Huge news out of Canada this evening: Restaurateur and writer Jen Agg has announced that she will close her groundbreaking Toronto restaurant the Black Hoof in August. That restaurant, which earned as much of a reputation for its stellar meat-driven menu and bustling vibe as its owner’s strong voice in the community, departs the scene after 10 years.
News of the Hoof’s closure follows more surprises from Agg. Earlier this month, the restaurateur announced that she and fellow co-owner, her partner, the artist Roland Jean, were pulling out of her Montreal bar, Agrikol, leaving it in the hands of her co-owners in the project, Arcade Fire members Win Butler and Régine Chassagne. Agg still owns the Toronto wine-bar-cum-restaurant she opened last year with Momofuku alum Mitch Bates, Grey Gardens, as well Rhum Corner and Cocktail Bar.
Known for being Agg’s first — and her flagship — restaurant, the Black Hoof “put Toronto on the map,” according to local food writer Corey Mintz’s guide to the city for Eater. One of the city’s essential restaurants basically since its opening, the restaurant was both “a messenger of change when it arrived on the scene in 2008,” according to Mintz, but one that had “grown from young upstart to venerable establishment — without losing its street cred.” The restaurant will close on August 20, 2018.
Here’s the Hoof’s closing announcement.
If you would like to sit on the patio at the hoof (which is always a good idea) this summer is the time to do it! TRUST! What a sweet little treehouse it is. Ok fuck it, like I always say what’s the point of a press release when I can just do this. The Hoof (now in its 10th year) is so special to me—it’s where I learned how to do what I do (so often the hard way)—but it’s time. I’ve never approved of closing a busy restaurant, (seems crazy, tbh) but we’ve said all we have to, and ten years in this business is a LONG FUCKING TIME. I’m so proud of what this place was and what it has become. Totally without hubris, it was a turning point for the restaurant scene in our town and has seen so many people come and go, but uncharacteristically, as so often with restaurants, it has seen many people stay, and they’ve become the heartbeat of my company—I love you all dearly you know who you are. We’ll be going hard ‘til August 20th. Come say hi/bye! ❤️❤️❤️
UPDATE, 5/18 9:40 a.m.: Agg had been thinking about closing the Hoof for some time, and even dropped some clues along the way. “You’ll notice I’m literally walking away from the Hoof on the cover of I Hear She’s a Real Bitch, which was shot in late summer of 2016,” she tells Eater, referring to her 2017 memoir.
Agg has no plans to give up the Hoof’s space. “Gonna wait for the thing good enough to fill Hoof’s shoes to come along,” she explains. And although she doesn’t have anything in mind quite yet, Agg does hint that she has some other new project in the works. Stay tuned.
[Disclosure: Agg has contributed to Eater.com]
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