Ever since I moved to Commercial Street, I’ve been quite fascinated with the area’s potential.
I’m right beside the strip that houses both the foundational rock of this neighbourhood, the Commercial Street Café, and the impressive Flourist. Between those two lies a bevy of businesses, from an auto garage to the obligatory fancy trinket shop that every neighbourhood must have.
What’s missing is an actual restaurant; one that stays open past 5:30 p.m and perhaps serves alcohol (apologies to the Chance Café, which serves up some very delicious baos).
The area is teeming with families and young adults alike who have to make the trek up to Kingsway to experience much past coffees and pastries.
But it appears that'll change very soon. On a recent walk, I noticed one of the street's storefronts getting a makeover of sorts.
Inside, a few people were going through what used to be a Portuguese restaurant (the place has since been gutted, with only white walls and a kitchen counter to show for its past) and doing some discreet planning.
Naturally, I did some digging. Turns out that “Collective Goods” is already an Instagram account run by the fine folks from Collective Hospitality (the group behind the Mackenzie Room and Say Mercy). They used the Collective Goods moniker to run some of their takeout efforts during the early part of the pandemic.
And, even without my glasses on, it wasn’t hard to recognize that those folks planning out the place and painting it bore an uncanny resemblance to Collective Hospitality founders Antonio Cayonne, Andrew Jameson and Sean Reeve. There’s even a Collective Goods link on the Collective Hospitality site.
I asked the gentleman painting the sign when Collective Goods might launch. He said “six to eight weeks.”
My apartment complex is already buzzing with the news. If the new effort is anything like the still underrated Mackenzie Room or the excellent Say Mercy, we are very much all in.
And though the folks were shy on details, the sign says “grocer and bistro,” and that sure sounds like a Caffe La Tana vibe to us. Just please, please stay open after 5:30.