Nilufar Restaurant at Risk of Shutting its Doors

Shop Owners Blindsided by Landlords’ Betrayal

Restaurant Nilufar, on Ste. Catherine St. W.. Photo Sophie Dufresne

After serving affordable Middle Eastern food for 30 years, Nilufar Restaurant, a staple for the Concordia community only an 11-minute walk from the Sir George Williams campus, might be closing its doors.

On Nov. 8, Amcor Holdings posted an advertisement saying the 1923 Ste. Catherine St. W., the beloved restaurant renowned for their falafels was for rent. The Al-Shourbaji family who owns the business wasn’t contacted by their landlords concerning this decision.

The private commercial real estate company, which has a one star rating on Google reviews, has been telling media outlets they were trying to estimate the value of the restaurant’s space and were not legally required to give the family a head’s up before advertising the unit as available for rent.

“I woke up to a bunch of people sending me screenshots telling me that my place was up for rent with pictures of my restaurant,” said Nilufar Al-Shourbaji, the shop’s manager.

She added that for 30 years, the family has always paid rent on time and kept everything clean, so she was blindsided by the betrayal.

“I don’t plan on staying in the place that I am because obviously, when someone can go behind your back, then it’s not somebody you want to continue paying rent for and continue supporting,” Al-Shourbaji said. “I’m still in shock.”

Al-Shourbaji has explained to other media outlets that she wouldn’t want to reopen a storefront elsewhere. However, she clarified to The Link that she might reconsider this decision due to the number of customers who have been entering her shop crying about the restaurant potentially closing.

Regardless of whether Nilufar Restaurant will reopen another storefront, they will continue operating their kitchen in Saint-Laurent to preserve their catering services. They will also continue selling their Falafel Royale in grocery stores.

“We have loved serving the community for three decades,” she concluded. “It has always been a pleasure to work with everybody. Concordia is keeping us afloat and kept us going, so we feel we owe a lot to Concordia and The Link.”