Sneak Peek: Ricarda's, The New Restaurant At QRC West
Ricarda’s just opened in the heritage component of Allied Properties REIT’s QRC West, the first location for this Mediterranean restaurant/bakery/café. RKF Canada president Steven Alikakos tells us more.
That's Steven at right at the recent launch for Ricarda’s, with his wife, Heather, and Allied COO Tom Burns with his wife, Susan. Steven, who repped Allied in arranging a 9,350 SF lease (The Behar Group’s Attila Schwarze brought Ricarda’s to the table), tells us more than 700 people attended the event. The restaurant occupies 8k SF on the ground floor of the historic Weston Biscuit Factory building, QRC West’s heritage cornerstone. Ricarda’s also has a 1,350 SF satellite cocktail bar across the lobby, a sky lounge overlooking the building’s stunning atrium (seen below).
QRC West—a 17-storey, 395k SF complex at 134 Peter St tenanted by Publicis, Sapient, Diageo and Entertainment One—is Allied’s new flagship, a key anchor in a rapidly transforming neighbourhood. It's also the first of many brick-and-beam building intensifications for the company, notes Steven, who’s been working on QRC West’s retail strategy since 2010 and says his client wanted to make a statement with its ground-floor occupant. Open from morning till evening, Ricarda's serves the QRC office population above and fills a void in an area blossoming with condo towers and new office space. “This is important for the Entertainment District’s re-emergence.”
Ricarda’s launch party, featuring performances by Creativiva. At 9k-plus SF, the restaurant—boasting gold and marble decor—is larger than other operators are looking for, Steven points out; most chain restaurants seek 5k SF to 6k SF. Plus it’s in an area still questioned by local restaurateurs as they continue seeking space in the neighbouring Financial District and King West. “So it took an outsider, someone not from Toronto, to see the potential here,” he says, noting Ricarda’s is well-positioned to capitalize on QRC’s high profile and drive the emerging area's future. “And the space looks even better than we could've imagined.”