Like most restaurants, when the pandemic struck, owner Ryan Mungal was forced to close. His eatery, located at the foot of the waterfront, Loch and Quay had become a destination on Queens Quay, known for their upscale and tasty twists on classics; think bison burgers, poke bowls and deep-fried brie. The reviews were glowing, and Loch and Quay quickly became an anchor for the waterfront community.

Ryan Mungal in LQ Market’s extensive pantry

The tidy space was well set up and offered generous outdoor seating with palatial lakeside views. Based at the foot of an expansive apartment building afforded daily foot-traffic. All that changed in a flash, and Ryan drew on his years of restaurant experience to draft a new plan for Loch and Quay. After months of research and renovations, LQ Market is inching closer to opening. Ryan identified countless reasons for the conversion, most notably the immediate impact on distribution channels fraught with disruptions, resulting in charitable food programs going without. Ryan is passionate about helping those in need.

I had a personal contact at the company who supplies the tomatoes so I reached out and asked if I could be set up with a distributor account so that I can help get the products to the food programs that needed it but at wholesale cost instead of retail. At that time most restaurants in Toronto has started offering online groceries and then grocery stores started having Covid outbreaks and very long lineups just to get in. I saw this as a long-term problem and decided that we needed to do something to change the process.

Ryan Mungal, owner LQ Market

With multiple entrances and exits, Ryan has adopted a new floor plan ushering in a new era for LQ Market and Toronto’s Waterfront dining in general. Guests will be able to access LQ Market‘s wifi and place orders right outside, boosting the signal out front to ensure access for all. Welcoming new food concepts like the popular Chen Chen’s Nashville Chicken, known for their southern-style spicy chicken sandwiches injects a dose of spice to those seaside picnics, while newcomers like Taste d West Indies and Cupcake Central will add a whole new layer of offerings once they open early this fall. More food purveyors will be added to the mix, including a grocery component allowing consumers to grab and go for all their shopping needs. Frozen family dinners, including wine or beer pairings will also be on the menu.

With countless open-air spaces to dine, Toronto’s Waterfront is a safe bet for distanced dining

Ryan’s strategy is to see LQ Market replace your weekly grocery runs and complement your routine; grabbing a quick bite now and add a few staples for the pantry and a frozen meal for tomorrow’s dinner. Takeout will be the primary focus, with delivery on offer through popular delivery apps. Maintaining a single point of entry for consumers, and a separate entrance for delivery persons allows for super-safe and distanced dining, something that’s a top priority for Ryan and his team.

Look for the grand opening of LQ Market early this fall, and stay tuned for an update on new partners and offerings!

This post has been sponsored by Toronto Waterfront BIA. Although we received compensation, all our views are our own. Stay up to date on their stream of events and programming, follow @TOWaterfront on Instagram and @WaterfrontBIA on Twitter for the latest.

All photos by Libby Roach.