First Caplansky’s Deli location in Toronto closes

The first store location of the popular chain Caplansky’s Deli has closed, a year-and-a-half after a dispute with its downtown Toronto landlord, according to a statement from the company’s founder.

“I am making this decision with tremendous sadness and reluctance. I have spent 10 years of my life bringing traditional deli to Toronto,” Zane Caplansky said in a note posted on the College Street restaurant’s doors and shared on social media.

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“I have poured my heart and soul into the business, not to mention time, energy and my own financial resources, as well as the financial resources provided by my investors.”

READ MORE: Caplansky’s Deli reaches ‘amicable’ settlement with landlord in lease battle

In June 2016, a foreclosure notice posted on the doors of the College Street location stated the lease was terminated and the location seized due to “failing to effect repairs not authorized by the landlord.”

The dispute subsequently went to court with the judge ruling the restaurant could remain open until an agreement was reached between the two parties. Caplansky announced the following month that the dispute was settled “amicably.”

Caplansky referenced the well-publicized dispute with the restaurant’s building owner while thanking his staff, claiming it impacted business.

READ MORE: Caplansky’s Deli reopens after court rules lease is valid

“[Restaurant staff and managers] could not have been better or more supportive as the deli fought to regain the business we lost after the landlord locked these doors without warning in 2016,” he wrote.

“We never really recovered from that blow.”

Meanwhile, Caplansky’s statement said the deli locations at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Yorkville are still open for business.

With files from David Shum

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