Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

"Gypsy and the Hooch" Closes Down

Gypsy Co-op restaurant on Queen Street West, Toronto.

Carson T. Foster, Karaoke host with the most and one of Accordion City’s more colourful characters, pointed out in a comment that the Gypsy Co-op Restaurant (a.k.a. “Gypsy and The Hooch”) has closed its doors. Here are the stories I’ve been able to find online:

More commentary (and if I can dig them up, photos) later.

2 replies on “"Gypsy and the Hooch" Closes Down”

Just when I moved into the neighbourhood too, and I never got to go! Now I’m sorry I picked Butler’s Pantry over the Gypsy for dinner in November.

It’s strange to watch the evolution of the area.

Back in the day, the main floor was a pool hall and the upstairs was Marcus O’Hara’s speakeasy.

I remember going one night and finding it closed.

Marcus answered the door and said –

“You wanna see something cool?”

He opened the main floor and explained that he was taking it over and making it into a poolroom/restaurant. [this was at the onset of the pool treand which is now starting to wind down]

We played pool and drank until he passed out, and I had to sneak out the back door at 8am.

That was the beginnings of the Squeeze Club.

When he sold it and the Gypsy guys took over, I remember asking what they were doing with the tables.

They removed the slate and cut it into the bar.

I loved the fact that there was a nod of respect to the history of the place and the neighbourhood.

The Rivoli guys actually found the name by researching the history of the building.

Apparently, the original Rivoli had a meeting hall in the back area for communist [or socialist gatherings]. That fit in well with Andre and David’s (The Rivoli guys) concept.

Too often in this city, stuff is just torn down and replaced by cookie cutter crap.

Think of the ugly strip mall accross from the Horseshoe tavern. That used to be a beautiful Ukanian temple.

I’m disappointed that there seems to be little leadership or vision in the shaping of the downtown neighbourhoods from architects and city planners. The buildings on their own are ok, but no one seems to walk accross the street and look at how these individual structures fit into the neighbourhood as a whole.

It’s slipping away…

one million dollar building at a time…


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