uncle rays toronto

Toronto restaurant that got backlash for its menu has permanently closed

A Toronto restaurant serving Nashville hot chicken has closed permanently after just around a year in business.

Uncle Ray's was a restaurant for Southern cuisine from Open Concept Hospitality, the same people behind other chicken spot Union Chicken and Italian joint Amano.

The restaurant faced initial backlash before opening in Toronto in early 2020 due to marketing its "soul food" concept with problematic imagery and wording including a depiction of a gorilla.

The Toronto location of Uncle Ray's near Front and Church has closed to make room to grow ChefDrop, a restaurant-inspired meal kit concept currently operating out of the space run by some of the partners from Open Concept.

"ChefDrop will quickly outgrow that space and is looking for a new facility to operate from," Open Concept partner Adam Teolis tells blogTO.

"As that occurs we will likely open the space as a large full service version of Amano to be called Amano Trattoria."

The original location of Uncle Ray's in Hamilton is still open. The last day in business for Uncle Ray's in Toronto was June 12, and there are no future plans for Uncle Ray's in the city.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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