TORONTO — It’s difficult to ignore the winning combination of value and atmosphere that’s helping the burgeoning fast-casual segment win market share, and the team at South St. Burger has taken notice. Last night, it invited media to check out its new fast-casual iteration, South St. Burger Bar in Toronto.
Nestled inside a heritage building on King St. E., the 75-seat restaurant offers a casual, neighbourhood atmosphere with a value-driven menu, explains Jay Gould, president and CEO of the Toronto-based South St. Burger, explaining that instead of table service, the guest orders at the bar area and receives a number. “The Corktown neighbourhood is a young and vibrant community that was in need of a gourmet burger spot and watering hole,” he says. “The area afforded the opportunity to evolve the South St. Burger concept into a more adult environment and create a space that reflects the surrounding architecture. It feels like it’s always been there. We are thrilled with how the community has welcomed us.”
Designed by local firm Jump Branding & Design, the space features exposed wood beams, cast-iron light fixtures and flat-screen TVs. Six craft brews on tap and wine by the glass complement a menu of snacks and sliders, which include the Orange and Blue slider, topped with blood-orange slaw, blue cheese and spring mix; or the Cheesy Pear, with sautéed pear, brie, maple-infused red onion and spring mix (choice of any three for $9). The full South St. Burger menu is also available, and a separate counter is located at the back of the bar where guests can order to-go.
Meanwhile, while some South St. Burger locations are licensed, there hasn’t been as much of an emphasis on beer at the chain, says Gould, hinting that it may be easy to transform the atmosphere at existing South St. locations. “There are a few insights we could take back to some of the other [sites].”