One of Ossington’s hottest restaurants is opening in Rosedale

In late 2023, Toronto bid farewell to The Rosedale Diner, a beloved community fixture for over four decades. Established in 1981 by Dubi and Esti Filar, the family-owned eatery was known for it’s great food and sense of community. With celebrities like Rush frontman Geddy Lee among its patrons, the city awaited news of its successor.

Now we know what will replace it.  Manita, the super popular cafe, grocery and bar on Ossington, is expanding into the Rosedale neighbourhood, bringing its unique charm and delicious eats to the new location.

Set to open midsummer, co-owner Ian McGrenaghan says that while there are features of the building they’re intending to retain, it will definitely have the Manita stamp.

@manitaossington/Instagram

“Esti and Dubi were very supportive of us redoing the space,” he says. “The Rosedale Diner was an amazing neighbourhood restaurant, and we feel the best way to pay homage to its legacy is embracing that and recreate the feeling of an amazing neighbourhood restaurant that people can enjoy today.”

In his extensive tenure within the restaurant industry, McGrenaghan recounts a notable departure from the norm.

“I’ve owned restaurants for a while and been involved in selling and purchasing them,” McGrenaghan says. “I’ve been fortunate that they’ve all been positive experiences, but it’s typically fairly transactional, which is not surprising,  but this was a very special experience.”

After meeting them in the dining room and chatting over a coffee, Dubi walked McGrenaghan through the building, pointing out the stairs where his (now grown up) children used to play.

“I felt like I was getting to the core of something historic. We really wanted to see if we could capture the essence of the space,” McGrenaghan  says. “The whole process felt very beautiful and natural, just right for everybody involved.”

Capturing the essence of its Spanish namesake, Manita was founded in 2020 by Colin Tooke and Ian McGrenaghan of Grand Electric fame and Sam Lipson. Known for its eclectic menu ranging from Mediterranean-inspired dishes to Canadian classics; a place to grab a coffee in the morning, a mid-day meal, some groceries after work, or dinner and a drink at night. 

@manitaossington/Instagram

While many of the details will be consistent with Manita’s Ossington location, McGrenaghan says it won’t be identical.

“It’s not going to feel like a complete replica, we want it to feel like part of the Rosedale neighbourhood and fit well in the  old historic building its in. It’s still going to feel very, very Manita-like.”

One can hope for the same delicious menu options popularized at their Ossington spot. Get ready for some beautiful French staples like moules and steak frites, along with decadent pasta, dishes, scrumptious desserts and some of the best burgers in the city.

While the restaurant on Yonge Street, north of Davenport won’t be open for a while, its secluded patio boasts a tranquil city garden vibe, perfect for enjoying the outdoors as patio season approaches.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO