Closures, rumours in Village

Reither's, Rainbow Café closures stoke worries of a slow patio season

After 23 years at its Church St location under Steamworks, Reither’s Fine Foods abruptly closed its doors March 19. But while other businesses on the strip are rumoured to be closing, their owners say that’s hogwash.

A persistent rumour has it that Zipperz bar and dance club is closing to make way for a condo project at the corner of Church and Carlton streets, but owner Harry Singh says that isn’t true.

“I have three years on my lease here, and I don’t plan to move at all,” he told Xtra.

Across the street from Reither’s, the Rainbow Village Café does appear to be permanently shuttered, although Xtra was unable to reach the café’s management or landlord as of press time.

In January, the café’s windows were papered over and a sign was placed on the door announcing that it was “Time for renewal! Time for renovation!”

The sign went on to tease customers: “What will it be? You will have to wait and see! It’s a mystery!”

The mystery appears to be, “If they’re renovating, why hasn’t anyone seen any workers around the site?”

While no one knows for sure what’s going on, rumours that the space will be taken over by Zelda’s, which gave up its prime patio space on Church St in 2009 and decamped to Yonge St, are, apparently, false.

A Zelda’s manager told Xtra the owners have no intention of leaving their space, which they own, on Yonge St.

David Wooten, manager of the Church St Business Improvement Area, says that the café’s owners told him recently that the renovations are going forward, despite the lack of evidence of any work happening.

“I’m hoping that whatever happens, happens soon so we can make use of the summer. We don’t want another summer of a vacant patio like we did with Zelda’s,” he says.

Up the block, in Xtra’s former digs, a new Church St Medical Health Centre is set to take up shop. But rent payment problems led landlord Haim Klein to post a warning on the front door, which led some to believe the medical offices weren’t going forward. Klein says those issues have been sorted out and the offices will be under different management.

Xtra was not able to reach the clinic partners before press time.

A note posted to the door of Reither’s says owner Peter Reither “is retiring after years of dedication to the food industry


. . . Auf wiedersehen, and thank you.”

Rob Salerno is a playwright and journalist whose writing has appeared in such publications as Vice, Advocate, NOW and OutTraveler.

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Culture, News, Toronto

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