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Wife of legendary property restoration mogul behind Summerhill LCBO vowed to complete his last project after his tragic death.

Click here for the full story on The National Post.

Paul Oberman gained fame buying, restoring and leasing out historic buildings such as the Summerhill train station that is now an LCBO.

About 20 years ago Mr. Oberman hired Eve Lewis, owner of Urbanation and Market Vision Real Estate, to help him sell condos. The two fell in love, pooled their kids (his three and her three, ranging from two to eight years old) and married.

“Before I met Paul I thought I was an incredible risk-taker,” says Ms. Lewis now. “Then when he came along, I figured one of us would need to have a steady income.”

So she stuck to selling condos. With his company, Woodcliffe Landmark Properties, Mr. Oberman continued buying fixer-uppers. About seven years ago he bought four buildings on the west side of Market Street, just across from St. Lawrence Market.

Barsa Taberna makes 10 most anticipated Toronto restaurant openings in 2014 list.

10 most anticipated Toronto restaurant openings in 2014
Posted by Liora Ipsum / DECEMBER 31, 2013 23 Comments
Toronto restaurant openings 2014The Toronto restaurant scene shows no signs of slowing down in the approaching year, and the most hotly anticipated openings promise to deliver notable expansions from kitchens and chefs that we already love, plus some new potential game-changers ready to whet our appetites. All in all, 2014 is already set to be an exciting year for food and drink in this town.

Here are the 10 most anticipated Toronto restaurant openings in 2014.

County Cocktail
The first of two planned expansions for County General in the new year. This new cocktail-centric spinoff will be situated in the east end, replacing the Canadian Pie Company At 798 Queen East. The new eatery and bar will serve coffee and casual fare in the day, before transitioning to tapas and sharing plates in the evening.

County Paradise
Later in 2014, Bloorcourt Village can also expect the County-treatment to take over the former Beirut Palace at 1006 Bloor West (including its sizeable patio) next to the Paradise Cinema (hence the name). Chef Danai Hongwanishkul (formerly of Canoe) will supply culinary direction once founding partner, chef Victor Barry goes solo in the new year.

Not just a humble sandwich shop, but an offshoot to this legendary steakhouse, this new take-away joint at 15 Elm Street will share the same commitment to quality as Barberian’s Steakhouse next door. Arron Barberian and partners Pasquale Orgera and John Andrews plan to offer breakfast ’til late-night service, The menu will triumph generous helpings of made-from-scratch Canadian comfort foods like; peameal, fried baloney and meatloaf sandwiches, plus, there’ll be poutines, Nanaimo bars and butter tarts.

Come & Get It
Always billed as a placeholder for an impending condo, this poutine/sandwich/salad joint closed up shop at Spadina and Queen this fall and announced it was finally moving to a permanent address at 676 Queen West. They’ve hinted the new location will even serve booze.

The two adjacent restaurants on King West between Bathurst and Spadina will still operate independently, but just the thought of this pizza-pork hybrid makes me salivate and start dreaming of potential menu cross-overs.

Nuit and Jeff Regular have already expanded Toronto’s repertoire of regional Thai cuisine at Khao San Road (no longer involved) and then at Sabai Sabai and Sukhothai. Now, at this third restaurant slated to open at 18 Duncan Street, the duo plans to introduce the flavours and foods of Northern Thailand.

Red Sauce
This casual Italian-American restaurant will open in place of the much-lauded Acadia on Clinton at College. Ownership remains the same, though Lindsay and Scott Selland will bid adieu to Top Chef Canada alum, chef Dustin Gallagher and switch focus to a more casual approach. The menu will triumph affordable cocktails and familiar dishes like mini calzones and Parms done every which way; chicken, veal, eggplant on a roll, hero sandwich or platter.

Barsa Taberna
This new Barcelona-inspired tapas bar is slated to open at 26 Market Street in late January. The menu is planned to feature small plates, tapas and pintxos rooted in Spanish tradition but with a global spin. The opening menus from chef Michael Smith (formerly of C5, Gladstone Hotel not theChef at Home) will span brunch, lunch and latte-night featuring delicacies like cauliflower chorizo pancakes and sesame sweetbreads.

Apiecalypse Now!
This vegan bakery has been a fixture on the farmers market circuit since 2010. In the new year (mid-January) the bakery will open a brick and mortar retail source for dairy and egg-free baked goods at 589 Markham Street.

Buca Yorkville
Bar Buca is nearly open on Portland but what about this long-awaited offshoot planned for the Four Seasons? Rob Gentile’s third seasonally-inspired eatery will reportedly be a heavily researched, seafood-centric, reverential-Italian concept. As for an opening date? I won’t even hazard a guess.


BlogTO: Here’s what’s coming to Market Street

Market Street is in the midst of a makeover, and Barsa Taberna is just one of the new restaurants that will soon grace the street. Redevelopment of the tiny street next to St. Lawrence Market has been in the works since 2010, and the results of those years of planning are finally beginning to take shape. Aras Azadian is one of the owners of the new tapas restaurant, and he says the whole concept will be based on life in Barcelona.

Barsa’s menu will be half tapas, half entrees. Azadian says he’s sick of seeing mains disguised as tapas in Toronto, and he’s going to do his best to honour the original concept of the snackable plates.

“Tapas are not supposed to be $13 and $14. You’re supposed to order two or three plates each, and share. It’s just ridiculous.” On Barsa’s tapas menu, everything will range in price from $6 to $9. There will be a carefully selected wine list and pitchers of sangria to go along with it.

In case new tapas places aren’t your thing (even if they’re endowed with 75-seat patios), there is a string of other businesses slated to open on the street in the next couple of months, too. Pastizza is an Italian restaurant opening on the south end of the street. From what I could see by peering in from the street like a creeper, it looks like it’ll be a pretty stunning spot. A balcony-esque upper level overlooks the mezzanine area, and as of now, it looks kind of like that pervasive scene from Romeo and Juliet.

Farther up will be Bindia, an Indian bistro which will also be graced by a patio. I’ve noticed a liquor license displayed in the window, too. Olive&Olives, a small and ambiguously-named chain imported from Montreal with an outpost in Riverside, will throw open its doors to their second Toronto location here. Down the line from that, Azadian tells me, there will be an espresso place.

The last item on the list, for now, is Market Street Catch, a 36-seat seafood restaurant from the owners of Buster’s Sea Cove. There’s still one vacant space that appears to be up for grabs, according to Azadian and as far as appearances show. I wouldn’t know for sure, though, as the developers wouldn’t get back to me after repeated interview requests.

While it’s a tourist-heavy area, Azadian, for his part, says his restaurant is targeted toward young professionals who are seeking out an authentic experience. It was actually a bit of a happy accident that he wound up with the Market St. location, he says. He was looking at other areas, but it was hard to find a good fit for his first restaurant. When he saw the space, though, he says he was sold immediately.

That said, he tells me the renovations have been a nightmare. “The design should have taken a month, and it’s been two and a half months to figure out the engineering.” They wanted to open the patio in September to have at least a semblance of patio season, but they’re now scheduled to open for mid-November.

While there’s lots of work still to be done, all of the businesses along Market Street are apparently aiming to have their doors open by the end of the year.