Hours after reports that Toronto mainstay Randy’s Take-Out was going to be closing down, Drake offered to come to his rescue. And he wasn’t the only one.
“I’ll buy Randy’s right now,” he wrote on Instagram Wednesday under a post from eTalk host Tyrone “T-rex” Edwards calling for people to help save the Jamaican patty spot on Eglinton West. “And give it back to them.”
After Drake said he would buy the restaurant, more support from notable fans of Randy’s poured in, including from former Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore.
“Na can’t let it die. I’m in bro let’s save it,” Altidore wrote.
Wes Hall, a “dragon” on “Dragons’ Den,” left a comment on the post saying Randy’s was a staple for his family when he moved to Canada in 1985. “My dad sent me to Randy’s every Saturday from Malvern to Little Jamaica . Cannot lose this icon,” he wrote.
Located in Little Jamaica, Randy’s has been a go-to spot in the city for people looking for Jamaican patties since 1979, and over the last 43 years, it has amassed an almost cultlike following.
Randy’s confirmed Thursday morning it is “officially closing” on Feb. 26, citing “endless Metrolinx construction,” the COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortages and aging owners as the reasons for the shutter.
“Our family business is proud to have been a staple here, in the heart of Little Jamaica,” Randy’s wrote in his farewell post on Instagram. “Thank you for all the great years. Y’all amazing and we’ll chat soon, promise.”
By Thursday afternoon, dozens of people were seen waiting in lines that wrapped around the block to grab what may be their final taste of the beloved patties.
And for those who couldn’t make it to the shop today, they called for others to bring them a box of patties.
Kami Levy, a Torontonian whose family immigrated to Canada from Jamaica, said Randy’s was a big part of his childhood and he’s sad to hear it will be closing.
“I feel like I’m losing some of my heritage,” Levy said, adding that going to Randy’s felt like you were stepping into Jamaica without having to catch a flight.
“There’s really nothing like it. The texture, the flakiness… It’s got its thing. The meat is different. It’s not like other spots,” he said. For him, the closure of Randy’s will rank near the top of the list of other Toronto losses, like Electric Circus and the renaming of the SkyDome.
“We’re going to be like, ‘Oh, remember Randy’s?!” he said.
Mayor John Tory weighed in, too, taking to Twitter to say he visited the shop on Wednesday for Patty Day and is “shocked” it’s closing.
“My hope is we will see people come together to save Randy’s and I know a lot of fans — myself included — are eager to see that happen and to continue supporting this Little Jamaica business,” he wrote.
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