Eastside Social
By YP Contributor

Punch Drunk Love

Joey Skeir and his wife Cherie Stinson don’t order meals when they go out. Instead, the two native Nova Scotians and coastal foodies make eating with one another a communal event.

That’s what their Leslieville restaurant is all about, sharing and a mutual love for all things that feel like home, turned up a notch.

Being from the east coast, they wanted to go with a nautical theme for their restaurant that was “not in your face,” says Cherie, who is a professional interior designer. In fact, you may have seen her on Restaurant Makeover.

The décor is quirky coastal with a slice of city; a wall of fish taxidermy painted black is a perfect example of that. The theme also shows in the restaurant’s signature drink, a bright pink rum punch with huge ice cubes served to guests in vintage bowls with individual ladles and quaint tea cups (they’ve been collecting these dishes for months before opening their restaurant in June 2013).

“The punch is very potent and delicious,” Cherie says. It’s a good take on a social drink, especially enjoyable at social hour every Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Scotians are just drawn to one another. - Cherie Stinson, co-owner
Eastside Social, Coastal fare, brunch, lunch, dinner, bar

Coastal Inspiration

When you have a hankering for brunch, expect it to be nothing less than a York-style affair. If Joey and Cherie are inspired by something, they want their staff to be too.

Almost four months after they opened Eastside Social, the two decided to add brunch to the menu, so they flew with their chefs to New York for a field trip of the senses. “Heck, it’s only an hour away,” says Joey, with a wink.
“The chefs went and collected inspiration from different places,” he explains. “They found that they liked tidbits of everything everywhere.”

And those inspirations go straight into the restaurant’s menu. After 5 p.m., guests can stir their appetites with house-made pickles and chips or squid row before digging into the likes of Yorkshire pudding poutine or liver and onions to name but a few culinary delights at Eastside Social.

They’d like to think the vibe of their restaurant is an extension of their Leslieville home, open and inviting. When you walk through the door, you immediately know you’re going to eat good food and have a good time.

Eastside Social, Coastal fare, brunch, lunch, dinner, bar

Partners in Crime

Joey and Cherie have both been in hospitality for years, so it doesn’t exactly seem like fate that they would one day meet. But it is serendipitous that they met in Toronto in 2002, more than a decade after each of them had moved to the city from Nova Scotia.

“Scotians are just drawn to one another,” says Cherie.

They met at a bar Cherie was working at. She says they connected on a fun level at first, since neither of them was looking for a relationship, just a good friend and a good time. “It wasn’t until we were jaywalking and I held her hand that I knew she was going to be my wife,” he says.

The two went on to run a few well-known Toronto restaurants, but nothing like Eastside Social. “This has always been our dream,” says Cherie.

Eastside Social, Coastal fare, brunch, lunch, dinner, bar
Close menu