fogo de chao toronto

Popular Brazilian restaurant chain announces details of first Toronto location

As one of the most anticipated new international restaurants set to open in the GTA and across Canada, Fogo de Chao had already announced they were opening in Toronto first, but hadn't yet secured a space.

Known for celebrating the centuries-old cooking technique of churrasco – the art of roasting high-quality cuts of meat over an open flame, the internationally-renowned Brazilian restaurant brand has just signed a lease agreement for its first location.

Slated to occupy 5,270 square feet on the ground floor of 55 Mercer Street, a.k.a. the building built where the iconic Wayne Gretzky's Toronto and The Second City once stood, the restaurant will count Bisha Hotel and the new Nobu Hotel and Restaurant as its Entertainment District neighbours and will have a warm, timeless design that complements the area's energy while still acknowledging the brand's Brazilian heritage.

Not only will the restaurant feature an open-air churrasco grill where chefs would butcher, prepare and grill the meats over an open flame, but it will have a dry-aged meat locker for the in-house aging program (minimum 42 days) in addition to a lively bar, plus dining room and "engaging social gathering spaces to further enhance the guest experience."

blogTO learns from a conversation with Michael Wilkings, President of Debut Development Group, the exclusive Canadian franchisee for Fogo de Chao, that the group has been looking for the ideal flagship location since they entered into the agreement with the chain in August of 2022.

"[We were] looking for the perfect location to launch the flagship Fogo," Wilkings told blogTO. "So, it took us quite a long time. We had conversations with a number of people regarding potential locations, but nothing was ever concluded. The only location we've signed an agreement for is at 55 Mercer Street which is a great location.

"It's on the corner of Blue Jays Way and Mercer Street. It's literally next door to the new Nobu hotel and restaurant, which will open later this year, and opposite of Bisha. It doesn't get any better than that. And we occupy the whole of the southeast corner the ground floor."

The Toronto flagship is set to be the first of at least ten Fogo de Chao restaurants in Canada over the next ten years with Wilkings teasing that there will be at least four in the GTA. The Mercer Street flagship is projected to open in early 2024, but that might also depend on the usual variables that come with restaurant openings like obtaining building permits, training, and more.

Lead photo by

Fogo de Chao

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