TORONTO — Toronto’s Marben, owned by Simon Benstead, has shuttered its doors alongside sister attachment bar The Cloak Bar.
“It’s time. After a successful 16-year run, we’ve decided to close,” reads the restaurant’s statement on Instagram. “This decision presented itself organically as an evolution of business and lifestyle, but more importantly it just feels like the right time. Serving elevated farm-to-table food to the people of Toronto has been the pleasure of a lifetime, and we’ll miss everything about it. Thank you to our loyal guests, our passionate farmers, suppliers and partners, our dedicated staff and the entire Marben community that made our restaurant feel like a home for all of these years.”
Marben’s last day of service is January 29. There will also be a number of events throughout the month to celebrate the restaurant’s history.
In 2016, The Cloak Bar opened on the lower level beneath Marben as an after-hours bar. Its last day of service is January 28. “Since 2016, The Cloak Bar has been serving bespoke cocktails and late-night food in our moody subterranean bar built for revelry,” reads a statement on Instagram. “We can’t say thank you enough to everyone who has passed through the thick velvet curtains and into the world of The Cloak Bar.”
A number of notable chefs have also walked through its doors, including Carl Heinrich and Ryan Donovan of Richmond Station; Rob Bragagnolo of Labora, Compo Food Hall and Carver; and current executive chef Chris Locke. During the pandemic, the restaurant and bar eliminated tipping and boosted benefits for employees. They also opened a market with sustainable grocery items, a takeout program and a virtual wine club.
Looking ahead, Benstead told blogTO he’ll be “celebrating 16 successful years and involve as many people as possible. And to help our staff transition into the next steps of their lives. This really is a family.”