The phrase ‘Don’t Look Back’ is usually associated with a few things; it’s a Bob Dylan documentary for one, it’s what people say to themselves when they’re at a crossroads in life, it’s what Belle and Sebastian sing in their appropriately titled ‘Like Dylan in the Movies’ track and it’s also a local taco and tequila spot in Carytown. Funnily enough, the former three meanings are what brought restaurateur Hamooda Shami to the curious name.
“The idea of trying to get settled into a new home, a new life, while not looking back at places that were formerly home to you and the notion that some of those places are trying to pull you back sentimentally” he told INK. With dark walls covered in magazine cut outs – excerpts of past events and human structures framed on the walls ‘Don’t Look Back’ has just the right mixture of a modern bar with hints of nostalgia that are never too far away. Whilst the meaning of the restaurant isn’t too overbearing, Shami admits that a memorable group of customers last summer really hit the nail on the head;
“One weekend afternoon we had a picnic table full of

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rowdy ladies on our back patio. They were doing some serious damage to our tequila inventory. After some inquiry, they informed us that they were throwing an impromptu “divorce party” at our aptly titled bar. This struck me as kinda perfect.”

Even if you don’t know anyone who’s gotten married to prepare a divorce party yet, $3 tacos and some margaritas sound like a good enough excuse to me.

Words and picture by Rebecca Metcalf.


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