ossington Stop.
"I'm looking at all the options," he says. "I have no clear direction from the fire marshall as to what, where, or of anything that may potentially happen."
"Very much looking at a possibility of relocating a business. If I stay that's great, but I have no idea."
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