Tags: Robert Le Page

Am I a whiner to mourn the death of my diner?

The news that Flo’s Diner in Toronto had closed hit me hard. But why? It was just a diner.

True, I’ve eaten there since it opened on Bellair in 1991, and long after it moved to 70 Yorkville. I was a regular and wore my old-guy-corner-booth-bacon-and-eggs persona like a medal. Not for me The Four Seasons or Park Hyatt, where a piddly bowl of porridge and coffee will now set you back $40.

I’ve always been a diner guy. Years ago, Brothers on Yonge just below Charles was my eatery of choice. It was run by two brothers who kept baseball bats behind the counter to go after anyone who forgot to pay. No one forgot to pay. But Brothers closed long ago, and the idea of opening a diner today seems as viable as the idea of buying a stick-shift car or a Hungarian restaurant on Bloor St.

Flo’s co-owner Pierre Hamel said it was a dispute with their landlord that led to its closing and laying off 15 staff. Hamel said: “We came out of COVID really, really strong, and we would like to stay as long as we can.”

Read on…


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