gayleys cafe toronto

Toronto restaurant posts emotional video after closing for good

A Toronto cafe and brunch restaurant posted the most heartfelt video online showing them flipping their sign to "closed" for the very last time.

The video shows customers and staff gathered inside Gayley's Cafe for the ceremonious moment.

"I have the best customers ever," owner Tatiana Rogova says in a little speech she gives in the video, right before doing the flip. 

As staff announce it's their last day, the eyes of customers are locked on the staff, one person clutching their chest emotionally.

Though the act of flipping the sign in the video is a bit of a sad one, everyone is clapping in the full house as it happens, staff toasting with drinks, smiling and hugging.

"There will be a different restaurant in here so it will still be part of the neighbourhood," one staff member announces after the sign has been flipped.

"But, without me," Rogova says, people laughing and saying "awww" in response.

"Champagne for everyone!" the staff says at the end of the video, the camera flipping back to show the chef in the kitchen.

"For me and my team, the day was very emotional. The business was based on the regular customers that have been coming for years," Rogova tells blogTO.

"It was much more than food, we shared our lives. There are tons of stories in my mind and mostly in my heart. Engagements, sicknesses, new jobs, losing jobs, babies inside, baby out and eating our pancakes, babies grown up and hugging me, break-ups."

If you didn't know, Gayley's apparently had an officially designated break-up table, which Rogova "eventually got rid of to avoid breaking glasses and drowning in tears."

Though Gayley's has made clear the closure was not related to lockdowns, the restaurant had already vocalized they were struggling to stay open as early as March 2020.

"We drank champagne from crystal vodka shots, why not. I was the worst server ever, orders were screwed up, cutlery was dropped on the floor," says Rogova.

"Beautiful mess. That was funny to watch first- and last-time customers, who had no idea what was going on, but it took them minutes to feel the vibe, to join our celebration. Love was in the air."

Though the last day for Gayley's was Oct. 31, the video was just posted to the restaurant's account in December.

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