Tuesday, February 14, 2012

the rumour mill grinds out a few tall tales


So winter has finally arrived to our little Hamlet, seemingly missing its cue throughout the past few months.  But despite the balmy temperatures, this fall, and indeed the season we just 'weathered', took its toll on more than a few "culinary destinations" here in Stratford.

Read on for a brief synopsis of the changes coming to our fair restaurants, some have already seen their demise but perhaps will be born again with new life.

Disclaimer: not all of the following information is based on fact, quite frankly it's pretty much based on nothing at all, other than the word of mouth from our fair citizens.  It is peppered with a little research, but, reader discretion is advised!

1. Ellam's may finally close its doors after what anyone would have to fairly call a good run.  Health and fire safety restrictions have already removed part of the shanty at the back of the building, expect more demo.  On the brighter side of things, we look forward to watching the transformation into Canada's first cockroach museum.

2. Duelling Thai; Stratford can't seem to embrace having just one of any kind of ethnic food downtown, we like to double down.  Two Thai restaurants will be opening this year a mere footed jaunt from one another, perhaps it was planned this way to allow for the rumoured sumo wrestling events between owners that will take place bi-weekly in Market Square.  Inflatable Sumo suits provided generously by the Party Supply Store.

3. Erie St. Kitchen; that's right, everyones favourite little sandwich shop tucked away on York st. will be giving up its name and possibly its popularity to venture across Ontario st. to a new address.  Alpha Beet, Veg Out and Menrui were all so successful I can understand why someone would want such a prime location.

4. The Church Restaurant, a name synonymous with dining in Stratford, may not open this year at all.  After 30 odd years as a restaurant they're going back to their roots.  Word is that Tom Cruise and John Travolta will be launching the new Canadian headquarters for the Church Of Scientology at the corner of Waterloo & Brunswick. This is what caused them to finally tear down the old eyesore next door.  Only the best of everything for the thetan cosmic life force.
(Tom Cruise slated to reprise his role from Tropic Thunder as a cameo appearance in various productions at the theatre this summer!)

5. Fear not, lovers of fish and chips done simply, Shawn's little venture may rise from the ashes as a gourmet wedding cake shop, seafoam green is this seasons colour afterall.  Details to follow...

6. A personal favourite of mine will be seeing some changes this year as well, Pazzo, both ristorante and pizzeria are on the hunt for new Chefs.  Perhaps Jeff and Larry can take over their respective kitchens to see the world through chef whites, they certainly have the fortitude for the job.

7. Taj Mah-Fall; unable to compete with its Indian focussed counterpart around the corner, Taj will be embracing its size this year and opening Stratford's first curry themed bowling alley.  Bahji will remain available as bar snacks for hungry bowlers.

8. Tango has closed and is rumoured to re-open as Cha-Cha's: an all male dance club reminiscent of Chippendales. Hoping breakfast will still be served, only now with extra sausage.


9. Whispers around the city suggest that Rundles will be raising its prices this year, pre fixe dinners will crest the $5000 mark for the first time in Stratford history; rumours of a new Mazzerotti purchase by Jim and Richard are apparently unrelated.

10. Big D's Demise; as forseen difficulties are associated with the location at 104-108 Downie st. it's really not a big surprise that this awkward space has defeated yet another restaurant.  Starbucks is eyeing the location.

11. Speaking of Starbucks; the giant coffee conglomerate has snuck into the core on the wings of Subway, now you can get a $5 footlong alongside your Venti-skim-soy-caramel-frappu-macciato.

If you have any additional rumours, or can lend truth or falsehood to these, please join the conversation below...

25 comments:

  1. It's actually York Street Kitchen on Erie. They were basically forced to move, and that's the location that worked for them. Yes, this rumor is true.

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  2. I don't think that's a bad location at all. People are used to lining up at Scoopers and at York Street Kitchen, so maybe it will work this time! That little area needs to "market" itself, as York Street did, since the large and strange intersection would seem a bit daunting to visitors. Maybe THIS will be the area that has decent patio seating (besides Evergreen Terrace that I am hoping against hope remains in place until next summer since their patio is absolute heaven).

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  3. One rumour I've heard is that York Street Kitchen were forced to move with good reason (black mold?)
    And as for Simple, another rumour is that with the equipment that was left one of the landlord's family members will open a Fish and Chip place of their own.

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  4. *Prix

    *Maserati

    People in glass houses .....

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I hate being the one who always corrects the Chew's spelling. If one cannot afford a Maserati, one can certainly afford a Merriam Webster's...

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    2. 'The Chew' is a fat cow, that's for sure...

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  5. Chinese Take-out on the corner of Wellington and St. Patrick?

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  6. I'd bet dinner at Rundles that Anonymous #3 is Richard.

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    Replies
    1. I'll double that bet.

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    2. Please, get a life. Sincerely, Richard Maloney

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  7. the Duelling Thai may actually be a Thai Trio!?

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    Replies
    1. Second that-- heard the wellington/st. patrick "chinese takeout" is actually Thai: creating thai trio

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  8. I miss MENRUI which was a Success for a number of years.

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  9. I've heard there is a new coffee shop opening in the downtown. Like we need another! Revel is moving and the other is opening later in the summer backed by you know who... :)
    'm waiting for just one decent Chinese place. Geez

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  10. Hey Chew, where are you?

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    Replies
    1. Obviously busy opening his/her own restaurant.

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  11. I WONDER WHO 'THE CHEW' IS? SEEMS LIKE IT MIGHT BE:

    1.) MERCER HALL RESTAURANT (Tina/Sean/or another there?)
    2.) BIJOU (Aaron & Bronwyn and company?)
    3.) S.T.A. ('Savour Stratfordites', i.e., Danielle/Emily?)
    4.) STRATFORD CHEFS SCHOOL (Kimberley Payne?)

    LET'S TRY AND FIND OUT WHO 'THE CHEW' IS, SHALL WE?
    COME ON, GET INVOLVED, IT WILL BE FUN!

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  12. Might be Jeff + Larry and others at Pazzo?

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  13. Could also be blogger, Matt Smith...

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  14. No it's not Jeff, nor Larry at Pazzo. No, it is not Matt Smith.

    Stop the press, but, I think I know who The Chew is (or, was, now that he's moved back to Calgary to start-up his new restaurant, and his blog posts have ceased to exist):

    Darren McLean, former acclaimed sous chef at Bijou.

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  15. Ya, a lot of restaurants in town (except for Bijou) got bashed...

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  16. Looks more and more like Darren @ Bijou to me.

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  17. Bonjure Missere ,
    I like your post. Your post is very nice and useful information for this post. I waiting for your next post. Such a very nice post. I glad to read it. Keep it. And thanks for sharing it...

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