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The Bay Queen Street Unveils New Food Destinations by Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants and Compass Group Canada

Historic Partnership Delights Foodies and Shoppers with Innovative Restaurant Options in First Phase of National Initiative

August 18, 2011 – The Bay flagship store on Queen Street in Toronto is unveiling two delicious new foodie destinations, representing an important first milestone in the retailer’s national restaurant conversion and rebranding program. On the lower level, Foodwares Market, conceived and operated by Compass Group Canada, is a modern and stylish grab-and-go eatery fashioned after an old-world food hall.  Foodwares Market opened to the public on August 16, 2011. At the corner of Queen and Bay, Bannock, an Oliver & Bonacini creation, is an original restaurant and café that honours and updates traditional Canadian comfort foods.  The much-anticipated opening for Bannock is August 29, 2011.

In February 2011, the historic partnership of The Bay, Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants and Compass Group Canada was formed with the goal of changing the face of retail and foodservice in Canada. “We couldn’t be more pleased with this first phase of our restaurant rejuvenation,” says Bonnie Brooks, President and CEO, The Bay. “Thanks to the great work and immense talent of Compass Group Canada and Oliver & Bonacini, The Bay Queen Street is a fresh new destination for die-hard foodies while offering even more quality and convenience to casual diners and shoppers. Our new food service offerings are an exciting addition showcasing how we share Canadian authenticity and integrity, which reinforces our commitment to The Bay being Canada’s fashion and style headquarters and one of the world’s leading department stores.”

Foodwares Market Offers a Modern Food Hall Experience
The best elements of an old world food hall comes to the lower level of The Bay Queen Street with the 5,000-square-foot Foodwares Market. Now open, this stylish, relaxed and inviting grab-and-go eatery features locally sourced ingredients in hot and cold entrees, soups, salads, sandwiches, decadent treats, plus a self-serve illy coffee bar.  The menu will change seasonally and all items are prepared fresh to go. Foodies will also love the unique, made-to-order Gourmet Panini Station boasting inspired combinations such as garlic and herb crusted roasted turkey breast topped with Brie cheese, grilled eggplant, roasted cranberries, baby greens, and roasted artichoke spread.

Artisan breads and baked goods are made fresh daily in the on-site bakery using organic flour. Foodwares Cafe, a charming nook next to the market offers Torrefazione Italia specialty coffees, tea and cold beverages.

The old world feel is set within a contemporary Foodwares Market design. Reclaimed wood, burnished metal, and honed and weathered stone all work together to capture and complement the fare offered throughout. Chalkboard menus add to the impression of a bustling market, and an eat-in area with a mix of seating options welcomes those who want to enjoy their meal in the warm and inviting environment.

Adjacent to Foodwares Market is O&B Artisan, a chocolate making shop offering hand-crafted chocolate bars, truffles, micro-batched chocolate, cookies and gelato produced by SOMA Chocolatemaker and made on-site by O&B.

“We are thrilled to unveil the Foodwares Market concept at The Bay Queen Street and look forward to bringing this concept to flagship locations of The Bay across Canada,” says Saajid Khan, CEO, Compass Group Canada and ESS North America. “For Compass, Foodwares Market represents our official foray into the Canadian retail sector and we are excited to bring our expertise in foodservice innovation to The Bay to create convenience, quality and a modern ambiance for customers of The Bay.”

Compass Regional Executive Chef, Rodney Meynert, is responsible for developing menus at all 24 locations of The Bay across Canada, and at Queen Street, the selections will be created by Executive Chef Suman Sandillya.  Foodwares Market will be open Monday to Sunday, and for more details, please visit

Bannock Serves Up a Unique Twist on Canadiana
Bannock – the simple, humble food that was brought to Canada through Scottish explorers – remains the core of Canadian culinary traditions and is the inspiration for Oliver & Bonacini’s restaurant and café in The Bay Queen Street.  The menu at Bannock was developed by a team of O&B chefs, including partner Michael Bonacini and Corporate Executive Chef Anthony Walsh.  It features wholesome ingredients that are reflective of Canada’s rich regional and cultural diversity, delivered in an innovative and playful way with Bannock breads integrated liberally throughout.  A few choice selections include:  pickerel taco + cucumber apple salad, served with caviar tartar; roast duck poutine pizza; and St-Canut pulled pork Tourtière; along with the famous Arcadian Court Chicken Pot Pie.  Burgers and sandwiches range from $11 to $16; mains from $12 to $23.

With a total of 4,348 square feet, Bannock is part grab-and-go café, part coffee shop, and part dine-in restaurant.  The architecture reflects the menu – eclectic and approachably Canadian – featuring antique pine and hemlock reclaimed from one of the Queen’s wharfs that sat under the waters of Lake Ontario at York Street for over a hundred years.  Other design features include hammered oxidized metal, honed Carrara marble and concrete details.  Café seating offers of mix of dining and high communal tables, overstuffed settees and contemporary café chairs.

“We are extremely excited about introducing Torontonians to Bannock’s honest approach to food,” says Peter Oliver, Partner, Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants. “The restaurant takes all that is quintessentially Canadian, turns it on its side, and brings it to life with our honest commitment to quality and service.”

Bannock officially opens on August 29. The Café/Coffee Shop will open for breakfast and stay open well past dinner hour.  The dining room will be open for lunch and dinner every day.  Please for more details.

The First Step
These new concept food destinations are the first step in the partnership between The Bay, Compass Group Canada and Oliver & Bonacini across the country.  Compass Group Canada will be involved in 22 locations from coast-to-coast, while Oliver & Bonacini will concentrate its talents on flagship locations in key parts of the country. Future activity at The Bay Queen Street includes renovating and reinventing the historic Arcadian Court; creating a full-service, state-of-the-art conference and event facility, Arcadian Loft, on the eighth floor; and opening additional foodservice locations within the store.  Work at other sites across Canada will be staggered, with some beginning as early as this summer.

About The Bay
Hudson’s Bay Company was incorporated in 1670 by a British royal charter under King Charles II.  With an unrivalled 341-year history in Canada, Hudson’s Bay Company is renowned for its historical role in the development of the nation. Today, The Bay is Canada’s leading department store and has established a reputation for quality, service, and more than ever, for style.  A world-class department store, The Bay offers well edited assortments of exclusive and popular fashion, beauty, home and accessory designers and brands.  The stores are continually evolving to provide customers with new and exclusive merchandise, as well as customized services to set The Bay apart from any other retailer in Canada.  The Bay operates 91 stores in 8 provinces across Canada as well as, the company’s online store.

About Compass Group Canada
Compass Group Canada is the country’s leading foodservice and support services company with over $1.4 billion in revenues in 2010 and over 23,000 associates across the country. Compass’s Leisure & Entertainment division has specialized in the cultural sector for more than 30 years and also owns and operates well-known properties like C5 Restaurant Lounge at the Royal Ontario Museum, Zinc at the Art Gallery of Alberta, The Estates of Sunnybrook and led foodservice at Molson Canadian Hockey House for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.  Additional operating sectors include:  Canteen Vending Services, Chartwells, Crothall, Eurest, Eurest Services, ESS, Gourmet Cuisine, Morrison, Levy Restaurants, Restaurant Associates, and The Hurley Group.  With 428,000 associates worldwide, its parent company, UK-based Compass Group PLC had revenues of £14.5 billion in the year to September 30, 2010.

About Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants
Oliver & Bonacini is recognized as one of Canada’s leading fine dining restaurant companies, operating 12 unique and innovative restaurants in Ontario. Operations include à la carte dining, quick service, catering, group dining and special events.  Unique concept restaurants include Canoe, Jump, Auberge du Pommier, Biff’s Bistro, Luma, and O&B Canteen.  The company also operates a midrange casual dining concept, Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill, with locations in Toronto, Blue Mountain, Oakville and Waterloo.  The company’s private dining and events division, Oliver & Bonacini Events, manages a number of large scale event facilities, including Malaparte at TIFF Bell Lightbox, City Ballroom at Toronto Board of Trade and Windermere House on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka.  Oliver & Bonacini credits its success to the development of a strong corporate culture, where excellence of food quality and service are valued above all else.

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For more information, or to schedule an interview with Mr. Oliver, Mr. Bonacini, or Mr. Khan, please contact David Weinstein or Amanda Losier at Strategic Objectives Inc.  Tel: (416) 366-7735.  Fax: (416) 366-2295.  Email: