As the Toronto Film Festival launches next week, the Wahlberg brothers will also head to Canada to cook up a project of their own.
Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg plan to expand their family-owned restaurant Wahlburgers to Toronto in early 2014. The restaurant will make its Canadian debut in the luxury SoHo Metropolitan Hotel located in the city’s theater and entertainment district, the hotel announced Wednesday.
"Toronto is fantastic. It's a huge metropolitan city and obviously our first entrance into an urban market," executive chef Paul Wahlberg said. "We're excited because this is where we really have to make sure the product delivers."
Wahlburgers, a playful pun on the family surname, is a concept influenced by comfort food from the brothers’ childhood days in Boston. The restaurant first opened its doors in Hingham, Mass., in Oct. 2011. The new franchise in Toronto will be the restaurant's second location.
The menu mainly comprises a variety of burgers and features special stamps next to the BBQ Bacon Burger, the Thanksgiving Burger and the restaurant original "Our Burger," denoting the choice favorites of Donnie, Mark and Paul, respectively. Mark’s favorite flips the American holiday feast into a bun that envelops a ground turkey patty, roasted butternut squash and stuffing, topped off with an orange cranberry sauce.
Wahlburgers offers sandwiches, salads and house sides inspired by family recipes, including mom’s macaroni salad. The brothers slap a couple of other puns on "Smahlburgers" for the kids and "Wahlcoctions" from the bar, which serves adult frappes like the "Dot Cooladahh" and the “Fluffanuttah."
The restaurant places particular emphasis on made-to-order dishes using locally-sourced and house-made ingredients and will continue to source local purveyors at the Toronto location.
Paul Wahlberg said the new location is also working to integrate a custom Toronto burger.
"We're trying to get the product to be a part of the fabric of what goes on in Toronto," Wahlberg said. "We want to be able to have that local feel."
The three brothers will commemorate their announcement with a Wahlburger-green carpet event at the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel on Sept. 9.
They are currently picking locations for possible expansions in the Boston area.