NEWS

The Real Jerk returns

10/03/2013 02:14 EDT | Updated 12/03/2013 05:12 EST
The Real Jerk, a Caribbean restaurant located on Queen Street East for decades, has reopened its doors on Thursday after it was evicted from a previous east-end location last year.

It is now located off Queen, on Gerard Street East and Carlaw Avenue.

The eatery first opened in 1984 on Queen Street East near Greenwood Avenue. It moved later to Queen Street East and Broadview Avenue in 1989, a corner where it became a neighbourhood icon and a landmark around the city. 

In 2011, the building that housed the restaurant was sold, and owners Lily and Edward Pottinger were given a month to vacate. After a battle to keep the restaurant in its location — a fight that included city councillors, an online petition and an injunction — the restaurant closed in spring of last year.

Today the restaurant features its history on its tabletops, a reminder of the changes in location to the customers who’ve followed it all these years.

Tennis champion Serena Williams, as well as actors Wesley Snipes and Omar Epps, were just some of the famous patrons on The Real Jerk.

"I’m extremely proud of having a restaurant that represented my culture in a real positive way," Pottinger told CBC News in 2012.

"And before we came along, there were only take-out restaurants really. There wasn’t really any sit-down, dining restaurants that represented Caribbean culture."

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