The Real Jerk fights closure with protest and online petition

The Real Jerk fights closure with protest and online petition

(Image: Amber Dawn Pullin) 

After Riverside landmark The Real Jerk announced it was being forced to close its doors (as a result of its building being sold), it didn’t take long for the restaurant’s many fans to speak out, hoping against hope that their beloved oxtail might be saved. This weekend, owners Ed and Lily Pottinger launched a campaign to protest the closure, urging diners to share their experiences at the Caribbean eatery and to sign the following petition (h/t The Grid):

“We the udersigned encourage the Mayor & City Council to help protect family run businesses like The Real Jerk. This landmark business was a pioneer in the Queen an Broadview neighbourhood.  The Real Jerk helped to revitalize this neighbourhood. Now the Real Jerk needs our help. Any future development in this neighbourhod needs to consider the vital role that small family-run business play in building and maintainig the quality of life for all residents.”

We give the campaign kudos for passion and determination (if not for spelling), but we’re wondering what can actually be done, since Bill Mandelbaum of Buckingham Properties, which has bought the building, has no obligation to renew The Real Jerk’s lease. Still, the protest rages on: staff and owners gathered today at 11:30 a.m., placards in tow, in front of that iconic smiling sun.