My Main Street-Gordo’s Diner
An Excellent Eatery
If you haven’t visited Gordo’s yet, now’s the time to indulge in some classic, tasty fare that locals can’t get enough of. And if you like their breakfasts, you’ll simply love their service. Read on for more about this growing family business.
Owner James Seol inside Gordo’s Diner
They say you “gotta go to Gordo’s” for a reason — actually, for multiple reasons, and most of them revolve their mouth-watering menu, which features the Gordo’s Standard. “How can you go wrong with eggs, bacon, home fries and toast?” asks owner James Seol.
This retro diner — with its all-day breakfast offerings, famous milkshakes, red booths and cool old-school vibe — is the fourth restaurant business the Seol family has undertaken, and it’s the closest one to their home in Vaughan, where they’ve spent the last 15 years. “When you walk into Gordo’s, you’re hit with nostalgia, from the checkered floors to the feel-good tracks,” says Seol, who runs the restaurant with his wife, Min Joo. “We thrive off serving classic dishes, daily soup specials and specialty items, but it’s truly our employees who make every dining experience a memorable one.”
The diner is a three-time gold-medal winner for the “Best of Vaughan” awards, and has been voted “Best Family Restaurant,” “Best Burger” and “Best Breakfast” in past years. It’s quite the achievement for the Seols, who credit their location as a big part in his success. “I’ve run many small businesses in the past, and here, I’ve been able to build relationships with people from all backgrounds,” he explains. “We get many tourists, which brings in lots of diversity. The relationships we’ve built with customers is an achievement we’re proud of — we’ve celebrated weddings, anniversaries and birthdays at Gordo’s.”
The dining room at Gordo’s Diner
The Seols had known about programs offered by the Vaughan Business and Entrepreneurship Centre to help their business (they received funding from the Starter Company Plus program), so when they learned of My Main Street, they were eager to apply. With the funds, they knew they could make many much-needed upgrades to their space, which originally opened under another name 16 years ago. Plus, they had purchased the restaurant just before the pandemic hit, making the transition to starting their business even more difficult. “This program was the light at the end of the tunnel. The grant allowed us to improve our aged appliances and fix issues we couldn’t financially take care of before. We invested in powerful, high-quality equipment that are much more reliable,” he says, adding prior to the grant, the ignition on their gas stove was broken, so they had to light it manually. All of this has boosted business and inspired the family to keep pursuing their dream.
As entrepreneurs, Seol says they’ve learned to listen to their customers, ask for help and value their employees. “Our staff makes Gordo’s Gordo’s,” he says. “There are lots of reasons to dine here, but if you ask our regulars, they’d say they appreciate the service most. It’s what makes us a family favourite.”
200 Edgeley Boulevard, unit 20, Vaughan
James & Min at the takeout counter