[URBAN NOTE] “How Queen and Broadview’s small businesses are losing to gentrification”
The Globe and Mail‘s Brad Wheeler reports from Queen and Broadview, where the closure of hamburger restaurant Dangerous Dan’s signals the impending transformation of this Riverdale intersection.
The news this week that Dangerous Dan’s will close at the end of May hit Riversiders like a ton of ground beef. But while the venerable burger joint’s demise is a blow to the meat-loving masses, the restaurant’s passing is just another sign of the changing times at the junction of Queen and Broadview. For 18 years, from his window seat at the front of his bustling diner, Dangerous Dan’s owner James McKinnon has watched the corner gentrify, literally in front of his eyes. We got his grill-hot take on the morphing intersection.
Dangerous Dan’s (named after owner McKinnon’s grandfather) opened in 1999. Early in 2015, McKinnon put his business and lease up for sale. Corporate fast-food chain Pizza Nova bought the whole building, and now, after failing to come to a new lease agreement, McKinnon and his outrageous burger inventions (including such meat monstrosities as the Big Kevorkian and the Colossal Colon Clogger Combo) are leaving. Nearby, a new Korean fried chicken restaurant has opened. Kaboom Chicken attracts a crowd more hip than the blue-collar clientele of Dangerous Dan’s, but Mr. McKinnon never saw the eatery as competition. “The chains have half the market,” he says. “Little guys like me and Kaboom Chicken are just nibbling on the edges.” Speaking of chains, Pizza Nova released a statement this week saying it hadn’t decided on future plans for the corner location.
The other corners are covered, too.