1320 Queen St Toronto

Toronto restaurant that was a neighbourhood fave turfed by landlord for fast food chain

A location of a fried chicken chain will most likely soon be replacing a Toronto French restaurant that was actually named for a heritage breed of chicken.

Chantecler, one of the best French restaurants in town, has sadly been closed since 2019 due to a fire.

Their own neighbouring butcher shop has remained open, and temporary new restaurant Le Phenix was opened as a stand-in of sorts while Chantecler remained closed, and has been serving people on a patio.

Now, it looks like the firm that owns 1320 Queen St. W. where Chantecler has been located, Monde Development, wants to move a fried chicken franchise location into the space.

Their website states that they're going to be opening five new Mary Brown's locations in the downtown core of Toronto and a "flagship location will be on Queen St. W."

Chantecler owner Jacob Wharton-Shukster tells blogTO that previously, the owners of the building had expressed they really wanted Chantecler back in the space, and had undertaken plans to restore the building that were delayed throughout 2020 due to COVID.

It was in early 2021 that suddenly the building was up for sale, Wharton-Shukster told that it was to "see what the market was like" but that plans were not going to change. Everything seemed like it was still going to go well until Wharton-Shukster saye he started experiencing more difficulty reaching Monde.

In May Wharton-Shukster received a letter saying the board had decided to go with a chain in the space, and there was some back and forth with Wharton-Shukster expressing his disappointment with the decision and that the community would likely be disappointed too.

He confirms that Chantecler will not be returning to its Queen West location, where they haven't been operating for months. While Boucherie has a different landlord, its future and that of Le Phenix remain up in the air.

Le Phenix was only intended to be a six-month project in the first place and would need a lot of work, the patio being the only freshly built component. As the lease is up in October, Wharton-Shukster says it looks like that will be wrapping up.

In terms of Chantecler possibly relocating, he says it's too early to be sure of any details yet.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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