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The smell of a charcoal barbecue on a hot summer day can be hard to resist, and as it turns out, the same applies to a cold winter day too.
Tight COVID-19 regulations have forced many in the restaurant industry to adapt and survive. Marco Santaguida of Santaguida Fine Foods has done just that by operating a charcoal grill in front of his European café Rapido at Bathurst and Dupont, filling the streets with the irresistible smell of barbecue.
Grilled chicken sandwich with house-made fire grilled peppers.
With the introduction of the grill, Rapido has evolved from a traditional European coffee bar into a neighbourhood hotspot for delicious street-meat handhelds like chicken and steak sandwiches, burgers, and sausage on a bun.
Grilled sausage on a toasted baguette with house-made fries.
Santaguida says that since firing up the grill, sales have almost doubled at the cafe. It has given them the extra kick they need to stay afloat in the pandemic's rough waters. Marco isn’t going to let the snow stop him either. With a steady stream of new found regulars, he plans to grill on throughout the winter.
Barbecue cheeseburger with charcoal fired peppers.
You can catch Marco grilling daily in front of Rapido at 1089 Bathurst Street.