Quetzal is temporarily closed, and its opening chefs have left the restaurant
What was already one of the city’s most elusive dinner reservations has become—for the time being, at least—impossible to book. That’s because Quetzal, the contemporary Mexican restaurant backed by restaurateur Grant van Gameren, is temporarily closed, according to a message posted on the its website. The restaurant opened at College and Bathurst last summer.
Meanwhile, a statement posted Thursday afternoon to the public Instagram accounts belonging to Quetzal chefs Julio Guajardo and Kate Chomyshyn said the chef-couple was no longer associated with the restaurant “because of partnership disagreements.”
Prior to opening Quetzal with van Gameren and co-owner Owen Walker, Guajardo and Chomyshyn collaborated with van Gameren at El Rey, the Mexican restaurant and mescal bar in Kensington Market, and Rosalinda, a vegan Mexican restaurant in the Financial District. Quetzal, which in November earned a profile in the New York Times, was one of the city’s most ambitious openings of 2018, with extensive interior design work by the firm Partisans, an eight-metre open firepit and a menu of deeply researched recipes—including nine different kinds of salsa—highlighting Mexico’s culinary diversity, heavily informed by Chomyshyn and Guajardo’s frequent travels throughout the country of Guajardo’s birth. Toronto Life restaurant critic Mark Pupo called Quetzal “extraordinary” in an October review; in November, it was No. 10 on Toronto Life‘s list of the city’s 100 Best Restaurants.
“Our relationship unfortunately has not worked out,” van Gameren said via email. “I’ll be taking over the direction of the restaurant. I think it’s too soon for a reopening date, but we’re working on it.” He added: “Our relationship. This restaurant. I don’t think summing it up in an Instagram story is possible. It’s too complex. They are both super talented and I wish them nothing but success.”