Our Company History

Our History

It all began in 1954, when Janet’s father, Giacomo, founded Zuccarini Importing and imported the first espresso machine to Canada. That year he also opened The Sidewalk Caffè on Toronto’s College Street, and introduced the city’s first wood-burning pizza oven and first heated restaurant patio. Little did he know, more than 40 years later his daughter would add her own ‘firsts’ to the city’s restaurant scene.

Gusto 54 began in Toronto with the opening of Trattoria Nervosa in 1996.  Owner and CEO Janet Zuccarini is in the business of creating restaurants with soul. Gusto 54 has been built with a respect for what has come before us and a passion to be new and relevant. To this day, we continue to bring people together to enjoy life.

1954

Giacomo Zuccarini imports the first espresso machine to Canada. He also opens Sidewalk Caffè on Toronto’s College Street, and introduces the city’s first wood-burning pizza oven and heated restaurant patio.

1996

Janet Zuccarini opens Café Nervosa in Toronto's Yorkville. Today renamed Trattoria Nervosa it continues to be a neighbourhood fixture and thriving business.

2012

After a three-year transformation, Gusto 101, a former auto body shop, opens its doors at 101 Portland Street to long line ups and accolades.

2013

501 King Street East is purchased as the future home of Gusto 501. Scheduled to open in 2018, it will take cooking on fire to new heights.

2014

We officially welcome Pai Northern Thai Kitchen into the family. Janet Zuccarini partners with Chef Nuit and Jeff Regular to open their doors in the spring of this year.

2015

Gusto 54 Catering launches in July with a party that gets tongues wagging. Our related Commissary Kitchen starts supplying our restaurants with fresh pasta and freshly baked Italian-style breads.

2017

Across the street from Gusto 101, 104 Portland Street will be renovated for the launch of Chubby's Jamaican Kitchen, scheduled to open Fall 2017.

2017

Gusto 54 makes its first global expansion into Los Angeles, California with Felix. Launched in April of 2017, Felix offers a chef-driven and honest approach to the food of Italy.

2017

Chef Nuit and Jeff Regular expand on their successes with the opening of Kiin. Launched in May of this year, Kiin showcases the diversity of culinary traditions found all across Thailand.

Our Brand Stories

Gusto 54 is a tribute to family, innovation, food and design that respects the past while rewriting the rules. Here are the stories that define us and the legacies that linger.

Our Buildings

We strive to own the buildings that house our businesses. Not only because it’s a smart business strategy, but because it offers us the freedom to deliver our brand experience without limitation, which allows us to be truly unique.

In the spirit of authenticity we seek to preserve and expose the natural beauty of a building. That is done by curating the design elements and finishes so that they honour the history of the building and community. Our use of salvaged materials, vintage furniture and signs are tangible examples of our commitment to sustainability.