You can add Luke’s Lobster to the growing list of U.S. brands with Torontonian aspirations – just as soon as they can find the right location in this city of exploding world class restaurants.
Founded in Manhattan’s East Village almost 10 years ago, Luke’s Lobster prides itself on serving “seafood straight from the source, prepared pure and simple, without the filler.”
Luke Holden, a third generation lobsterman from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, created the restaurant with his partner Ben Conniff after realizing that he couldn’t find a proper Maine-style lobster roll anywhere in New York City.
“It doesn’t take a master chef to make a great lobster roll,” reads a tenant package describing the business. “It takes great lobster. Luke Holden knows where to get the best stuff around.”
Holden is said to buy 100% of his lobster from the best fisheries in Maine and Canada, where lobstermen are “bound by strict fishing regulations that keep the lobster population healthy and robust.”
All of the chain’s seafood products are traceable and sustainable, which customers seem to love.
It’s either that or the famously fresh lobster rolls served on toasted, buttered buns with mayo, lemon butter and Luke’s “secret seasoning.”
The chain now has nearly 30 locations across the U.S., with six more in Japan, and people really seem to dig their food.
Lineups outside the brand’s restaurants and “nauti fleet” food trucks are not uncommon.
Now, with their sights set on Toronto, Holden and Conniff have enlisted the help of The Behar Group, a local commercial real estate brokerage that represents brands like Jollibee, Ihop and Baskin Robbins, to find the right space.
Luke’s Lobster is seeking a “high traffic, high density” location in downtown Toronto with a suggested size of 1,000 – 2,000 square feet, according to a listing on The Behar Group’s website.
Once the real estate deal is in motion, look out. “Ocean to plate” could very well be the new “farm to tail” trend – and we all know how much Toronto likes food trends.