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.
Mohamad Fakih of Paramount Foods at Soufi’s: “I’m stepping in to help them keep this business open. The Soufi restaurant will open Friday morning.” Fakih says Soufi’s will retain the ownership and profits. But he’s bringing in his team to help. pic.twitter.com/cuGKF5dPRO— Farrah Merali (@FarrahMerali) October 10, 2019
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.
Paramount Fine Foods offers to help Soufi's reopen their restaurant in Toronto https://t.co/as62cx3tNU Bravo! Bless all of you! Is there a possible way to move to another location under a different stall beautiful name? Please don’t let those nasties spoil what is great!#eastend?— Leah Pinsent (@LeahPinsent3) October 10, 2019
"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."
This is horrible. Soufi’s on Queen Street — an incredible Syrian restaurant that was featured in the New York Times last year — is closing due to “numerous hate messages and death threats.” pic.twitter.com/lm2TClXeXQ— Rick or Treat 🎃 (@rdassaly) October 8, 2019
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."
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