King West bar Underground Garage evicted by landlord

The building's locks were changed after 19 years of operation

The Underground Garage has operated at King Street West Blue Jays Way since 2001, but the popular dive bar and adjoining restaurant, Tokyo Hot Fried Chicken, have been evicted amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Underground Garage owner Rob Picken and Tokyo Hot Fried Chicken owner Jordan Agh said the locks to their places of business were changed on March 27 by the building’s landlord, according to Blog TO. Picken had expanded his Underground Garage property in recent years to include the building’s fourth floor and rooftop as UG Loft.

Picken told Blog TO that he was unable to make his portion of March’s rent due to a complete drop in business stemming from COVID-19 restrictions. The pair were still caught off guard by the landlord’s decision to evict them.

“I couldn’t believe it was real, to be honest with you,” Agh told Blog TO. “Having our dreams crushed right in front of us, it was a lot.”

“I was banking on kindness in the wake of this pandemic, and that was not entertained,” Picken added.

So, we say goodbye to a familiar King West haunt. Agh has been able to continue operating Tokyo Hot Fried Chicken out of Folly Brewing in Little Italy.