Chef Aaron Joseph Bear Robe closes Keriwa; announces a posh members-only wine club

Chef Aaron Joseph Bear Robe closes Keriwa; announces a posh members-only wine club

Keriwa (Image: Gizelle Lau)
 

After two years and a few conceptual hiccups, it was three feet of sewage backup that dealt the fatal blow to Keriwa, one of the city’s few Native Canadian restaurants (and number four on Toronto Life’s Best New Restaurants list in 2012). The Parkdale eatery suffered extensive damage in July’s flood and, despite keeping diners’ hopes buoyed through the summer with the occasional “reopening soon” tweet, opted recently to remain closed for good. Luckily, owner and chef Aaron Joseph Bear Robe has another project keeping him occupied. He’s working with a handful of silent partners to launch Wine Academy, a private wine cellar and members-only social club opening at Bay and Richmond next spring. Catering exclusively to Toronto oenophiles, the 7,000-square-foot space will include temperature-controlled wine cellars where members can store their bottles, as well as cushy boardrooms and lounges designed for tastings, seminars and low-key swilling sessions. Robe, of course, is overseeing the food, but fans of Keriwa’s bannock burgers and bison pemmican won’t find them here—the menu will likely stick to cheese and charcuterie.