Introducing: the big new location of Sanagan’s Meat Locker, down the street from the old one
When Kensington Market’s European Quality Meats and Sausages decided to leave the space it had occupied for five decades, many were worried that the beloved boho quarter was going the way of Yorkville. Independent Market entrepreneurs aimed to keep the building in the family, so to speak; European Meats owner Larry Leider sold the space to the owners of Essence of Life, who looked around for a viable tenant. They approached Peter Sanagan, who had been making do with his tiny space on the corner of Augusta and Baldwin for years. Sanagan embraced the opportunity to upgrade from 400 to 5,000 square feet, and made the big move 11 storefronts down the road.
The layout of the new Sanagan’s Meat Locker hasn’t varied too much from European Meats: two parallel counters stretch the length of the store, prime cuts on the left (ranging from wild boar to quail) and hot food on the right, with a third, charcuterie-focused counter at the back. The once sterile space has been given a facelift, with barn board replacing stainless steel at the checkout counter and an adorable three-table eating nook at the front. Sanagan explains that he’s hoping his newly expanded venture will help dispel the myth that Kensington is dirty and cheap. “What [Kensington Market] has to offer easily rivals St. Lawrence Market,” he told us. ”I just hope that people can start to see the Market in a new light.”
While Sanagan is still offering the same high-quality meats from Ontario producers such as King Capon and West Grey, he has expanded his inventory to include cured and smoked meats (also sourced from small Ontario producers), as well as house-made pâtés, terrines, rillettes and other cold goodies. Like European Meats, Sanagan offers hot comestibles for those who can’t wait to get home before they chow down. The menu currently offers rotisserie chicken (a whole chicken goes for a reasonable $13.45, half for $7.35, a breast for $4.99 and a leg for $3.99), sides (daily salad, soup or fries, from $3), and sandwiches like the bo ssammy (Korean-style pulled pork with kimchi slaw and green onion mayo on a white Cobs roll) and the classic roast chicken (also served on a white Cobs roll, with crispy chicken skin that has been flattened and rendered for the ultimate added crunch). The use of Cobs bread here is no coincidence—Sanagan sources as much as he can from his neighbours, putting his money where his mouth is: “It’s time we celebrated the Market!”