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Toronto restaurants ditching takeout menus a sign things are getting back to normal

Some Toronto restaurants that had to pivot to a takeout model during lockdowns are now ditching those menus in favour of focusing on their dine-in service once more, and it might just be a sign that things are returning to normal.

Lake Inez just announced on their social media that this weekend would be their last takeout meal and there were about 10 orders left, which promptly sold out in well under 24 hours. They recreated the vibe of their dreamy spot as well as they could for takeout with packages that included multiple courses and even "love letters."

Despite that, the restaurant's co-owner says interest in the takeout program just isn't what it used to be as things open back up.

"We're actually stopping due to waning interest, it's not really viable to have two separate programs at once at this juncture," Lake Inez co-owner Zac Schwartz tells blogTO. "Though our takeout constituency is blood loyal and voracious, they're dwindling in numbers."

Schwartz is wary of using the word "normal" to describe anything but hopes that "moving forward we're a restaurant again."

"Mercurial policies and a complicated intersection between ethics and fiscal necessity have made this moment as weird as any in the last couple years," says Schwartz.

"The only aspect of this dour time that resonates was the uplifting sense of community and empathy through most of it, and also continuing with patio leniencies."

The last day for takeout at rotisserie chicken restaurant Bernhardt's was Jan. 30. DaiLo is back to doing indoor dining only.

Italian restaurant Giulietta was doing takeout but is putting their program on pause, and upscale restaurant Reign at the Fairmont is also no longer doing takeout.

Whether or not it's a sign of "normalcy," there certainly are fewer tasting menus to eat in your pyjamas these days.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez at Lake Inez


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