Ashley Struthers spent the earliest days of the pandemic pondering how she could translate her restaurant to the changing times. The Third‘s concept, after all, is meant to provide a welcoming, “third place” after home and work. In a contactless world, where would it fit?
Stuthers found the answer was to simply offer the same affordable comfort food as takeout, while giving customers the chance to glimpse the familiar space during pickup. Their takeout menu launched in late May, and the regulars were the first to show up, ordering favourites like the club sandwich, “chien chaud”, and $8 nachos — which might be the best value in town for that dish.
That was a great bridge to what is now a bustling patio — the first foray into outdoor dining for The Third since it opened in 2017. Struthers had been trying to build a patio for years, but city regulations had stalled those plans. When the city announced it was waiving patio fees and allowing special permits for 2020 because of the pandemic, she and her team jumped at the opportunity and managed to get a handsome wood-plank setup constructed in the adjacent parking lot in a single weekend.
Tables moved from inside to out, and The Third can now welcome as many people, appropriately distanced, on its patio as it could indoors pre-Covid. It’s now offering lunch, dinner, and takeout Tuesday-Sunday, as well as brunch on weekends. For up-to-date menu and hours, check @thethirdott on Instagram.
The Third, 1017 Wellington St. W.