Gorilla Cheese is shutting their doors this month

Gorilla Cheese’s 3 year anniversary on Ottawa Street this month will also mark the end of their current brick-and-mortar location.

While it was owner Graeme Smith’s dream to one day own the building they currently operate out of, the landlord and tenant (Gorilla Cheese) could not come to an agreement on the price of the building resulting in a sale to another investor. The new building owner was looking to raise Gorilla Cheese’s rent by $250 per month; something the restaurant was not comfortable doing.

As a result, Gorilla Cheese’s final day of operation at Ottawa Street will be October 21 — the food truck will still remain in business.

It is with tremendous sadness that I must announce that Sunday, October 21st will be our last day of business in our…

Posted by Gorilla Cheese on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

In Smith’s Facebook post, he mentions that he’s pursuing legal action to receive compensation for the upgrades they put into the building though it’s a losing battle as leasehold improvements that are “fixed” (ie. not easily moveable) become property of the building owner unless otherwise specified in a clause they agreed to.


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There is a silver lining, however, as in the same Facebook post Smith hints at a new location they’re looking at so it’s likely we’ll see Gorilla Cheese reincarnated into a new brick-and-mortar location soon enough.

The current location is up on at $1,995 per month on a gross lease that “includes everything but heat, hydro and GST”.

Have you been to Gorilla Cheese? What are your thoughts on Hamilton’s rising rents? Let us know in the comments.

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