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Remember way back when the Metro in Liberty Village was open 24/7 – the glory days! The anger that rushed in through the neighborhood in 2017 when the change was made to go to more regular non-24 hours a day schedule was a lot.

All that disappointment and frustration though was because, for a long time, Metro’s been Liberty Village’s only grocery store. You could go in any time of day and do some night shopping at a time when the local bars and restaurants would be shut down. Any food or beverage you wanted, you could get just by walking down.

Well, a lot’s changed since Metro Liberty Village grocery store moved in years ago. In fact, this past fall, Liberty Village welcomed its second corporate grocery store chain in the form of Longo’s.

Located at 1110 King West, the new Longo’s fits into a massive 23,000 square feet lot. An upscale shopping experience perfectly located on the edges of both King West and Liberty Village, the new Longo’s has everything from a pasta counter to a wine bar and even an on-site brewery run by Toronto’s own Amsterdam Brewing Co. And yes, you can shop for groceries here as well!

The new Longo’s in Liberty Village is a huge get for the community and is another reason why the area is a top destination for people looking to settle downtown. The most convenient and distinctive element of the Longo’s grocery shopping experience here is you can do so while drinking a pint of beer or a glass of wine. It’s the first grocery store in Canada to be fully licensed to do so. If you prefer to keep your drinking and grocery shopping separate though, there’s also a dine-in area where you can sit and relax.

The Longo’s has all your favourite Liberty Village food brands, including aisles of fresh cut veggies, fruits, beverages, and snacks you can grab on a lunch break. Vegetarian and vegan options, readymade meals, and a meat counter with pristinely preserved meats ready to be shaved fill out the rest of the store. There’s of course a lot of Longo’s-branded products as well which is something you won’t find at the competing Metro.

If you or someone you know is a big fan of local and international cheeses, Longo’s carries over 400 different varieties. If you’re fortunate enough to drop in during a tasting or to grab a sample, you’ll see lots of French, English, and Italian cheeses. Speaking of the latter, Longo’s brings with it a number of private label imported Italian pastries that go well with some cheese and a bottle of wine. An idea worth remembering for a private gathering at home!

As if Longo’s didn’t bring enough with it as a grocery store, it’s pretty much its own restaurant with made-to-order sandwiches, custom burgers, fresh coffee from Jacked Up Coffee, a hot food bar, a self-serve salad bar, a Mozzarella bar, pizzas, local craft beers, a sushi bar, a pasta bar where you can design your own pasta dish, and more. Although it’s not 24/7 and doesn’t have the location that Metro’s been able to hold onto in more or less the middle of Liberty Village, the Longo’s brought a lot for residents to sample and partake in.

It’s also worth noting the entranceway into the Longo’s is off King West so for some, it might make a bit of a walk. That said, if you do have a car, all you have to do is make a minimum purchase of $20 and get your stub validated at Guest Services to receive two hours of free parking in the garage.

Liberty Village continues to blossom as a community in 2020. Though the Metro still and will always have the convenience factor, the new Longo’s makes a truly gorgeous addition to the area. The prospect of having more than one grocery chain in our neighbourhood means, hopefully, a huge selection, betta prices and new foods to explore.