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Posh ‘Dome’ Restaurant Near Ex-Homeless Base Faces Heavy Criticism
By Mikelle Leow, 10 Apr 2019
Image via Shawn Goldberg / Shutterstock.com
A pop-up restaurant charging about CA$545 (US$409) per dinner has been chastised due to its proximity to a recently evicted homeless camp.
In March, Toronto’s government demolished a homeless encampment under the Gardiner Expressway as a result of a fire that had caught onto a tent. City officials claimed the move was to protect the public against open fires, which were what inhabitants relied on to keep warm.
Just two weeks after, a pop-up restaurant named Dinner with a View was set up beneath the same highway. The restaurant, which is made up of exclusive, heated glass domes, is described as a “completely luxurious dining experience in a highly unexpected setting” on its website.
“Our domes are transformed into terrariums with distinct terrains,” the restaurant continues—a rather odd description, considering the location. “A terrarium is an elegant encapsulation of an ecosystem; a living biosphere captured in time. Here, we bring that notion to life inside our domes…”
Guests are served three-course blind menus created by Top Chef Canada winner Chef René Rodriguez, who also locally sourced ingredients for the meals comprising meat, fish, and plant-based options.
Booking a dome demands a fee of CA$149 (US$112), in addition to a charge of CA$99 (US$74.35) per head. Since at least four people are required to dine in a dome, the price for an experience at Dinner with a View requires at least CA$545 (US$409). This bill comes without taxes, booze, water, or tips, according to Munchies.
People with knowledge of the area’s background have expectedly criticized the restaurant’s organizers for being tone-deaf. While Dinner with a View is still about a mile away from the former homeless encampment, social media users have swarmed the posts of influencers who have dined at the restaurant to voice their aversions.
Locals have labeled the pop-up event as “disgusting” and “dystopian,” but the contempt doesn’t just stay online. A free event titled ‘Dinner with a View… of the Rich’ took residence aside the restaurant on Friday as a physical protest by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.
To retaliate Dinner with a View, the activists served their own three-course dinners—but for free. While the organization agrees on its FAQ page that the restaurant’s patrons didn’t evict the homeless themselves, “their chici dining experience [is] close to where people were often hungry and cold.”
A spokesperson for Dinner with a View has since defended to CTV News that the restaurant has no affiliation with the government of Toronto and its plans.
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[via Munchies, images via various sources]
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