Introducing: Old School, an all-hours diner on Dundas West

Introducing: Old School, an all-hours diner on Dundas West

toronto-restaurants-old-school-fried-chicken (Image: Gabby Frank)
 

Name: Old School
Neighbourhood: Trinity Bellwoods
Contact: 800 Dundas St. W., 416-815-8790, oldschoolyyz.com, @oldschoolYYZ 
Previously: Hudson Kitchen
Owners and Chefs: Brad Moore (School, Xacutti) and Ian Kapitan (Precinct)

The Food: “Genuine classics,” according to the two owners. As of June 15, Old School will be serving things like stacks of hotcakes, fried chicken and sundaes, 24/7. (Currently, though, the restaurant is only open during normal business hours.) “Think of it as a mom that just never goes to sleep,” says Moore. There’s barbecue too, but he doesn’t want the place to be branded as a barbecue joint: “We could even go Italian one day and serve lasagna—and that’s really gonna screw someone up if they come in thinking it’s a barbecue restaurant.”

The Drinks: Beer and a handful of cocktails of course, but the restaurant’s signature sippers come in the form of milkshakes (including boozy ones), egg creams made with U-Bet chocolate sauce (a 120-year-old Brooklyn classic) and fountain sodas flavoured with organic syrups. “The bottle cap screwed everything up. It turned one bottle into a six-pack so people could take it home—otherwise if they wanted a pop, they had to go to a soda fountain,” says Moore. “It was the community centre of the neighbourhood.”

The Space: An old-timey, horseshoe-shaped soda bar is the front dining room’s centrepiece, and a second dining room leads into the general store where guests can sit at a communal table or get their food to go. Also available at the general store: well, whatever you want, according to Moore, who says they’ll sell customers an egg or a cup of sugar if they need one. “We want to be the good neighbour,” says Kapitan.