Two decades of blind dates and celebrity fans at Safari Bar and Grill

Fifteen pairs of staff members have also found love and taken a stroll down the aisle


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Safari Bar &  Grill owner Dan Ferracuti

Since Dan Ferracuti opened up Safari Bar and Grill in 1995, the restaurant has been instrumental in shaping the nightlife around north Avenue Road. From its large patio to the billiards room on the second floor, Safari has been a hub of social activity, a magnet for blind dates and the unexpected host of a few well-known British songsters. Ferracuti tells Safari’s story.

Most people don’t know that Safari is quite the romantic spot. 
We’ve had at least 15 couples who met at Safari as staff, including me and my wife, who have gone on to get married and start families. As far as the patrons and guests that have come, I get told all the time that they met at Safari. We’re a big blind date spot, and many of those blind dates have turned into long-lasting relationships. 

What was the worst blind date you’ve seen?
There used to be a TV show called Blind Date, and one of the episodes was hosted at our restaurant. It was the most disastrous blind date that I’ve ever witnessed. I think the girl and the guy had to be physically separated. They were at each other’s throats. She might have even thrown a drink at him. I think they pump these guys with alcohol, and they hope something like that happens, and they got more than they bargained for at our place. 

Have you had any celebrities drop by? 
Many years ago, we had Chris Martin from Coldplay come in with the drummer and their bodyguard. They jogged here from downtown and got as far as Safari. They had lunch on the patio, and then a car came and picked them up. When they got back to their hotel, they told the concierge about the nice restaurant they found and how they had a really nice lunch on the patio and nobody bothered them. The concierge actually took the time to call me to tell me.

Safari Bar & Grill, 1749 Avenue Road, 416-787-6584

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