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06-Sep-2017 01:12

MAHJONG BAR (1276 Dundas West, at Dovercourt, 647-291-6097, facebook.com/mahjongbar) is by no means Toronto’s first secret bar.

Others, most notably Kensington backroom Cold Tea and Mahjong’s neon-lit neighbour Unlovable, have gone from cult hangout to requisite box ticked in every local bar guide (in short, not a secret at all).

I haven't lived here long but I've seen a ton of Portuguese owned businesses shut down in the past couple years.

It's really reaching a tipping point but for some reason the displacement that's occurring on Dundas doesn't get talked about like it does with other neighbourhoods in Toronto.

One of our ideas was to do some really souped-up instant noodles for late night, in that spirit of the New York bodega where you can have a beer in the window seat and a bowl of noodles, and you can buy your beauty products.” How about a sheet mask to stave off tomorrow morning’s puffy circles?

I'd second that comment from Megan, when I heard about this my first thought was that it was the end of one of the last real hangs for the Portuguese community here on Dundas.

“There was one bar [in Paris] that we walked past on the street like three times with our phones out, walking halfway into people’s houses a couple of times, trying to find the right entrance – and then once you actually do it, it’s really rewarding,” she says.

“It wasn’t a matter of if, so much as when I’d follow in the footsteps of what my grandfather had done [opening the restaurant],” Wong says.

“A lot of the aesthetic is blended from things that were very much a part of my childhood or ingrained in my memory – these fixtures that had been made in this completely different era.” The Cosy opened in the mid-60s, and many of the original furnishings and design features still decorate the space, including a red-lit keyhole entrance just like the one in the bar.

The resulting dishes` are riffs on Chinese favourites like Shanghai beef noodles and pork and shrimp dumplings, served in bar-snack-appropriate portions.

After the kitchen closes at midnight, you can of course slay your munchies with a pack of Twizzlers in the front shop, which they refer to as “the bodega.” Those familiar with the recent (and thorough) online roasting of a vending-machine startup with the same name might find that an awkward choice, but, as Blake explains, “part of the reason we call it a bodega is that it will at some point have food that isn’t just chips.

“There was one bar [in Paris] that we walked past on the street like three times with our phones out, walking halfway into people’s houses a couple of times, trying to find the right entrance – and then once you actually do it, it’s really rewarding,” she says.“It wasn’t a matter of if, so much as when I’d follow in the footsteps of what my grandfather had done [opening the restaurant],” Wong says.“A lot of the aesthetic is blended from things that were very much a part of my childhood or ingrained in my memory – these fixtures that had been made in this completely different era.” The Cosy opened in the mid-60s, and many of the original furnishings and design features still decorate the space, including a red-lit keyhole entrance just like the one in the bar.The resulting dishes` are riffs on Chinese favourites like Shanghai beef noodles and pork and shrimp dumplings, served in bar-snack-appropriate portions.After the kitchen closes at midnight, you can of course slay your munchies with a pack of Twizzlers in the front shop, which they refer to as “the bodega.” Those familiar with the recent (and thorough) online roasting of a vending-machine startup with the same name might find that an awkward choice, but, as Blake explains, “part of the reason we call it a bodega is that it will at some point have food that isn’t just chips.I am also white and would probably be categorized as one of the hipsters or indie folks Megan mentioned so I'm sure I'm part of the problem.