Country Style, the only Hungarian restaurant in Toronto, is shutting down after 62 years in business. Many loyal customers are mourning its closure, as it marks the end of an era for Hungarian cuisine in the Annex neighbourhood.
History of Country Style
In the aftermath of World War II, many Hungarians came to Canada as refugees and settled in the Annex neighbourhood, leading to the emergence of several Hungarian restaurants. Country Style was one of the first Hungarian restaurants on Bloor Street and the last one remaining. Katalin Koltai, a Hungarian immigrant who had previously worked at a bank, took over the restaurant in 2000 and ran it tirelessly for 23 years.
Closure and Customers' reactions
Country Style’s closure has been announced for August 1, and loyal customers have expressed their sadness, with some of them having frequented the restaurant for decades. Many customers loved the affordability and deliciousness of the food, particularly the schnitzel, and had created lasting memories with their families at the establishment.
Koltai, who acknowledged the restaurant's continued popularity, has decided to retire and plans to travel back to Hungary to spend time with her family. She expressed her gratitude towards the loyal customers who have supported her family-owned business throughout the years.
The end of an era
Following the closure, the restaurant space will be taken over by a Vietnamese restaurant. As the final remaining Hungarian restaurant on Bloor Street, the closure of Country Style marks the end of an era for Hungarian cuisine enthusiasts in Toronto, leaving many with cherished memories of the authentic Hungarian food served at the restaurant.
Questions & Answers
What is Country Style and why is its closure significant in Toronto? Country Style was a beloved Hungarian restaurant in Toronto, which has been a fixture in the Annex neighbourhood for 62 years. It was one of the first Hungarian restaurants on Bloor Street and the last one remaining. Its closure marks the end of an era for Hungarian cuisine enthusiasts in Toronto.
What are some traditional Hungarian dishes served at Country Style? Country Style was known for its homemade-style dishes like schnitzels, cabbage rolls, and goulash, which are all traditional Hungarian dishes.
Who owned and managed Country Style and why is the owner retiring? Katalin Koltai owned and managed Country Style for 23 years. She is a Hungarian immigrant who initially worked at a bank before joining the restaurant as a waitress. Since 2000, she has been managing it tirelessly. However, after 23 years of running the restaurant, Koltai has decided it’s time to retire and prioritise her own desires. Her plan now is to travel back to Hungary to spend some time with her family.
When will Country Style close its doors for good? Country Style will close its doors for good on 1 August 2021.
What will happen to the restaurant space after Country Style closes? After the closure of Country Style on 1 August, the restaurant space will be taken over by a Vietnamese restaurant.
What has been the reaction of the customers to the news of Country Style's closure? Many customers, who have been frequenting the restaurant for decades, were saddened by the news of its closure. A lot of them have been regulars for years and have built lasting memories at the establishment, with families growing over the years, and multiple generations now enjoying the restaurant together.
What is the history of Hungarian cuisine in Toronto? After the Second World War, a significant number of Hungarian refugees arrived in Canada. Many of them settled in the Annex area of Toronto, resulting in the emergence of numerous Hungarian restaurants, including Country Style.