I find that the concept and perceived importance of the original Restaurant Row along this stretch of King to be dated. Perhaps evoking a sense of nostalgia in the 90's and 00's when downtown was more barren, and these restaurants were the only option to grab a bite and drink after a ball game or theatre show. Times have changed though, especially as Toronto's restaurant scene has boomed in the 2010's and this stretch became less relevant, and became left behind as a tourist trap. As someone in my late-twenties who grew up with the changes of downtown, I don't believe I've ever been to any of the restaurants here.
In many ways, the formation of newer restaurant rows have transferred over to and thrived in other downtown areas such as King (west of Spadina + Portland) and Dundas (between Bay and Uni Ave), John/Richmond/Adelaide and other adjacent side streets in the base of newer condos or traditional warehouses. Even the Financial District has seen a rise in new restaurants in recent years. Plus further west as you move into the Queen & Trinity Park, Dundas & Ossington, etc. areas. And often with higher quality restaurants too.
The King Blue development next door is supposed to have multiple retail units that are suitable for restaurant usage in the future, along with the Maverick when it gets completed.
This is a painful 3 or 4 year wait for change in the destruction (reinvention?) of the "entertainment district" Reviews aside, there was some good food and fun here... la Fenice for example (a friend) always served great classic Italian. Now a prime dead zone waiting for Maverick.
Maybe we can close down Baldwin and build a condo, wait for 4 years.
I'm an admitted skygeek but wonder if we'll ever get those fearless restaurant and other shops back. Sometimes you gotta leave it alone?