|The Grove on Grosvenor|
The iconic corner was being eyed by a variety of business interests including many who were thinking of something besides a restaurant. I suspect had a national restaurant decided to build there that the Idle No More and Anonymous might have risen in defiance. The only reason they didn't make a bigger deal about international retailer American Apparel and Burger King moving into the area was because they would not have a place to buy their black tights or get a Baconator after a hard day of protesting.
The announcement that the owners of The Grove in River Heights will take over has probably come as a relief to some. In some ways, the three year old restaurant and pub is a blueprint for how to replace a longstanding establishment with a new concept. Tubby's Pizza had been around so long that almost anything that arrived to replace it was likely to take getting used to. It was 45 years for Tubby's and Charlie-O's and a whole lot of history including some famous stopovers by Neil Young and the Guess Who.
After three years of being around, The Grove shows some staying power and might challenge for length of time being in the River Heights neighbourhood.
The owner's of The Grove have said they won't do The Grove II in Osborne Village. I don't think I need reminding people that a former concept from River Heights called The Academy that moved to Osborne ultimately closed.
The 3000 square foot location of the new concept restaurant will need some TLC and deep pockets for renovation. By the end of it, it is likely that a million dollars will have been spent to be ready for the fall of 2013.
Far be it for me to tell the new owners how to operate their restaurant but it is likely that residents and visitors will be looking for a few things from the new kid on the block.
In no particular order:
* Very late night openings like the old concept
* A variety of small to large food offerings depending on the time of day
* A splash of neon to greet people to the restaurant and Osborne Village
I think the food can be fairly different from the old Papa George's offerings without offending the neighbourhood. To be honest, it is likely that people are looking to be tickled by something new and tasty.
If there was a few things that might make people stand up and cheer, it might be a sidewalk cafe aspect. If Second Cup across the street can set up for tables, you can better believe that a new place across the street can do the same.
You don't need a heck of a lot of space to make it work. By Second Cup, you have to squeeze by the traffic light and newspaper boxes. However, it works.
Sidewalk and patio stuff on Osborne and side street and you will have a rocking Osborne Village.