The City of Toronto has lifted its moratorium on new restaurants and bars on Ossington Avenue, and Salt Wine Bar, which was closed by the city for violating the regulations, is wasting no time reopening its doors.
Salt manager and co-owner William Tavares tells us that he got a call from outgoing Coun. Joe Pantalone’s office saying the moratorium was over and Salt was free to open.
Originally, the May 2009 moratorium was supposed to only last one year. However, it was held in place because of a challenge to a zoning bylaw that limited the size of new restaurants and bars to 2,400 square feet.
The four parties that opposed the bylaw — three of which were owners of units on Ossington — withdrew their challenge from before the Ontario Municipal Board on October 12, city planner Jeff Markowiak confirmed to PostCity.com.
With the challenge out of the way, Markowiak said the moratorium is now officially over.
Last September, in an attempt to try and skirt the moratorium, Salt opened using a catering license but the move didn’t last long and the restaurant was shut down in early October.
Tavares estimates the moratorium has cost his business more than $500,000 in expenses and lost revenue.
"The whole moratorium shows that these politicians are just out for their own benefit," Tavares told PostCity.com.
Salt is re-opening Tuesday night and will feature a new winter menu, with highlights including Duck Confit Ravioli, Crispy Pork Belly and Quebec Foie Gras.
Calls to Pantalone’s office and the OMB were not immediately returned.