At 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2, a longstanding Toronto restaurant closes its doors for good.
The Q Queensway Rotisserie and Grill served up its final plate of chicken and ribs Sunday night, after their long-term lease ended.
“Chicken and ribs is what brought us here today,” co-owner Albert Wiltshire told Global News.
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Almost 40 years ago, the restaurant started off as Quebec chain St-Hubert.
And even after the franchise pulled out of Ontario, Wiltshire says he continued to serve their homestyle specials.
“I have shortening in my veins,” Wiltshire laughed.
As patrons who came out to The Q on its last day tell Global News, it’s that blend of comfort food and a family feel that has made the restaurant a staple.
“It’s almost like a little piece of home,” said Victoria Thomas, adding she has been eating here for almost 20 years.
“It’s like family almost,” said Wayne Tindall, who ordered the chicken one last time.
And for Wiltshire’s daughter Deandra, it actually is.
Since the age of 15 she has worked in the restaurant, first as a hostess, then as a server.
“It’s like I’m losing my family,” Deandra said. “I’ve been here for 24 years and I’ve watched generations of people come in. They have kids and their kids have kids.”
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That history makes The Q’s closure an emotional goodbye for her — and for her longtime customers.
“I’m tearing up,” commented one restaurant-goer.
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For co-owner Jim Demeroutis, the closure of his longest-owned restaurant has left him with “mixed feelings,” he told Global News.
“I’ve had this place for 38 years,,” Demeroutis said. “It’s really special.”
As for what will happen to the land on which The Q currently sits? Demeroutis says a car dealership is in the works.