Introducing: This End Up, Dundas West’s new sandwich shop and cocktail bar

Introducing: This End Up, Dundas West’s new sandwich shop and cocktail bar

Co-owners Karen Young and Adam Urquhart (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) 

This End Up is the latest in a series of new Dundas West eateries to colonize the once Portuguese-dominated strip. Co-owners Karen Young and Adam Urquhart serve a menu of sandwiches and easy-to-share options, along with a long list of cocktails (“Ever since he was a little boy, he’s dreamed of having a sandwich shop,” Young tells us). The couple met (and starting dating) 16 years ago while working at All the Best Fine Foods, and after dabbling in the film world, they realized they were spending most of their spare time thinking about food.

The two lifelong west-enders couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of the changes sweeping the neighbourhood (Midfield Wine Bar and The Federal Reserve are within spitting distance; NoNo’s is still to come). The restaurant’s space is modelled after their own dining room, host to many a successful dinner party. True to the emerging Dundas West style, the room features exposed brick walls and plenty of wood and fire-engine-red accents. A playful mural by Adrian Hayles (who also did one for Elle M’a Dit) is visible through the front window, while prints from travel photographer Julie O’Neill line the walls and a huge “Brewers Retail” sign (The Beer Store’s past moniker) hangs by the bar.

The menu riffs on classic sandwiches, and while the selection has yet to be finalized, the banh mi ($12; all prices at the restaurant include tax) has proven most popular so far. Served on a SanRemo bun, it’s filled with smoked pork belly and pickled daikon, carrot and cucumbers, along with cilantro and jalapeño mayo, and comes with a choice of fries or a side salad. The spicy chicken wings are infused with red chili–rife gochujang ($10), betraying Young’s current love affair with Korean food. Bartender Bryn Bratton Wall was given free rein for the cocktail menu (she also makes her own sodas, which get incorporated into some drinks). The KY (named after Young, naturally) combines gin with Grand Marnier, blood orange, lime and basil ($15). Testing out Bratton Wall’s cocktail list was all in a day’s work, Young tells us, laughing. “I was drunk by 4 p.m.!”

This End Up, 1454 Dundas St. W., 647-347-8700, thisendup.ca