Toronto restaurant that helped elevate its neighbourhood's dining scene is closing
A Toronto restaurant that brought food and cocktails to a neighbourhood that sorely needed more options for dining out is permanently closing.
Owner Mike Beck has been operating Kingston Social House for about two years now, but most of that time has obviously been challenging, and he says it's time to wind down.
Kingston Social House, near Kingston Rd. and Warden, was known for its quirky vibe and ever-changing menu. They originally started serving food with a global feel, and when pit boss Beck took over he brought his BBQ background to the menu, serving items like brisket, pastrami and fried chicken.
"I've made the decision to sell the business," he wrote in a post on social media. "Who knows where I'll pop up next."
Some neighbours at local businesses commented on the post to wish Beck well.
"So sad...best of luck," wrote Gerrard Street Bakery.
"Wishing you all the best on the next adventure Mike," wrote a salesman from Left Field Brewery.
Beck had taken over the space in January 2020, opening it with his own new concept, not knowing what was to come.
"I had plans of upgrading and expanding the business which were put on hold," Beck tells blogTO. "We have been surviving since then, rather than thriving, which was the goal."
He's closing due to uncertainty as he feels the situation surrounding the hospitality industry changes too drastically every few months. The end of payroll and rent relief programs was also a factor.
Beck mentions in the post that "anyone interested in starting their own thing" should contact him about potentially using the space to pursue their own food dream, as the business is for sale with the Kingston Social House name attached.
"It's known in the area and the neighbourhood support had been amazing," says Beck. "Would be a great opportunity for brunch, lunch, a cocktail bar, or prepared meals and grocery."
He'll be spending his last week making soup for Bluffs Food Bank, and in exchange for donations to help with the cost he's giving out bottles of bread and butter jalapeno relish.
"I'll be taking some time off to spend with family and and decide where I'm going to take my all Canadian wood smoked BBQ next," says Beck.
The restaurant's last dinner service will be Dec. 17, their last lunch service on Dec. 18.
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