greta solomons toronto

Toronto neighbourhood comes to restaurant owner's defence after unfair 2 star review

A Toronto restaurant owner who took to social media to express her frustrations with a recent two-star review is being supported by her community.

Darlene Mitchell runs Leslieville restaurant Greta Solomon's, and recently posted to Facebook about her struggles at the restaurant and how "social media can't wait to wave its ugly head and kick when they see someone down."

"I learned some devastating news that my chef was leaving. I made the painful decision to not remain open for the 2 week notice that he had given me but to make the decision to pay him out instead upon next payroll,"reads Mitchell's post.

"This was obviously a very difficult decision to make as I am now unable to open my restaurant. The reasons for this decision will remain private."

She goes on to say she reached out via email through their online booking system to let standing reservations know they could not be honoured for the next little while.

"I have spent the week throwing out $$$$ worth of food or finding placement for it, consoling my other staff members, interviewing other chefs and trying not to have a mental breakdown myself. All in the same time of being on day 17 of no cigarettes," reads the post.

"A couple of guests are very upset that we cannot honour their reservation. So much so that they have taken to giving us a 2 star online review. I cannot explain our heart breaking this is for me right now to get an email that I have received a 2 star review as I am trying to come up with odd jobs around Greta's for my remaining staff so I can pay them."

She continues to say that the people that come to her restaurant are deeply important to her, that she apologized and will continue to apologize for cancelling the reservation, and that she still feels terrible about messing up the couple's anniversary.

greta solomons toronto

Screenshot of a two-star Google review of Greta Solomon's. Image via Google.

Mitchell appears to be talking about this two-star Google review posted within the week:

"The restaurant cancelled our reservation on OpenTable 2 days before due to a kitchen staffing shortage. This was supposed to be our anniversary dinner and we could not find another reservation on short notice in our neighbourhood. Not even a call to cancel, just an OpenTable email. Disappointing."

People have rushed to Mitchell's defense in the comments of her Facebook post, offering support and even tips for quitting smoking.

"We love you and your staff at Greta's. From the food, to the wine to the service all beyond perfection," one person wrote. "I'd give you a 10 star rating if I could. Looking forward to another fantastic evening at Greta's when you reopen."

"Leslieville has your back," another person commented. "Greta Solomon's is a focal point for our community, and hands down the best spot for every special meal. We can't wait for you to reopen."

"Some people believe your restaurant is some kind of public facility not your private business that you pour your very being into. But know this, for every callous lout that feels free to castigate you in public, there are 20 guests that appreciate and support you. I had a restaurant for 5.5 yrs in Cabbagetown," commented one person.

"The outpouring of support from patrons and my industry peers was kind of overwhelming and quite surprising. I still take solace in that because yes, it is personal. I'm not looking for work but if you need a hand with something to help in the transition, please reach out."

If this kind of feedback is anything to go by, once Greta Solomon's finds a new chef and reopens, it will likely be to rave reviews from the neighbourhood.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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