soufis restaurant toronto

Soufi's announces they're reopening their Toronto restaurant

A Toronto-based family business that famously shut its doors this week in response to a targeted hate campaign is planning to re-open this Friday.

Soufi's owner Husam Al-Soufi announced the news outside his acclaimed Syrian restaurant alongside Paramount Fine Foods founder and CEO Mohamad Fakih.

Fakih, whose Middle Eastern food chain has exploded from one location in Mississauga to more than 60 locations across the country, publicly offered to help the Al-Soufi family re-open their West Queen West restaurant earlier yesterday.

"We're going to work together to re-open the door of this business," said Fakih to reporters Wednesday evening outside Soufi's.

"This family should not lose their profitable, thriving business because of intimidation and hate."

The onslaught of hateful messages directed at Soufi's is believed to have been sparked by video footage of the restaurant owner's son attending a protest outside a rally for People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier in Hamilton last weekend.

In the now-viral video, masked protesters can be seen blocking the path of an 81-year-old woman while screaming "off our streets, Nazi scum!"

One of the protesters in that group was identified as a member of the Soufi family by multiple alt-right and anti-immigrant Facebook communities.

The Syrian restaurant, known for its flatbreads and sweet knaffeh pies, announced on Tuesday that it was reluctantly shutting down "in effort to maintain [their] family and staff's safety."

The Al-Soufi family is expected to announce further details about their plans to re-open sometime on Thurdsay.

A formal police complaint about the death threats has now been filed by the restaurant's owners and Toronto Police are investigating.

"We take this issue quite seriously," said TPS Const. Rob Reid to The Star on Wednesday. "So we're quite grateful the family has chosen to make a report with us, finally."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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