CWB Franchise Finance partners with Gusto 54 Restaurant Group

MISSISSAUGA – CWB Franchise Finance (CWB), a division of CWB Financial Group, has provided loan facilities with mortgage, operating and development lines to the Gusto 54 Restaurant Group. Gusto 54 has been a leader in Toronto’s dynamic restaurant scene for over 23 years, delivering transporting guest experiences complete with delicious, relevant food, inspiring design, and passionate, soulful hospitality. Today, Gusto 54 owns and partners on seven unique concepts, with five new restaurants set to launch in the coming year both in Toronto and Los Angeles.

“This transaction highlights our broad restaurant lending capabilities beyond the world of franchised systems,” says Trish Halliwell, Senior Manager with CWB Franchise Finance. “We want to be able to service and grow with top operators in the Canadian restaurant space, and there are few restaurant companies as well regarded as Gusto 54. We are excited to partner on their latest development with construction of the Gusto 501 project, and provide capacity for further growth on both sides of the border for future concepts.”

CWB’s solution included facilities for new build real estate construction, consolidation of debt, and development lines for future projects in both Canada and the United States.

“We have big dreams and needed a lending partner who understood the industry, believed in our potential and was willing to keep up with our pace of growth and expansion,” says Juanita Dickson, President and CFO of Gusto 54 Restaurant Group. “CWB really demonstrated their capabilities in real estate lending in the restaurant sector, making the whole process efficient and rewarding. We’re thrilled that CWB was able to come up with solutions to help us continue to deliver transporting culinary experiences in both Canada and the US.


About Gusto 54 Restaurant Group

Named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2019 by Canadian Business Magazine; Gusto 54 Restaurant Group began in Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood with the opening of Trattoria Nervosa in 1996. This launch was followed by Gusto 101 (2012), Pai Northern Thai Kitchen (2014), Gusto 54 Catering & Commissary (2015), Kiin (2016), Same Same (2016), Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen (2016), and Los Angeles-based restaurant, Felix (2017), which was lauded as Esquire’s “#1 Best New Restaurant in America". This coming year is set to be Gusto 54’s most significant year of expansion with five new concepts set to launch in both Toronto and Los Angeles. Opening in Toronto’s Corktown neighbourhood in Fall 2019 is Gusto 501. This launch will be followed by Gusto Green (Downtown LA), Ahzar (Toronto), and a refined Italian concept in Beverley Hills. Owner and CEO Janet Zuccarini stands out as a powerhouse entrepreneur in the restaurant industry, both as a resident judge on Top Chef Canada, and curator of delicious dining experiences on a global scale. With each new concept, Gusto 54 Restaurant Group continues to work toward their mission: to build the most culturally relevant and celebrated collection of restaurants and innovative culinary experiences in the world.