queens end toronto

Toronto bar owner steps into save neighbouring business that was set to close

The owner of a Toronto bar has stepped in to save a neighbouring business that was supposed to be closing at the end of the month.

Jinks Art Factory, a coffee shop and tattoo parlour, announced recently that their last day would be June 30. On June 24, the owner of Grand Trunk not far away posted to the bar's social media announcing she would be taking over as the new owner of the space.

Both businesses are female-owned, and while Grand Trunk is mainly known as a bar space for drinking cocktails, during lockdowns they've been serving tricked-out breakfast sandwiches for takeout as well as drinks.

"The Grand Trunk would like to introduce its new little sister, The Queen's End Cafe and Emporium located at 1664 Queen St. West," Grand Trunk owner Alison Barrie wrote.

"I took a giant leap of faith, and Jen and Sarah took a chance on me, and I'm so pleased to announce I will be the new owner of their beautiful space."

The front of the space will be preserved as a cafe, and the back will be transformed into a general store area stocked with items like locally produced pickles, jams, dips, salads, florals, crafts and "curios."

"We have lost so many small businesses during these COVID times and I wanted to do something that would honour their legacy and what they created while contributing to the neighbourhood at the same time," Barrie tells blogTO.

"Jen and Sarah have worked so hard over the years to create and foster a strong sense community and I didn't want to lose that. Though it was the right time for these amazing women to move onto bigger and better things, I felt that their space should be preserved in the community's hands if at all possible."

She's currently on the hunt for vendors and is asking anyone interested to reach out to her.

"Jen and Sarah and their regulars conceived of the nickname for our stretch of Parkdale, as it is right at the end of Queen Street West, right before it turns into the Queensway. It's such a historically significant portion of Parkdale and Toronto, being the gateway to the historic Sunnyside beach and pavilion," says Barrie.

"I knew that I wanted to name the new space something that honoured their legacy and what they created, while reflecting the spirit of the community. Calling it The Queen's End was able to do both those things. It just felt right."

The Queen's End is slated to open the first week of August. The space will be closed for about a week for repainting and small scale renovations.

Lead photo by

Grand Trunk


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