Toronto’s Real Jerk restaurant gets boost from Rihanna music video shoot

Click to play video: 'Toronto restaurant featured in Drake and Rihanna video sees spike in business' Toronto restaurant featured in Drake and Rihanna video sees spike in business
WATCH ABOVE: Owners of 'The Real Jerk' restaurant in Toronto says they've seen an increase in business with the release of the music video for Rihanna and Drake's hit single 'Work.' Alan Carter reports – Feb 22, 2016

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.

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.

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“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.”

Watch: Rihanna and Drake in hot β€˜Work’ video, shot in Toronto restaurant

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.”‘

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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.”

Thank You @idirectorx @badgalriri @champagnepapi for including us in your production. It was a pleasure having you here @realjerktoronto hope to see you soon. #workworkwork #6ix #rihanna #drake #goodvibez #tunupppp #toronto πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸŽΆπŸŽΆπŸŽΆπŸ“’πŸ’ƒπŸŽ€πŸŽ₯🎬 – photo taken by @kareem_everlasting

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A photo posted by The Real Jerk Restaurant (@realjerktoronto) on

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