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  #6541  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2019, 5:30 PM
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It's nice to see such a fresh and modern-looking indoor public space downtown... I can't wait to check it out in person.
Yes, it’s great. Looks more attractively designed than the Toronto equivalent. I hope it works out. Out of towners on business trips will be impressed.
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  #6542  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2019, 5:29 PM
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Anybody make it to the food hall yet? Is it open to public or is there some kind of private thing going on. Seems odd that it doesnt open until 430 on a Friday before Christmas.

Also, any updates on how the sutton place work is going?
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  #6543  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2019, 6:29 PM
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  #6544  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2019, 7:02 PM
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Hoity toity
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  #6545  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2019, 7:19 PM
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Looks like Instagram heaven!

A little over three hours until the doors open...
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  #6546  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2019, 9:33 PM
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Hoity toity
Ha! I will say that being vegan and having tried all the milk substitutes, oat milk does make the best cappuccino - better than almond and hemp for sure. Produces a really nice microfoam and has less of that nutty flavour the others do. It really has become quite popular very quickly.
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  #6547  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2019, 10:02 PM
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haha I was referring to the people in attendance in those photos. I presume it's a private event. Chipman (potential look alike), Richardson, J Jones, etc.
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  #6548  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2019, 10:07 PM
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Cue the lefties in this city ready to chime in, it’s too expensive for the poor......

And the suburbanites, there’s no where to park....
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  #6549  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2019, 10:09 PM
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haha I was referring to the people in attendance in those photos. I presume it's a private event. Chipman (potential look alike), Richardson, J Jones, etc.
Yes even David Thompson is in town.
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  #6550  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2019, 10:30 PM
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Cue the lefties in this city ready to chime in, it’s too expensive for the poor......

And the suburbanites, there’s no where to park....
More like cue the snowflake righty, who takes offence at things that haven't even been said.
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  #6551  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2019, 11:48 PM
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Cue the lefties in this city ready to chime in, it’s too expensive for the poor......

And the suburbanites, there’s no where to park....
Don't forget Lenin
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  #6552  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2019, 12:30 AM
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What a nice place. I'm probably going to check it out next week when I finally have time
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  #6553  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2019, 1:04 AM
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  #6554  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2019, 5:50 PM
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Went to the soft opening, ate and drank a lot – it is absolutely beautiful in there. Amazing interior design. My initial takeaways and thoughts:

- As mentioned earlier, the whole main food hall/market is on the second floor. The first floor entrance off the plaza has the Lake of the Woods retail shop and eventually Mottola Grocery, not expected til Feb I heard.

- The food is all great quality, but Saburo Kitchen is on another level. The father-son duo knocked it out of the park with the menu, it was amazing. I've been to Japan and the okonomayaki and donburi we're on par or better than a lot of what I had out there.

- It definitely has a big-city feel unlike anything else here. Even just the fact that when you're in there on the second level, you can see the big bright interior signage of the new Liquor Mart across the plaza. It sounds funny, but I can't think of any other public commercial space here where that happens.

- The whole place is kinda tucked up and out of the way tbh. It has to be a "destination" as it's not really something you can just stroll by. The entrance indoors from the skywalk is tucked away into 242 Hargrave. Maybe once TNS 3 and 4 are done it will have more people on Carlton accessing via the plaza? I really think they made a mistake not putting this in 225 Carlton instead, where you will have lots of walkthrough traffic with people using the Skywalk from cityplace through TNS to RBCCC eventually.

- While I think Gusto North will be busy on game days, I just can't see Gusto specifically doing well otherwise. Like Passero, it's a sit-down restaurant off the market hall, and fairly integrated, but it is tucked way off in the back corner adjacent to the patio deck at the top of the big TNS stairs. Will likely have a nice patio, but the whole setup is a bit odd. Can't imagine it having much ambiance on slower evenings.

- That leads me to how I think it'll fair overall... I think this place will be packed for lunch and dinner weekdays, and throughout the day. Great spot for meetings that would normally happen at a coffee shop – Fools + Horses covers those needs. It will obviously be busy on game/event days (lots of TVs), but I just really can't see it being much of a draw in the evenings, based on how crazy slow many of the other restaurants in the area are already. The problem with HSM is that it is quite large, so on those nights that aren't busy with events, it's always going to feel really empty in there – and may be really tough to create a good ambiance as all the food vendors are spread around the outside of the space. Maybe in a few years when SP is done, and a few more of these residential buildings open it could change. But the fact it's so big, kinda tucked away in a corner, and the area isn't very busy in evenings, I have my doubts they'll be able to stay open till 11 every day.

My biggest thought however, is I do think this is going to spell the end for Tavern United. That place is already so dead now, even on game nights, thanks to Shark Club and Browns, this is going to likely be the last nail in the coffin. It doesn't help them that their former claim to fame of the rooftop patio now gets almost no sunlight due to TNS. I can't see it surviving past summer. Which frankly, I'm happy about – that place is gross.
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  #6555  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2019, 6:12 PM
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Great review Buzzg, I think like the office market this will mayb push tavern to refresh their restaurant and product offering, id hate to see the place empty. The roof top patio gives the best big city vibes in town with TN Square there now. I’m Looking forward to seeing to completion of the grocery and the summer patio season around there.

Like you mentioned there are Indeed plans for patio space for Gusto at the top of the stairs.
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  #6556  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2019, 6:15 PM
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it would have done 10x more for street safety and activity to have all of the restaurants in different retail spaces on the street.. it’s just another gated area, bad city building and bad planning
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  #6557  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2019, 6:20 PM
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it would have done 10x more for street safety and activity to have all of the restaurants in different retail spaces on the street.. it’s just another gated area, bad city building and bad planning
I don’t disagree with this statement , in the warmer months the food hall will extend outside, the plaza will be licensed similar to The Forks. Also if the ground level CRUs in 225 Carlton fill up with decent enough retail/restaurants it could bring that vibe your describing to the Plaza.
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  #6558  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2019, 7:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Wpg_Guy View Post
Great review Buzzg, I think like the office market this will mayb push tavern to refresh their restaurant and product offering, id hate to see the place empty. The roof top patio gives the best big city vibes in town with TN Square there now. I’m Looking forward to seeing to completion of the grocery and the summer patio season around there.

Like you mentioned there are Indeed plans for patio space for Gusto at the top of the stairs.
CanadInns has opened at least 3 new Taverns in the last three years, all with the same exact awful design, menu, and service that they opened the downtown one with over a decade ago. They have literally not made a single design change in them in over 10 years – do not put a shred of faith into this disaster of a company.

I don't know what their lease is like, but would not be surprised to see True North not renew the lease if they're able to eventually. Now that they have ownership stakes (or at lease are landlords) in so many nearby competition, not sure they'd want them around. Or at least not want something so bad there haha.

If Joey or Cactus Club ever start getting more serious about a downtown location, that would be perfect. And in a few years there will be more people around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by headhorse View Post
it would have done 10x more for street safety and activity to have all of the restaurants in different retail spaces on the street.. it’s just another gated area, bad city building and bad planning
That would make it a completely different concept if these were all separate places, and I'm not sure they'd be better off that way. Also there's like no space on the main floor as the loading dock and lobby take up most of the ground level.

I believe they're close to locking in another restaurant tenant for the ground floor (plaza side) of 225 Carlton. A coffee shop has already signed the lease for the unit at the corner of Carlton and Graham. So if my calculations are correct I think there is one retail unit left. That's pretty good.
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  #6559  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2019, 9:09 PM
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it would have done 10x more for street safety and activity to have all of the restaurants in different retail spaces on the street.. it’s just another gated area, bad city building and bad planning
My view as well. But it was intended to be a food court so that's what it is. Calling it a "market" is pretty funny; that word is so abused. I personally won't even check this out as I prefer actual restaurants and don't work downtown. The only real bummer is that the two separate restaurants that buzzg mentioned didn't open somewhere else downtown where they would be more visible and add more to the street life.
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  #6560  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2019, 9:20 PM
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I like what Cannads has done with the Met so maybe there’s hope.
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