Toronto

305-319 King West | 157m | 48s | Scott Shields

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Gee, is this another one planned for the restaurant row:confused:...............http://goo.gl/maps/PA0dV

305 KING ST W
OPA / Rezoning 13 144733 STE 20 OZ Ward 20
- Tor & E.York Apr 4, 2013 --- --- --- ---
Proposed 43 storey commercial building that includes office, hotel, gallery, and restaurant uses to replace the 2 and 3 storey commercial buildings.
 

Ramako

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At this point it seems a forgone conclusion that Restaurant Row and any charm remaining in the Entertainment District are not long for this world.

On the bright side, this is an office/hotel tower, not another condo. Perhaps we can expect some interesting architecture.
 

someMidTowner

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You could easily squeeze a Theatre Park sized development on that patio there without knocking anything down. Nothing should be demolished on this block. Build it behind or don't build it at all.
 
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innsertnamehere

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note how it includes "restaurant uses" in it's description, I think they will at least be keeping a few restaurants.
 

AlbertC

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The main issue is that once the new highrise is complete, will the restaurants return? It's already been seen in other areas in the city where new developments have displaced former thriving retail strips. Retail diversity is often lost in favour of more uniform arrangements. Lack of accommodation and pressures from new residents discourage potential for engaging commercial usages. Though the Gabby's building and patio is rather non-nondescript, it is located right in the heart of Restaurant Row and will undoubtedly have an impact on neighbouring businesses.
 

ProjectEnd

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Not that I advocate its destruction, but outside of the theatre / nostalgia crowd (and more specifically, in culinary circles), you'll find little love for Restaurant Row. None of the establishments offer much by way of good food and rely on their location and touts for business. In many ways, they share more with Ed's now shuttered restaurant a little east on King - ketchup-based tomato sauces and the like - than anything that's currently popular in that culture.
 

Grimace

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It's not really about the quality of the restaurants is it? Other than Aroma (and the Second Cup) I don't recall eating in any of them, but nevertheless it is a strip with character that adds to the neighbourhood. Even if they survive off tourists who don't know where the better food is, I would not want to see the row torn down and replaced with an Aura-style selection of SIR Corp. restaurants (recognizing that you are not advocating the row be torn down).
 

TrickyRicky

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The worst Italian food by a long stretch I have ever had was on Mulberry Street in Manhattan's Little Italy. That doesn't mean to me that the stretch is not worth conserving.
 

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That's quite the broad brush you are all painting with. I've tried a few places along Restaurant Row and found (most of) them quite good.
It's not broad at all. Actually, it's pretty specific. I'm told by my chef brother (whom I trust on these issues) that there hasn't been a culinary evolution on this stretch since tableside flambés went out of style.

To put it in terms we UT'ers can understand: in culinary circles restaurant row is the same sort of joke that Kirkor or a G+C is to us. Aloof, anachronistic, and forever disconnected from the city's vibrant and evolving design culture. Yet, just like developers who hire Kirkor or G+C for their bland yet reliable production-house-consistency, because restaurant row has a clientele who care little about eating an excellent meal, they are able to rope in low-hanging-fruit so to speak (tourists, non-native theatre goers, etc.). This solid client base means they don't have to evolve as other restaurants might and have therefore fallen far behind the times.

Whether or not you personally like these restaurants is nice but sort of irrelevant. Again, it's akin to those few remaining souls who see some value in Aura while the rest of the public, and nearly all of the city's architects, have written it off completely.
 

Ramako

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I've eaten at a couple spots on Restaurant Row. They're generally decent, but nothing special. I don't really go there for the food so much as the energy and atmosphere on the patios and the street. There's nothing else in the city that really compares.
 

Big Daddy

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it's akin to those few remaining souls who see some value in Aura while the rest of the public, and nearly all of the city's architects, have written it off completely.
I have to add my vote for Aura - the overall design is great - I just can't stand all the spandrel.
 

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