Peoples Eatery
By YP Contributor

Building Community

The old Chinatown building where Peoples Eatery is located blends right into the local surroundings, but the energy coming out of the restaurant is distinctly new and exciting. The brainchild of the team behind 416 Snack Bar, Peoples Eatery is inspired by the street where it resides – Spadina Avenue.

“I like to say that it’s a restaurant dedicated or themed around the street,” says co-owner Adrian Ravinsky. “At 416 the menu is meant to be largely representative of the diversity of Toronto. Peoples is meant to be represent Toronto too, but with a bit of a focus on the past and present-day culture of Spadina Avenue.”

Adrian and his team are interested in preserving the history of the neighbourhood – they even kept the name of the former restaurant when they took over – but their main goal is to build on that history to make something new. “I really did want to be an architect and the main reason for that was to build the city,” says Adrian, a former student of architecture at the University of Toronto. “So our main concern, really, when it comes to building restaurants is that they are going to benefit a section of the city and build community around them.”

I hope people have an experience which is warm and hospitable, comfortable and, more importantly, a place that makes their heart happy. - Adrian Ravinsky. co-owner

Culturally diverse menu

That sense of community begins with the menus at Peoples Eatery. Adrian says the snack, à la carte and tasting menus are multicultural "and meant to represent Toronto."

And do they ever. One tasting menu can take patrons on a culinary trip from Spain to Japan, or from Italy to Lebanon and all the way back home to enjoy local Ontario flavours. “The goal here is to have really polished service, but something that is also easy-going, casual and fun,” says Adrian. “The only rule is that there’s got to be cultural diversity on this menu.”

Whether you're dining downstairs, upstairs or at the bar, expect a selection of diverse snacks, from a smoked fish platter to Peking duck done three ways or a fried tongue sandwich. The eclectic sharing plates are internationally inspired and range from snack-sized bites sans cutlery to full-on dinner dishes. “You shouldn't necessarily have to go out and eat a meal all the time,” says Adrian. “You can just go out and have some snacks, have a lot of drinks, meet some people, have a conversation and spend a few hours enjoying life.”

That sense of community begins with the menus at Peoples Eatery; Adrian says the snack, à la carte and tasting menus are multicultural
[Photo © Yellow Pages / Pages Jaunes]
That sense of community begins with the menus at Peoples Eatery; Adrian says the snack, à la carte and tasting menus are multicultural
[Photo © Yellow Pages / Pages Jaunes]

Eat, drink and be merry

That desire to have customers enjoy the experience of Peoples Eatery is central to the team’s vision for the restaurant. “I hope people have an experience like the experience at 416, which is warm and hospitable, comfortable and, more importantly, a place that makes their heart happy,” says Adrian.

Every little detail of Peoples Eatery – from the cool, modern downstairs with its intimate corners, to the bright, funky second floor with its Asian-inspired decor – beckons customers to come in, have a seat and stay a while. “Our goal with everything we do here is to do something that is not just unique to the city, but unique anywhere,” says Adrian. “We’re trying to build culture, build neighbourhoods and build the city.”

[Header photo © Yellow Pages / Pages Jaunes]

[Photo © Yellow Pages / Pages Jaunes]
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