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McEwan to open new Italian restaurant, still eyeing the downtown Travelodge for new supermarket location

McEwan to open new Italian restaurant, still eyeing the downtown Travelodge for new supermarket location
Mark McEwan means business (Photo by Karon Liu)

The hugely successful McEwan supermarket at Shops at Don Mills is keeping Mark McEwan north of Bloor as he plans to open his fourth restaurant next May. Fabbrica, the Italian term for “fabricate,” will be what McEwan calls “a true to form, Grandma’s cooking, down on your knees” Italian restaurant serving roasted fish, Neapolitan pizza (made in wood-burning ovens) and pasta that’s made in-house. “We’ll also have a salami cellar,” McEwan says. “We’re not reinventing the wheel here, we’re just making good food.” The reason to stay uptown, he adds, is that “there’s a huge market up here, and I believe the market is under-serviced. There’s a calling for quality restaurants,” noting the abundance of chain restaurants in the area.

Fabbrica will be located directly across from his supermarket, and its kitchen will be run by One’s executive chef, Rob Leclair, who will be going to New York City to train at Kesté—a pizzeria that’s a smash hit with locals and critics. The pizzeria is also the location for the American chapter of the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani, an organization that teaches old-fashioned pizza making. “He’ll get a certificate at the end of the training process,” McEwan assures us.

As for the anticipated downtown location of his supermarket, McEwan says he’s been eyeing the anomalously ugly Travelodge at King and Bathurst (which is currently selling its used mattresses and TVs at door-crasher prices). He tells us that it will take at least three years for the hotel to be torn down and a new complex built in its place, so, for the time being, there is no guarantee that there will be a McEwan in the land of supper clubs.

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