Ray's Lebanese Food, A Taste of India being squeezed out
Popular restaurants received just 2 months notice they must leave food court
A pair of popular eateries in the in Halifax’s Scotia Square food court are being squeezed out of their spaces.
Ray’s Lebanese Cuisine and A Taste of India have been given just two months to leave the food court.
For 31 years Raymond Khattar, owner of Ray’s Lebanese Cuisine, has been making his award-winning falafel and other sandwiches at the Scotia Square food court. Ray's has won The Coast's "Best Falafel" 13 times. In fact, it won so many times, the weekly Halifax paper retired the category in 2007.
But on Thursday he was given notice that he has two months to pack up his business and move elsewhere.
"They had a paper in their hand and they told me that I only have two months to leave the mall,” he said.
“I looked at her, the leasing manager, and I said ‘Why, who's coming?’ All I got from them is they lift their arms like this and they said ‘We don't know.’"
Khattar's unanswered questions aren't sitting well with loyal customers like Del Pearl.
"Almost as long as he's been here I've been coming here," he said.
Khattar's neighbouring vendor is also being forced to leave. Kamala Somabathula is with A Taste of India.
"Our regular customers are about 150 every single day. A lot of customers they feel bad. We've got a lot of emails and a lot of phone calls from last night. They're also not happy," said Somabathula.
The food court has recently added a renovated Tim Horton's and a new McDonalds. There are rumours a Subway could be next.
Khattar hopes that's not the case.
"At least they could give me longer time to stay here — they gave me two months. With two months I can't even sell the stock in the store,” he said.
CBC News attempted to contact the company that runs Scotia Square, Crombie REIT, but have not received a response.