southern crown smokehouse toronto

BBQ joint that kept selling out during lockdowns is closing its Toronto restaurant

A Toronto BBQ restaurant that's been on hiatus for the last little while has officially announced their physical location is closing permanently.

Southern Crown Smokehouse shot up in popularity almost as soon as it opened as a hidden ghost operation inside Lob.

The BBQ joint has gained a reputation for its combination of smokehouse and Caribbean influences.

They eventually moved into a food hall space on Eglinton East shared with Conspiracy Pizza and Churnt Up, but had to temporarily shutter a while back, which even led one person to believe they didn't actually exist.

What some people might not realize is that the folks behind Southern Crown have actually had other jobs this whole time, and initially took their month-long break because things had simply caught up with them. And now, it's the reason why they're pulling out of the food hall altogether.

"Barrington was just promoted to head chef of Vantage Venues and I F&B manager/corporate chef of all locations," says Kyle McClure, who runs Southern Crown with co-owner Barrington Graham.

"Working 70 hours a week was catching up with us and I have a young family at home I was never seeing."

They had tried to keep the project going since they had accumulated so much momentum, and didn't want to disappoint the locals that had come to love them.

"As soon as we reopened we realized quickly that it wasn't going to work. We were spread way too thin and hiring competent cooks is next to impossible right now," McClure tells blogTO.

"Add to that the fact that a few days after opening my son was injured and need some extra care, and the fact I my self have been struggling with depression, we felt it was time to just focus on our pop-up game."

So while it may be goodbye to regular Southern Crown visits, you can still catch them occasionally at events in and around Toronto.

They should mostly be popping up at breweries and should be spending some time at Good Lot Brewery outside the city, but they'll also be making an appearance at Cheese Boutique on June 25 and 26.

Lead photo by

Southern Crown

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