old nassau

Owner of Toronto restaurant Old Nassau already seeing the 'Keith Lee Effect'

Old Nassau restaurant owner Kay tells blogTO that things "still feel surreal," after receiving a glowing review from TikTok star and food critic, Keith Lee.

After Kay, with her daughter by her side, posted a video on TikTok suggesting Lee visit her Weston-Mount Dennis Bahamian restaurant, she didn't necessarily expect anything to come of it.

"There are thousands of restaurants in Toronto," she tells blogTO, "thousands of people tagging him to come to them," that she thought her chances of actually getting Lee to come were slim to none.

Shortly after posting her video, though, Kay's friends began messaging her that the video had popped up on their For You page. Then, people from all over the world were seeing it, tagging Keith Lee in the comments.

"So many people were messaging and tagging him," she says, "even people who hadn't ever tried the food but thought it looks good or know us from the neighbourhood."

@keith_lee125 Old Nassau taste test 💕 would you try it ? 💕 #foodcritic @Old Nassau ♬ original sound - Keith Lee

Lee's sister went in to the restaurant to pick up the meal, Kay tells blogTO; a typical move of his to try to get an objective customer service experience free from special treatment.

"And then, 40 minutes later, I'm like 'no way that's Keith Lee,'" she recounts, as the TikTokker later walked into the restaurant to introduce himself, compliment Kay's food and drop off a hefty tip of $500 for each person working that day.

In the days since, Old Nassau has seen a massive surge of traffic, particularly through online orders, Kay tells blogTO.

"So many people are ordering exactly what he ordered," she said, "or even ordering the things he didn't like as much to try them out."

@blogto The one and only, @keith_lee125, just visited this INCREDIBLE Bahamian restaurant in Toronto 🤩🤤 Here's our video from when @oldnassau.food first opened 👀 #ForYou #Fyp #Toronto #Ontario #Canada #TorontoOntario #TorontoCanada #OntarioCanada #TikTokToronto #TorontoTikTok #TorontoFood #Food #Foodie #KeithLee #FoodCritic #FoodReview #OldNassau #OldNassauFood #OldNassauRestaurant #CaribbeanFood #Bahamas #TheBahamas #Caribbean #KeithLeeEffect #KeithLeeFoodReview ♬ original sound - blogTO

While other businesses in the Toronto area that Keith Lee has visited on his tour of the city have been overwhelmed by the so-called "Keith Lee Effect" (both Afro's Pizza and Biscuits to Baskets report completely running out of food after their Lee visits,) Kay plans to stay vigilant.

"We knew it was coming, so we made sure to be prepared," Kay tells blogTO, adding that she hopes the good fortune continues in the days, weeks and months following the exceptional review.

If you'd like to visit Old Nassau (which is so far Keith Lee's favourite Toronto restaurant,) you can visit Kay and the team at 2047 Weston Road.

Lead photo by

@oldnassau.food, @blogTO

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