Popular Toronto ice cream shop says it was locked out just as summer approaches
An ice cream shop that started during the pandemic and was becoming increasingly popular found itself without a home just as summer weather arrived.
Onur Yilmaz opened Ice Creamonology inside in the 3,000 square foot restaurant Loch & Quay at 390 Queen's Quay in March this year. The ice cream shop was one of a handful of restaurants operating inside Loch & Quay as a kind of food court, Yilmaz says.
Some of the restaurants had a public falling out with Loch & Quay owner Ryan Mungal in April. Chen Chen's Hot Chicken reported on Instagram having to move out of the shared space due to "unforeseen circumstances and unexpected construction."
Tenaz owner Celia Nelson and Keto owner Michael Hay both suddenly left the space in April.
Ice Creamonology, which makes small batches of ice cream, was hanging on and doing well in a space that was previously used for storage by Loch & Quay, Yilmaz says.
"Our business grew really fast," says Yilmaz. "Especially April and May, we were really busy."
Yilmaz says he had a sub-lease agreement with the owner Loch & Quay. He understood that he had to pay a monthly rent, but in mid-April he says the owner of Loch & Quay wanted to change the terms of the agreement, asking for a portion of the profits.
Yilmaz's lawyer is looking into legal action, and he was advised not to disclose details of his sub-lease contract or the demands.
Mungal, the owner of Loch & Quay, declined to comment for this story, saying his lawyer may have a statement in the future, but he previously told blogTO that he proposed switching over to splitting sales 50-50, which has been a basis for disagreement for participating partners.
Yilmaz says he wanted to discuss the contract change but that didn't happen.
On May 26, Yilmaz says the locks were changed and they moved all their equipment out.
There is good news, however: Ice Creamonology is planning to move into Chen Chen's Hot Chicken at 1184 Queen St. W.
Yilmaz and the owner of Chen Chen's are college friends.
"We always had this idea of fried chicken and ice cream together."
Now, out of an otherwise unpleasant experience, their dream is coming true — the space should be ready next week, Yilmaz says.
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