Restaurateur Robin Kemp to head reopened Maple Leaf Tavern
October 6, 2015, TORONTO – Maple Leaf Tavern (955 Gerrard St. E) is thrilled to announce Robin Kemp has come on board as general manager of the east end institution, set to reopen as a North American tavern in late November. Kemp has experience managing the day-to-day operations of Toronto restaurants Colborne Lane, Reds Wine Tavern and Momofuku.
Maple Leaf Tavern owner and operations director Todd Morgan, who also operates the upscale PORT restaurant in Pickering, acquired the run-down bar in 2013 seeing potential in the early 20th century building. Kemp joins a stellar team, with executive chef Eric Wood, also of PORT and sous chef Jonathan O’Callaghan, who previously worked with Wood at The Beverley Hotel.
“Robin Kemp has led some of the best restaurants in Toronto,” says Morgan. “His skills as a restaurant leader will be put to use developing Maple Leaf Tavern’s high quality, but approachable style of service.”
Chef Wood says the menu will be rustically refined and balanced, and make good use of a wood-burning grill. But he is also listening to what those in the neighbourhood want the space to be. Food lovers and Toronto east-enders can tweet to @MapleLeafTavern to join the conversation.
“We’re thrilled to bring an upscale dining experience to the up-and-coming east-end,” says Wood. “Maple Leaf Tavern will be a Leslieville staple and show Toronto that the east side does indeed have good restaurants.”
The original tavern, built in 1910, went through many incarnations, including as a hotel from the years 1935 -1975. RB Morgan Construction’s extensive renovations of the 6,000-square-foot space uncovered the original brickwork and long-forgotten windows. Maple Leaf Tavern will feature 120 seats including a bar, snug style booths for small groups, a private dining room, chef’s bar and banquette seating for semi-formal dining.
“The building’s character and heritage speak for themselves,” says Morgan. “Everything we do will stay true to the historic roots of the tavern and its surrounding community.”