July 21, 2017

Our story

Where it all began; livin’ the dream

When longtime friends Dave Neinstein and Jon Persofsky decided to quit their corporate lives and pursue their dream of opening up a restaurant, they knew they would need to do some research. Jon headed to George Brown to learn about restaurant management and Dave headed to the southern US to study the art of BBQ.

Opening a Restaurant

In the spring of 2011, Barque Smokehouse opened in Toronto’s west-end Roncesvalles Village. Their goal being to serve ‘Refined BBQ’. They define ‘Refined BBQ’ as fresh protein dishes that don’t compromise on flavour, a Family-style and fun atmosphere, and adherence to scratch cooking - preparing food using basic ingredients rather than buying meals that have already been prepared. Serving an enticing mix of smoked ribs, brisket and chicken, an array of fresh and healthy sides, and well matched collection of sweets and desserts, the Smokehouse at 299 Roncesvalles Avenue has seen a packed dining room on a nightly basis. With a large focus on wine and spirit pairings, dining at Barque is a true 360° food and drink experience.

Once the ball was rolling...

From the moment the Smokehouse doors opened, requests for off-site catering started coming in from the restaurant customer base. To answer this demand, Barque Events was founded in 2012 as a full service events company to more directly meet the specific and particular needs of our caterer-seeking clientele.

In particular, Barque Events has proven to be an excellent complement to Toronto’s event venues for catering to the discerning client looking for food that is formal yet fun. Delicious food that won’t compromise on quality and doesn’t take itself too seriously. 

And rolling...

Partly influenced by the nightly line-ups at Barque Smokehouse and partly by Jon and Dave’s unstoppable interest in new adventures, Barque Butcher Bar opened in May of 2015. The concept behind it being a complex combination of restaurant/bar, retail store, and butcher shop. The bar has seen a few overhauls and tweaks to get to its current menu and environment, and along the way it has found its own feel, character, and regulars. 

As of now it’s difficult to pin-point what the next step is for Barque BBQ but one thing is for sure; this is not a company that likes to sit still for long. We like to learn, grow, and improve. Buckle up!

Our company goals

1.Provide the best experience possible

Our overall company goal is to provide the best experience possible for all of our guests, at any expense. We are hosts first and foremost, welcoming strangers as friends. It is our core belief that providing the best product and service to a guest will ensure loyal guests for life and increase our scope of business through positive word of mouth. 

2. Be a good neighbour

We also believe that being active community members in our neighbourhood is another key to success. We treat every guest like a local and support them both within our restaurants and in the neighbourhood at large - that is, be good neighbours. We take care of our spaces and surroundings. We foster the positive relationships we have with our community.

3. Recognize that the guests are choosing to spend their time and money with us

Lastly, our company provides environments for people to spend their free time and extra money - two of the most precious things in life. We take that privilege seriously and are rewarded to receive that honour daily. “We take this very seriously, and do everything that we can (on any level) to make sure that the customer feels fulfilled with their choice. We are honoured and rewarded by their choice to dine with us….

Our Commitment to the Environment

At Barque we strive to help as many local businesses as possible and do what we can to minimize the impact of global warming. 

1. We use locally grown ingredients whenever possible, while still maintaining the integrity of the Canadian Barbeque Experience. 

2. We do not serve bottled water, in order to reduce the carbon footprint and other environmental ramifications of this trend. We instead serve purified Toronto water and carbonated filtered water, a system provided by a company called Q water. We also pioneered the technology for wine on tap, being one of the first restaurants in Toronto to serve kegged wine - another opportunity to reduce waste. 

3. Our kitchen grease is converted into biodiesel fuel 

4. We use biodegradable and recyclable takeout containers.. 

Kids/Commitment to Families and the Community

We pride ourselves on being kid friendly. We love being able to offer the whole family a special and fun dining experience. Kids who are dining with us get a colouring book, crayons, play doh and a special menu. We believe that just because you have kids doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a night out!