D.A.D.'s Bagels shuts its doors in NDG for Dollarama expansion
Published Sunday, August 31, 2014 5:33PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 31, 2014 7:09PM EDT
After 20 years, an NDG staple is closing its doors.
D.A.D.'s Bagels at 5732 Sherbrooke St. closed permanently Sunday because, owners say, its lease is not being renewed to make way for a neighbouring expansion of the Dollarama dollar store.
“There are no by-laws protecting the commercial lease in this city,” said owner Kashmir Singh Randhawa, who thanked customers as they came in for a last taste of the mom-and-pop shop’s treats.
It’s an eclectic mix: for two decades, loyal customers have lined up for wood-fired bagels and Indian food.
Customer Daniel Rabinovich counted himself among the many fans.
“We were stunned, it's very bizarre all of a sudden that it should be closing,” said Rabinovich.
Madeleine Rabinovich, 11, couldn’t believe it either.
“It's kind of sad that they're also just doing it to make the dollar store bigger, because it's already really big,” she said.
In addition to the lease, Randhawa said other factors are squeezing his business financially, including a new express bus lane along Sherbrooke St. Without motorists being able to stop during morning rush hour, he said he’s seen a 10 per cent drop.
“Not me only, all the coffee shops on this side, they are hurting very badly,” he said.
Customer Amanda Kellock has been visiting D.A.D.'s for more than 15 years and said NDG will feel the loss.
“I found myself getting teary-eyed just talking about it, because it’s such an integral part of the community and… it's so important to have these small businesses that aren't just commercial institutions,” she said.
Randhawa said the sad feelings are mutual.
“I'm missing my people. My customers – I was so attached to them. We were like a family. They talk to me about their family problems, kids’ problems,” he said.
Randhawa says he will take a month off and then scout for a new location.