Union Station is getting rotisserie chicken, a Burger’s Priest, and a huge food market
Union Station is set to become a dining destination instead of an afterthought—no offence, Cinnabon. Not only are Mill Street and Balzac’s opening locations within the new UP Express lounge, but elsewhere in the new-and-improving transit hub, even more exciting changes are afoot.
First, there’s Union Chicken, a rotisserie chicken restaurant opening on the lower level below the current GO concourse and near the new York Street promenade. Yannick Bigourdan, who also owns the Carbon Bar, says he’s been trying to open a business in Union Station since the revitalization was announced. “If they let me, I would open 10 restaurants there,” he says. “If you talk to people who have been at Grand Central Station for 20 or 30 years, and ask them if they’d do it again, I know their response would be ‘absolutely.’ I have the chance to be part of something that’s going to last for a very long time.” Bigourdan will take possession sometime this summer and hopes to open Union Chicken as a full-service spot, with cocktails and everything (but take-out, too), as early as this December, provided construction continues as planned.
Bigourdan will have neighbours, too. Burger’s Priest owner Shant Mardirosian confirmed with us recently that he’s opening a location of his gourmet patty chain, also in the unfinished portion under York and Front, that will be both street- and PATH-accessible. Bet on it opening at around the same time.
And that’s not all. With 165,000 square feet of new retail space planned at Union, “food and beverage will occupy approximately 65%” of that, according to Lawrence Zucker, President and CEO of Osmington Inc., the company responsible for leasing the city-owned retail spaces, most of them below-ground. Thirty thousand of those square feet—about the size of a floor of First Canadian Place—will consist of a St. Lawrence–type fresh market. “Our mission is to bring Toronto’s best restaurant operators and retailers to Union Station to create a one-of-a-kind experience where we bring Ossington, Roncesvalles, Queen and King together,” Zucker told us.
All of these additions can only mean good things for the station and the millions of people who travel through it every year—because that rush hour line-up for a cinnamon bun could get out of control without some friendly competition.