The Starving Artist

04/28/10 – By SAM CARSON

Connecting Artists. Starving Artist owners Bryan Jackson and Tobias Wong. PHOTO By GURPREET GHAG

Located just 170 steps north of Lansdowne station, the Starving Artist waffle and espresso bar is a great hangout for artists in Bloordale.

In fact, the whole idea behind the bar was to connect to a community filled with so much artistic talent.

Co-owner of the bar, Bryan Jackson says that he was a starving artist himself and this place helps connect all the photographers, film students, musicians, and every other kind of artist in the area together.

The bar stands very firmly on this philosophy as they only hire artists to work there and feature different non-commission art exhibits from a different local artist every month.

Founded in the summer of last year by artist Jackson and his artist friend Tobias Wong– Starving Artist will celebrate their first anniversary this June, with a waffle-eating contest- one of the staple foods at the bar.

The bar’s menu first offered only deserts, along with two savory items, a chicken sandwich and a Benedict waffle.

The menu has since expanded to offer a larger variety of brunch foods, as well as sandwiches served on waffles.

Jackson said last summer’s garbage strike slowed down their liquor license, forcing them to depend on their brunch business.

Parfait in the foreground beside a cappuccino. Grill cheese waffle and the infamous bacon-infused waffle in the back. PHOTO By GURPREET GHAG

“As far as going waffles, we wanted to do something fun, not just be a soup and sandwich shop,” Jackson said, pointing out that the use of waffles was a focus of the questions during the interview.

Jackson said that the menu expanded through experimentation, as they attempted to come up with new and interesting meals with similar base-ingredients for most of the dishes. For instance, you will find a large selection of waffle based items, ranging from waffle sandwiches loaded with sliced meat and melted cheese, waffles with bacon infused inside, or even, for those simpler folk, waffles with syrup.

Sarah Westlake, 20, was at the Starving Artist for the first time, enjoying the D.I.Y waffle, a waffle covered in up to three toppings of your choice.

“It was delicious, and I think it’s pretty rad how you can choose whatever you want to put on it,” Westlake said.

Lunch items at Starving Artist run between $8 and $10 dollars, while desserts cost $5.

The bar got their liquor license in September, and have been featuring events at night since then.

Typical events in a week include Wednesday night Jazz, live music on Thursday, and DJ’s on Friday.

Starving Artist is located at 584 Lansdowne Ave, and can be found on Facebook as Starving Artist. The restaurant can be reached at (647) 342-5058 for more information.

Article By Sam Carson

Slideshow By Gurpreet Ghag


2 responses to “The Starving Artist

  1. rob lamberti

    Did I say this was an excellent slide show?

  2. Towa

    We are a family of artists who have been living on St. Clarens Ave for the last 5 years. Starving Artist is our home away from home after moving from Queen St. West for nearly a decade.

    Please support the local businesses and visit this and other new spots in Bloordale.

    Would love to see/organize a children’s arts event next spring to show how many young families have moved into the neighborhood.



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