Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Le Gourmand, Late with the Rent [Updated]

Le Gourmand termination notice

Le Gourmand, the little French cafe on Spadina between Queen and Richmond, has been locked down by the landlord after falling behind in rent by over $25,000. The unhappy news about the place that I said had “The Best Damned Chocolate Chip Cookie in the City” was brought to me by fellow HacklabTO member Stefan Arentz, who took the picture of the notice on their door above.

Le Gourmand have two other locations: one at Bloor and Yonge, and one at Yonge and Eglinton. I have no idea if they closed as well, but the fact that their site is down does not bode well.

In memory of this nice little cafe, here’s the photo montage I made of Le Gourmand a couple of years back:

Photo montage of Le Gourmand

Update: Wouldn’t you know it, BlogTO wrote about it on Sunday in an article I missed.

It Happened to Me Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

R.I.P. Mel’s Montreal Delicatessen

Mel's Montreal Delicatessen

BlogTO reports:

An Annex institution is no more. Mel’s Montreal Delicatessen, a late night spot on Bloor both loved and reviled by residents of this city, has closed its doors. Or rather, had its doors locked by the landlord after reportedly failing to pay rent that was months in arrears.

It started so full of promise and slid into a miasma of laziness, rudeness, incompetence and debt (rather like my deadbeat ex-housemate, now that I think of it). When it opened ten years ago in Pizzadelic’s old location, the food and service were decent; over the years, it became the Amy Winehouse of restaurants: looking bad for its age, barely functioning, somehow clinging to life after all the self-inflicted harm and willing to let just about anyone work in it.

Out of respect for the city of Montreal, that “Taste of Montreal” sign should be taken down as quickly as possible. Montreal doesn’t taste like failure.

I gave up on Mel’s after a streak of incredibly bad service ending with a visit where Wendy, Dave and I sat in their empty restaurant for ten minutes, in full view of the staff, without even being approached. They were lost in their own world, and as I wrote in a blog entry back in 2006, “I’ve seen bathroom mould with more ambition.”

I wonder what will open in its place.


Your Last Chance to Get JPG Magazine

Stack of issues of JPG magazine. JPG magazine was beautiful but unsustainable. A photography magazine whose contributors were also its readers, it was part publication, part online community and part art project. You didn’t have to be an established professional photographer to get published in JPG; all you had to do was submit a really good shot (and everyone’s got one really good shot in them). Photography magazines aren’t really my thing, but I actually bought a couple of issues of JPG because the photos and articles they featured caught my eye.

With the public’s flagging interest in print media, the current economic situation and the costs of running a print publication on photo magazine-quality paper, JPG magazine was running out of money. They tried for months to find buyers or investors without success. Yesterday, they announced that they will be shutting down completely – not just the print magazine, but their website as well – on Monday, January 5th.

If you’re a JPG reader or are just interested in what the magazine was all about, you should follow their suggestions, which include:

Remember, if you want to download PDF back issues, do it before Monday!

[This article was also published in Global Nerdy.]