A Portuguese restaurant known for serving great chicken and seafood has closed in Toronto, but the people who ran it already have plans for their next steps.
Casa Portuguesa closed down on July 24, and Mercado Negro (which is run by the same people) is closing on St. Clair West on August 19. The plan is to reopen Mercado Negro in a different way at 682 Caledonia in September.
“After four years after opening Mercado and two of Casa Portuguesa, creating and running these two completely different Portuguese style restaurants, we have taken what we like from each concept and now are creating a new space,” Mercado and Casa owner Carlos Oliveira tells blogTO.
The new space should encompass a takeout area, pantry area with gourmet Portuguese items and dining area. And if you’re sad to see the lively and eccentric decor both spaces are known for, don’t worry, there’s more of that to come, including a new umbrella patio where they hope to host live music.
“This new space will be again Portuguese-inspired, but with separate spaces, colorful, dynamic, fresh and alive, something you would find if you were to visit Portugal now,” says Oliveira.
The tumultuous changes the restaurant business has faced in the past few years meant the restaurants were struggling with staffing, stock and pricing issues.
“We are a family-oriented business, and our family structure is also changing. William, our oldest, creator of the tripas and ice creams has just finished U of T, Evolution of Biology, and now will be pursing bread making in Europe for the time being. Our youngest will be leaving for UBC,” says Oliveira.
“The concept is to take the best out of both places and bring them together into one place, one happy place. But just like us it is always changing, evolving, trying to be the best we can. One thing is for sure, we are Portuguese and every day that passes we become more Portuguese.”