Dave Sidhu, king of the Playa Cabana empire, is heading east

Dave Sidhu, king of the Playa Cabana empire, is heading east

(Image: Rebecca Fleming)
 

Dave Sidhu, the man partly responsible for an increase in Toronto’s taco consumption, is making an eastward expansion with a sixth restaurant. Sidhu, whose other spots include three “Playas” (Cabana, Cantina and Hacienda), La Libre and Barrio Coreano, is adding Cocina Economica to his collection. Cocina will open near the edge of Corktown at 114 Berkeley St., which until last October was home to The Berkeley Cafe. Sidhu, inspired by a month spent in Mexico cooking in (you guessed it) cocina economicas—small, inexpensive residential kitchens presided over by women—says Cocina Economica will offer a menu “entirely different” from his other venues. “The food [cooked in the cocinas] is low-and-slow-braised Mexican,” says Sidhu. “It’s what the locals eat—delicious, homestyle dishes.” Sidhu purchased the Berkeley Street building when he got back; despite its tiny footprint, it has two levels, two patios and can seat more than 100 diners. Sidhu’s shooting for an opening in spring.