Toronto restaurant known for its beer and meat platters is permanently closing
In true Toronto fashion, 2023 has started off with a truly heart-breaking restaurant closure, this time a super popular biergarten.
Opened a mere six years ago, Otto's Bierhalle has announced that the alehouse with 24 beers on tap will be no more.
Owned and operated by Nancy Chen, Konrad Droeske, Matt Ecoensweiler, Thomas Masmejean and Nav Sangha, the news of the popular hangout spot's imminent closure came as quite a shock to their faithful customers.
Otto's broke the news on social media, posting a very detail-sparse message to their followers on Instagram.
A four-page slideshow starts with "so long… farewell… auf wiedersehen… good bye," the opening lyrics to the classic So Long, Farewell tune from the Sound of Music.
"After six wonderful years, it is with heavy hearts that we share that Otto's Bierhalle will be closing at the end of January," reads the second slide.
With just three weeks left in the month, Otto's hopes that customers will stop by for a final drink and take part in the up-and-coming deals.
"We would like to thank our guests for supporting us over the years and take the chance to celebrate over the next few weeks with deals every day!"
Mondays will see $10 cocktails, while there will be 50 per cent off large format bottles of beers, wines and ciders on Tuesdays. Grab $6 pints on Wednesdays, and $5 mixed drinks plus $10 currywurst plates on Thursdays.
The end-of-week specials available until the end of the month include $5 cans and snacks through happy hour on Fridays, while Saturday and Sunday will offer $6 mulled wine, mimosas and Caesars.
"This was a very difficult decision for us as we have incredible patrons that have supported us from the beginning and a passionate team of staff that will be tough to say goodbye to," operating partner Thomas Masmejean told blogTO. "Without them, we would've never been a key member of the West Queen West community over the last 6 years."
As for the reason for the closure, it's a subject we've all heard too many times.
"The pandemic created financial hardship that was insurmountable during recovery," said Masmejean.
Customers can still get a taste of the team's Bavarian flavours at Otto's Berlin Doner, which is not closing and will continue to operate in Kensington Market. Although the menu is different, they do have favourites like the currywurst.
As for a potential return of the beer hall, Masmejean said there is nothing planned in the foreseeable future.
Located on West Queen West near Dovercourt Road, Otto's shook up the drab scene on the once-popping street, offering German and international beers, plates and experiences.
Can't-miss items include the pretzel with house-made mustards, beer cheese, their juicy chicken schnitzel and anything with sausage.
The business was recently in the news after deciding to not show any of the FIFA 2022 World Cup games, citing human rights violations in host country Qatar.
"Otto's Bierhalle supports the LGBTQ+ community, women, and the rights of workers. We stand against discrimination of any kind. For this reason, we have decided not to show the games being played in Qatar this year," read the restaurant's statement.
Comments on this announcement were flooded with support and praise, with many agreeing with Otto's decision.
Otto's was also known for their incredible Oktoberfest parties, serving up 1L steins of European ale.
And who could forget their disco-themed bathroom, where a disco ball hangs above the toilet, standing by for a quick bathroom boogie with the press of a button.
"Our final farewell will be on Saturday, January 28th, and we would love it if you would join us for one last party," finished the closure announcement.
Catch a farewell drink at Otto's Bierhalle at 1087 Queen Street West.
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