Eye On Business: Wedlocks in the Beach offers welcoming atmosphere

Michelle Slota, Kai and Brandon Mincoff at Wedlocks on Queen Street East in the Beach. Photo by Ahmed Dirie.


Beacher, entrepreneur, florist and do-it-all owner of Wedlocks, Michelle Slota is welcoming residents to her jazz piano lounge and restaurant ahead of the annual Beaches Jazz Festival in July.

Located at 1961 Queen St. E., Wedlocks stands out for its upscale indoor and outdoor aesthetic.

The piano lounge restaurant and event space is open Tuesday through Sunday. The restaurant’s hours are noon to 11 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 12 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and slightly abbreviated on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Following a thorough renovation, Wedlocks opened its doors last October, said Slota. Although she doesn’t like to be referred to as the owner, Wedlocks is owned through Slota’s corporation and she takes on a plethora of roles to make sure the lounge runs smoothly.

“I do everything,” she said. “I’m the chef. I help out in the front and I step in to be a mentor as the business requires.”

Flanked by her husband Brandon Mincoff, who brings 25 years in the restaurant and hospitality industry and a wealth of connections, and her musically-talented son Kai who is known to play the piano at the entrance of Wedlocks, the establishment provides a family-friendly environment.

The name Wedlocks is a nod to the previous owners of the building, longtime Beaches brunch hub Whitlock’s that served the community for 27 years before closing in 2018.

Like most that have spent as long as they have in the Beach, Slota and Mincoff are aware of the location’s history dating back to its roots as both a post office and cheese factory more than a century ago. Having lived in the Beach for more than two decades, Slota and Mincoff are very familiar with the community’s wants and needs as well as how to service them.

“We know a lot of features, we love the Beach and having this corner,” said Mincoff.

Furthermore, the renovation of Whitlock’s into Wedlocks has also been a boon for the nearby neighbourhoods.

The ‘Wed’ in Wedlocks should not have patrons thinking the space is all about weddings. While Slota is ordained and has performed marriages, she said the environment is casual.

In addition to referencing Whitlock’s tenure and importance in the community, the name Wedlocks also refers to Slota “marrying” all her channels together and putting it under one umbrella.

That said, for those looking for an event space with top-of-the-line restaurateurs and beverages, Wedlocks fits the bill. Along with the classy lounge in front, the back half opens up into a cozy dining area perfect for a private dinner party or reception.

The welcoming atmosphere also extends to Wedlocks’ staff. Mincoff prides himself on his eye for talent, so applicants are encouraged to apply regardless of their background and experience in the restaurant and hospitality industries.

That is exactly how Roman Shvedchvenko came to work at Wedlocks.

Having recently arrived from Ukraine with little experience, Shvedchvenko impressed Mincoff and Slota with his initiative. “He went around looking for a job which nobody would give him because he didn’t work in the industry,” said Mincoff.

Mincoff ignored that and after obtaining his Smart Serve certification, Shvedchvenko was hired and has grown into one of Wedlocks’ strongest servers.
Wedlocks has also partnered with John Morrison and beach volleyball institution We The Beaches.

Old friends with Slota, Morrison will sell apparel from the We The Beach clothing line out of the back of the restaurant, adding to Wedlocks’ “business in the front, party in the back” motif.

“The concept is come by, feel at home, enjoy the atmosphere and take somebody home with you,” said Morrison.

“We’ve all been a part of this community for a long time,” he continued. “We see great things and hopefully the community will come together and rally around that.”

To view Wedlocks’ menu and reserve the space for an event please visit their website at https://www.wedlocks.ca/

For more on the We The Beach clothing, please go to https://wethebeach.com/


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