UPDATE (March 28, 11:40 AM ET): Crocodile Rock has confirmed that the beloved Toronto bar will not be closing down any time soon. In a statement to Narcity, Crocodile Rock says that the rumours of the shut down are simply not true. "We have been cleared by Toronto Health and we have recently signed a 10-year lease. We are not going anywhere," they said.
Lovers of the Toronto bar scene, we have some bad news for you. Don't start crying those crocodile tears yet, but according to filings posted on the City of Toronto's lobbyist registry, it was reported that Crocodile Rock may be torn down and turned into condominiums. This story follows the news that Crocodile Rock was temporary shut-down last month, due to numerous health and safety violations.
Ralph Giannone, a lobbyist representing Jeremia Rudin (the owner of Copacabana, the restaurant next to Crocodile Rock) is considering redevelopment. Giannone is a partner and principal architect at a premier architecture firm in the city called Giannone Petricone Associates Inc. The firm is responsible for the design of some of the city's most iconic condominiums.
Although the filing does not address the redevelopment plan specifically, it does refer to the reason for the lobbying effort as "Planning and Development Application, Official Plan; Planning and Development Application, Zoning By-law".
The filing lists 240 Adelaide Street West (Crocodile Rock's current location) as the address. Considering Jeremia Rudin owns Copacabana at 230 Adelaide Street West, locals are speculating that the three buildings on the northeast corner of Adelaide and Duncan streets will be included in the redevelopment.
It's crucial to note that a lobbyist filing does not necessarily confirm that redevelopment is in the works. Based on the bar's prime downtown location in the Entertainment District and the involvement of a specialized architect for mixed-use properties, redevelopment wouldn't be inconceivable to any degree.
Just last month, the DineSafe report released by Toronto Public Health revealed that Crocodile Rock was one of the many local dining establishments failed to meet crucial and significant health and safety requirements.
#Toronto bar/restaurant Crocodile Rock closed by health inspector on Feb 20 with 7 infractions: #foodsafety #pestcontrol #sanitation unsanitary ice, no certified food handlers, finally passed re-inspection on March 1. #DineSafe https://t.co/GHcMRwisxu pic.twitter.com/6qHS1OFMuD— Jim Chan (@phijimchan) March 4, 2019
Crocodile Rock, which had previously been fined for committing only minor food safety infractions, had been temporarily closed down by health inspectors on the basis of 6 different infractions that range from crucial to significant.
In the past, the establishment was guilty of less serious health and safety issues, like failing to thoroughly wrap food to prevent contamination, failing to wash the equipment properly, and failing to provide sufficient chemical rinse.