Smoke’s Poutinerie moves into Chippy’s Annex location, filling a slightly different niche for fried stuff

Smoke’s Poutinerie moves into Chippy’s Annex location, filling a slightly different niche for fried stuff

(Image: Nicole Villeneuve) 

The sign still reads “Chippy’s,” but it won’t stay that way for long. The Bloor Street West location of the self-proclaimed “rock ’n’ roll chip shop” is no longer, and the windows are now covered with the distinct caricature and familiar red-and-black flannel motif of the incumbent Smoke’s Poutinerie.

Smoke’s head honcho Ryan Smolkin told us that he’d been eyeing a Bloor Street location since he first opened the chain in 2008. In fact, franchise owner Randy Kitagawa was one of the first on board, but had to wait over a year and a half until an opportunity in the busy, student-filled area opened up (a dozen Smoke’s franchises later, ironically).

Enter Chippy’s. When Smolkin got word that Chippy’s was looking to get out of their lease, he arranged to take it over on May 9, aiming to open his doors to the poutine-mad public on June 6. Meanwhile, Chippy’s president John Lee assures us that they will be relocating in the fall (there’s also a Queen West location opposite Trinity Bellwoods Park). “It was an ideal and opportune moment for us, and we are very happy with the deal,” Lee says.

Despite the fact that Smoke’s serves up 22 varieties of the Québécois classic (from Veggie Delux to Curry Chicken poutine), Smolkin is the first to tell you that it’s the “Canadiana, ’80s glam rock”–inspired experience, as well as the face of the franchise, the mystery-shrouded Smoke, that bring people back. It also might have something to do with serving Toronto’s favourite drunken late-night food until four in the morning. We suspect they’ll do just fine in the new location.