Restaurant options in 1929

The May 18 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained two ads for restaurants that caught my attention. Here’s the first one:


Did they serve all of that in one meal? Oh wow. Maybe it was the 1929 equivalent of the modern tasting menu.

This name vaguely rang a bell, and it turned out that the Savarin Restaurant existed until the building was demolished in 1980. Here’s a blog that mentions the Savarin, and here’s a postcard of it.

Here’s the second ad:


I traced the Old Spain restaurant, and its history is a little confusing:

  • In 1929, Lazar’s Restaurant is listed at 180 Queen West; the proprietor is a man named Lazar Levenson.
  • In 1930, the restaurant was called the Old Spain, with no listed proprietor. Mr. Levenson is not listed in the city directory.
  • In 1934, the Old Spain is still listed at 180 Queen West, but now Louis Levenson is listed as the proprietor. Perhaps Mr. Levenson changed his name, or there were two separate Levensons, which seems unlikely.
  • In 1937, the Old Spain is gone, but Lazar Levenson had returned: he was now running Lazar Lunch at 326 Adelaide West. The same directory also listed a Lazar’s Lunch at 127 Spadina, run by John Levinson and Samuel Pinnick. I have no idea whether there is any connection between them.


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