Rihanna video featuring Drake puts spotlight on Toronto restaurant

TORONTO -- A Toronto restaurant is getting international attention after being prominently featured in one of Rihanna's two new music videos for "Work" with Drake -- a film shoot the co-owner admits he was initially reluctant to agree to.

See Full Article

Edward Pottinger, who co-owns the Caribbean eatery the Real Jerk with wife Lilly, says the video's creators called him about two weeks ago on a Monday asking if they could shoot there for about 24 hours on the Friday of that same week.

Friday is one of the busiest days for the Real Jerk and Pottinger, who was in his native Jamaica at the time, wanted to make sure his customers came first.

"They had to convince me to do it, because I don't really give up a regular restaurant night to shoot movies or video clips," says Pottinger.

"I value my customers, who come from all over.... They come from far away, so when they come and see a closed restaurant, it's not really nice for them."

But the "Work" team assured him they would feature the restaurant's trademark sign, with its backsplash of Pan-African colours and a smiling sun.

"I realized how powerful it would be to have the name associated with us," says Pottinger.

"Realizing it was the No. 1 male and female rapper/pop stars in the world, it was, 'OK, let's do this thing."'

The video, which came out Monday along with a much racier altenate version, surpassed Pottinger's expectations.

The Real Jerk sign is featured in the very first frame of the video as Rihanna, clad in a pink fur coat, gets out of a slick car along with Drake.

The song's pulsating beats slowly kick in as they strut into the Real Jerk, where Rihanna and Drake join a smoky dancehall party. The video features shots of food from the restaurant and Lilly makes an appearance flipping jerk chicken and dancing in the kitchen.

"I was really blown away by it," says Pottinger, who thought the Real Jerk sign would just be seen for a brief moment at the end of the video.

"Drake always builds up Toronto and supports Toronto and this is a fine example."

Pottinger says Toronto-bred Drake and the video's homegrown creator, Director X (who also produced Drake's "Hotline Bling"), had eaten at the restaurant before.

Ironically, while the Real Jerk's food is seen in the video, it didn't actually cater the video shoot -- much to the disappointment of Drake.

"When he came he was actually a little disappointed that we didn't have food for him," says Pottinger. "But we did accommodate and we made some roti."

Fans gathered outside, posting photos and video to social media, as the shoot went all night and into the wee hours of the morning.

"They work really hard," says Pottinger. "All the dancers, all the production crew, Drake, Rihanna, they were there for 24 hours, from beginning until end."

The Real Jerk, which first opened over 30 years ago, is known for its jerk dishes, its rotis and stocks 60 to 70 varieties of rum.

Pottinger says they've received many emails, phone calls and interview requests since the video came out.

They've had movies and documentaries shot in the restaurant before "but nothing of this magnitude," he says.

"We don't just sell food, we sell culture, and I'm very happy to share our culture of the Caribbean."


Latest Entertainment News

  • 'I can vote with my wallet:' boycott urges shoppers, retailers to drop Trump products

    Entertainment CBC News
    An eye-catching shoe piques your interest and draws you in. Upon closer inspection, the label leaps out at you — Ivanka Trump, in simple gold lettering — and you recoil as if stung. That's the kind of reaction behind a growing boycott of the products emblazoned with the brand of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as well as the popular, working women-targeted fashion line from his eldest daughter — who has arguably been his most influential and effective family member during the…
  • Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man: Will Marvel replace its biggest star?

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Will Robert Downey Jr. play Tony Stark in Iron Man 4? What about Chris Evans? Will he return for another solo outing as Captain America? As Marvel steps firmly into Phase 3 of its Cinematic Universe with next week’s Doctor Strange, the question of what will happen with the studio’s biggest heroes is one that president Kevin Feige faces. Source
  • Joel McHale dares to make fun of millennials in new sitcom 'The Great Indoors'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Joel McHale understands that every generation thinks the next generation is bogus. “Even when the Apache were fighting the Lakota or whatever, I'm sure they were like, 'Ugh! These kids! They don't know what the f--- they're doing! If you're going to throw your spear like that, don't come to me anymore!” McHale said. Source
  • Hanks wants to make a 'Splash' with remake

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Tom Hanks wants in on Channing Tatum's gender-swapped remake of his 1984 mermaid romantic comedy "Splash." Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are developing a new take on the film with Tatum starring as a mer-man in the part originated by Daryl Hannah. Source
  • ‘Inferno' director Ron Howard reveals why Tom Hanks is a great leading man

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Ron Howard has spent his entire working life in the public eye. A child actor, he made his film debut at age two and was famous by the age of six for playing Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. Source
  • Oasis' Liam Gallagher: The band never should have broken up

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Liam Gallagher wants to make one thing perfectly clear. He’d like to reform ‘90s Britpop band Oasis one day, but it’s not the only thing he’s got going on. “When I say it’s going to happen all I read about is loads of d---heads saying, ‘He’s desperate,’” said the former Oasis frontman. Source
  • Director 'horrified' by Alta. oilsands scenes in DiCaprio's 'Before The Flood'

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Canada features prominently in Leonardo DiCaprio's new climate-change documentary "Before The Flood" and director Fisher Stevens said he was "really horrified" by scenes of the oilsands in northeastern Alberta. "It does employ a lot of people," said Stevens of the oil industry, during an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, where "Before the Flood" had its world premiere. Source
  • 'I would go off with Channing Tatum': Tom Hanks wants in on Splash remake

    Entertainment CBC News
    Tom Hanks wants in on Channing Tatum's gender-swapped remake of his 1984 mermaid romantic comedy Splash. Channing Tatum is set to 'play a mermaid' in the upcoming remake of the 1984 classic. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters) Source
  • Trump takes a hit: Man smashes Hollywood star of U.S. presidential candidate

    Entertainment CBC News
    Los Angeles police are investigating the vandalizing of Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Trump listens to speeches after he was honoured with the 2327th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2007. Source
  • Kim Kardashian back to filming 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' after robbery ordeal

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Kim Kardashian reportedly filmed scenes for Keeping Up With The Kardashians as she attended husband Kanye West’s concert in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. Shooting of the E! TV series was put on hold to give the mother-of-two time to recover after she was bound, gagged and held at gunpoint in a Paris, France apartment as thieves grabbed jewellery and cellphones in an armed robbery earlier this month. Source