Phil’s Original BBQ closes after two decades at College and Ossington
Phil’s Original BBQ, the west-end restaurant that introduced Torontonians to slow-smoked ribs and brisket, is closed. According to BlogTO, an eviction notice was posted on the door late last week, citing more than $30,000 in unpaid rent. Financial matters seem to be at the root of the closure, although owner Phil Nyman wasn’t immediately available for comment.
When Phil’s opened in the early ’90s (under the name DiPamo’s), it was the city’s standard bearer for Southern-style barbeque. Two decades later, almost every neighbourhood in Toronto has a trendy new smokehouse. At least eight have opened in the last year, including Electric Mud in Parkdale, Greenwood Smokehouse on the Danforth and Hogtown Smoke in the Beach, plus two new spots that are poised to launch within a block of each other on Queen West. It’s not surprising, then, that local pioneers like Nyman have begun to feel the pinch, especially in the face of increasingly middling customer reviews. Anyone hoping to score one last slab of ribs is unfortunately out of luck—the restaurant’s locks have already been changed.