It’s Guu for you, Toronto
Vancouver’s popular izakaya group, Guu, is planning to open a Toronto location. Unlike the long-gone wannabe Izakaya that once sat on Front Street, Guu promises to be closer to the real deal: an authentic Japanese drinking establishment that serves food and can get rowdy. Expect small plates prepared by chefs trained in Japan, served on big communal tables. Food swapping and socializing will be encouraged. For booze, there will be everything from beer to sake to Japanese plum wine.
If the Toronto menu looks anything like the one at Guu’s Vancouver locations, there’ll be a mix of Japanese and Western styles, with plenty of exotic options for the adventurous, salted fresh squid, pumpkin croquette balls and grilled beef tongue among them. Guu’s Vancouver office manager, Yoshi Negishi, says they’re tentatively scouting midtown locations and hope to be open by the end of the year.
15 thoughts on “It’s Guu for you, Toronto”
OMG – this is AMAZING!!!! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE GUU!!! Please open up in the ANNEX!!! There’s a free space where Cluck Grunt and Low was!!
I’m sooo excited!
I can’t wait!! Guu is a really vibrant, fun place. And food is amazing, too.
Whenever I go to Vancouver, Guu is on my to-go list. LOL.
Perfect place to have real authentic Japanese Izakaya food.
Hopefully opening soon! :)
OMG THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING THING I HEARD ALL WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!
Awesome news! Toronto is missing a place like Guu – we always go there when in Vancouver…can’t wait for its arrival!
This really is the best news I’ve heard in awhile… I visit all the Guu’s everytime I go to Vancouver, and I’m always depressed when I come back to T.O. Why midtown? It’d be a great poetic justice to open up where the old Izakaya was… even though Le Papillon has taken up residence there now.
YEah, hopefully the opening of Guu will inspire other Izakayas to open as well, man this is gonna do so well here, we’ve been waiting forever!!
I was thrilled to read online months ago Guu was coming to Toronto. Having lived in Vancouver for 7 years Gyoza King, Hapa Izakaya and Guu were places I loved and frequented once a week. When I called to see IF they took reservations I was told no (as per usual) So we arrived early and sat in the car from 4:20. We watched car after car pull up and park on the street, but no one was getting out. And then at 4:55 like clockwork the car doors flung open and out tromped a heard of diners. We were the first in line and last to be seated for some reason but who cares we were there and good eats were on the horizon.
We were presented the menus and clearly told we had a two hour limit, no problem right? WRONG!
We ordered a good bottle of sake and tea We didn’t receive our tea until 5:35 and by the time our first item of food arrived if was 5:45 Surely they would take the slow start into account. But just to be safe I got up and asked the manager if we needed to really rush because of the two hour limit? “we want to respect you time limit but its kind of hard since we started so late” I said. He replied “don’t worry we never gonna kick our customers out” bowing profusely and smiling. I congratulated him and his team for finally bringing a proper izakaya and told him how thrilled we were to be here and thanked him for his understanding. At this point there is a line up inside the restaurant that snakes its way between tables all the way back to the washrooms. Btw Im sure the fire Marshall will fix the overcrowding problem
By this time we were speaking to single diner next to us sharing plates and having a great time. We asked our waitress for two more orders of black cod. “No I’m sorry your time is up!” “Im sorry there must be some kind of misunderstanding, I spoke with the manger about it” said I
So I went back to the manager and explained the waitress was kicking us out. His reply “well did you get everything you ordered?” Mine was “Well yes we did but we didn’t know we only had one shot at it but besides you knew we started late and we agreed we got our first item at 5:45. So what’s the problem”?
Now here where it goes really pear shaped. He walks us to the table looks at the start time on the bill and concludes “ITS TIME TO GO!” Bows and smiles We have half of our $60 bottle of sake and a full beer on the table and now we are getting kicked out? I implored him. My wife implored him. The lady next to us implored him with “please you don’t understand they are having a great time here, they love it here, your making a mistake” I explained you cant kick customers out mid meal. I eventually told him he was being greedy and he should take care of the customers he has before accepting new ones.
This is now when I raise my voice and get everyone attention including one drunk Japanese guy who is all too eager to stick up for his brethren. Now he’s yelling at me across the table. My wife is speechless thinking “can this be happening are we getting kicked out of a restaurant”??? I regret paying the bill including the sake we weren’t allow to finish. And then we were flanked out the door like some unruly customer that had been violent. I cant recall ever being so humiliated or wronged in my life.
If you were there, yes I did raise my voice and so would you if you were in that situation. If the disruption ruined your dinner I know how you feel I am genuinely sorry for my contribution but I have never been evicted from a restaurant mid meal before and I doubt neither have you.
For me this was an especially painful slap in the face because I have proudly worked in the restaurant industry for over 20 years. So when we go out for dinner (which is far too much and never enough) Its rare for me not to know someone I have worked at some point and consider family(those in the industry will know what I mean by this) But this time you disgraced the industry I love. You cheated and abused the patronage of one of you own, one of the best potential customers you could wish for. I congratulated you sincerely from the heart. I tried to respect you rules when many wouldn’t bother. Then you kick my Wife and I out on OUR ANNIVERSARY!
I wont forget, and I will tell EVERYONE what greedy bastards you are.
Greedy? Raised voices? How immature of you to suggest that the owner is “greedy”….how immature of presumptuous of you to “raise your voice”. You were told at the initial seating that it was a 2 hour limit. You exceeded it. You deserve to go regardless of what remained on your table.
You certainly looked like a jerk raising your voice. Kudos to the staff and the owner. They should have thrown you and your wife out on your ass!
We actually had a similar experience, we were told our 2 hours was up before we recieved everything we’d ordered – however by that time, I’d already finished my drink while waiting so I was happy to leave … as it turns out our food wasn’t even ordered to begin with. I definitely wouldn’t go there for fine dining experience, but I suspect the service and speed will improve in the months to come. Speaking as a Japanese person though, Guu is truely authentic Izakaya experience.
Sounds to me like greed. Ushering your customers out before they’ve finished their meal or drinks? Really. If you’re concerned about capacity, then make it reservations only. Guess I won’t be trying this place out anytime soon.
It was really about capacity! I have never walked out on a restaurant in my life and tonight was the first time. I would say Guu in Toronto needs to make their 2-hour wait club an all reservation thing than lead people to think you can get in when you reasonablly can’t.
2 hour limit? What is this, McDonald’s?
I was invited to go to Guu a few weeks back and though my friends had a good time, this really turns me off from going at all. I hate lineups, hate places with no reservations and if there aren’t reservations, there shouldn’t be a time limit for dining. That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.
Sometimes it’s an hour before you even get food and people all settled in to eat. That’s just the nature of dining.
Didn’t sound like his review was inappropriate at all. He apologized and admitted to causing a scene. AND he was trying to order more food.
Judgement for the plaintiff for the amount of $157.44 for the cost of the meal. That’s all. I’ve been watching too much Judge Judy!
Hoping to hear some positive comments though too.
I agree that if the restaurant doesn’t take reservations, they should certainly not ask customers to leave in 2 hrs. Haven’t been to Guu many times in Vancouver, I know how crazy busy the place can be and how often food doesn’t arrive on time. I think this 2 hr limit thing is nothing but a way to turn tables as quickly as possible, forgoing the customers’ dinning experience. So I would agree the act is greed driven. Besides, having customers who support you enough to wait in a line to get in, it’s only fair that the restaurant return the support of customers by ensuring they have a great dinning experience. Throwing customers out is never an option.
Enjoy it while you can, Guu, because your customer service stinks!
Upon arriving at the restaurant there were a group of people standing in the
doorway. The poor design has no entranceway. We were trying to put our name on a waiting list but were repeatedly yelled at by another staff member to get in or out and close the door. Maybe if the restaurant is full you should staff the door from the outside!!!!! We gave up on our hour wait because other parties were jumping the line????? We were really looking forward to dining at this new neighbourhood restaurant. Very unpleasant experience.
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