ascari toronto

Italian restaurant that's a local favourite permanently closing Toronto location

An Italian restaurant in Toronto has says they'll be permanently closing within days because of having difficulty bouncing back after mandated closures.

Ascari at 620 King West is one of several Italian restaurants in the area, and is run by the same hospitality group behind French restaurant Gare de l'Est.

"The unfortunate reality is we just could not bounce back from the last mandated closure of last December ('21), January and part of February of last year," reads a lengthy closure announcement posted to the restaurant's social media, signed by Erik, John and Rahil of Ascari Group.

"Despite the entire team's best efforts, business for the King St. location simply never gained the traction we had hoped for through the spring, summer and fall."

The announcement goes to thank their staff, suppliers and patrons.

"Life's a drag sometimes and stuff happens," it reads. "Nobody is giving up, the course is just shifting."

Ascari was open on King West for around three years. Another location in Leslieville called Ascari Enoteca will remain open.

"It was a combination of a bunch of different factors," Erik Joyal of Ascari tells blogTO.

"After the first lockdown, that recovery period was really strong, we came out of the gates great. Summer 2021 was also good, we were tracking for a great fall. That last lockdown, that was sort of the straw that broke the camel's back."

Joyal says they lost many staff that last time around, and now the cost of food and inflation keep going up, and the debt the King location of Ascari was building up was causing a strain on the group's other businesses.

He's not aware of who might be taking over the space but they may help the landlord find a new tenant, as they've been fair throughout this process.

"We're just gonna double down on the stuff that we're doing, pay a lot of attention to the other restaurants," says Joyal.

The last service for Ascari on King will be February 11.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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