After nearly a decade in business, Leslieville Pumps General Store & Kitchen is reinventing itself and moving from its current location to a nearby storefront on Queen Street East in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood. The catch? No more fuel service.
Brothers Greg and Judson Flom took over the site in October of 2011 and quickly established themselves as a unique voice in the c-gas community, with a strong vision for foodservice. The Toronto location, modelled after an American site the duo researched online, became a southern barbecue destination, famous for pulled pork sandwiches, poutine and its late-night curry offering targeting local revellers on their way home from the bars.
The announcement of the closure came via social media on August 27, after rumours started swirling when neighbours noticed the building’s iconic signage coming down. Many feared The Pumps, as it’s known locally, was a victim of pandemic-related closures.
During the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown, Leslieville Pumps was an industry leader, quickly announcing enhanced sanitizing measures and even offering to run orders out to people’s cars. It was the early days of curbside delivery.
Instead of an end, however, it’s a new beginning. “After an awesome 10 years of being Toronto’s most unique gas station we are excited to move into a space that will allow us to focus on our love for BBQ and continue to provide all your convenience store goods.”
Fuel will no longer be on the menu, however. The Floms marked the change with a special deal, offering gas at 50 cents/L from 9 a.m. August 28 until the pumps ran dry. By 10 a.m., it was all over and the pumps were being dismantled.
The kitchen closed on August 29 and the general store followed on August 31.
In a social media post commemorating their last day at the old location, the brothers said: “When we opened almost a decade ago, we were so excited to open the shop and start our culinary adventure. Little did we know that at the end of today would be the first day we’ve had to lock the door. Running a 24/7 business has been thrilling and unforgettable. To be part of the daily rituals of the early risers and night dwellers in Leslieville, we’ve created friendships that will surely follow us a few doors down to our new location.”
The new location, just three doors down at 913 Queen Street East, is slated to open this month. It’s being dubbed a General Store so patrons can expect some of their favourite convenience items and snacks alongside the famous BBQ menu.
Leslieville Pumps General Store & Kitchen has share insights and been feature in Convenience Store News Canada and OCTANE several times over the years. Here’s a look back at the coverage: