TORONTO — Slated to launch this summer in Toronto, Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen will bring the laid-back island vibes, spice and vibrant, fresh flavours of the Caribbean to King West.
“I love Jamaican food and always thought we needed an amazing Jamaican restaurant in Toronto. I’ve visited Jamaica many times and have several close Jamaican friends who introduced me to the deliciousness of Jamaican food beyond jerk chicken,” says Janet Zuccarini, owner of Gusto 54 Restaurant Group. “In such a multicultural city, there’s an opening for a Jamaican concept that’s true to our brand.”
To bring the concept to life, Gusto 54 brought award-winning architecture and design firm, Partisans, interior designer Wendy Haworth, and general contractors Bozsko & Verity together to develop the property. The result is an architecturally unique space that blends old and new, and evokes Jamaica’s relaxed, island way of life.
Inspired by Jamaican culinary traditions and Gusto 54’s emphasis on fresh food, Partisans reimagined the 127-year-old row house with a two-storey addition that derives from and reinterprets greenhouse aesthetics. The folding rear glass wall on the ground floor opens up in the summer, merging interior and exterior spaces. Chubby’s indoor dining space features 100 seats; however, the seating capacity grows to 140 in the summer months with the opening of two outdoor patios at the front and rear of the building.
Drawing inspiration from home-style Jamaican cooks, Chubby’s menu is grounded in the flavours of traditional Jamaican cuisine prepared with fresh, local ingredients and rounded out with healthy, modern twists. Leading the culinary team are Gusto 54 executive chef Elio Zannoni and Jamaican-born chef de cuisine, Donavon Campbell. The menu offers authentic Jamaican favourites and remixed takes on Jamaican staples, such as Chubby’s signature jerk burger — cooked authentically on the restaurant’s feature wood-fired grill. Classic dishes include slow-cooked oxtail and curry dishes, jerk chicken, Jamaican patties, as well as healthy soups and salads. In addition to dine-in, Chubby’s fare will also be available via takeout and delivery options.
Chubby’s drink menu will offer a curated list of tropical-inspired cocktails, including signature cocktails and cider on tap. Behind the bar made from reclaimed wood saved during construction, mixologists will serve up a selection of fruit and herb-infused cocktails and juices. A selection of Caribbean beer brands and global wines will round out the list.
Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.