The attack happened as Barberian, 50, was taking a cash box from one of his two Elm Street restaurants at about 10:20 a.m. on Monday.
A man approached from behind and grabbed the box. But Barberian hung on, and fought back.
"He pushed me, you know I pushed back. He grabbed the money and then I whipped him to the ground a couple of times," Barberian told CBC News.
The incident was captured from two viewpoints by Barberian's security cameras and later posted online.
The two men spun onto the street — sending the cash box, stray bills and Barberian's cellphone flying — and continued to grapple for several minutes, joined by a restaurant employee who came to Barberian's aid. The three men continued east, almost out of the view of the cameras, towards Yonge Street.
Good Samaritan and 'true thief'
Back at the restaurant, a woman in a fur hat picked up what cash she could, and later returned it to Barberian.
A second woman also appeared on the scene, and made off with Barberian's phone.
The unidentified woman is "a true thief" Barberian said, in contrast to his attacker who he describes as "an unfortunate soul."
The mugger eventually fled the scene. He is described as black, between 30 and 40 years old, with a medium build. He was wearing a dark shirt, jeans and running shoes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact 52 Division at 416-808-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477).