D.A.D.'s Bagels, a fixture on Sherbrooke Ouest in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce for two decades, closed over the weekend to make way for a Dollarama expansion, writes the CBC.
Reporter Tracey Lindeman presents owner Kashmir Singh Randhawa's plight as a tragic tale of an industrious immigrant forced out by a greedy landlord.
He said he will miss the NDG community around his shop deeply, and needs some time to heal emotionally before pondering possible future ventures.
"I always wanted to build a place where I can be attached to my community. I'm a Québécois. I'm a Montrealer."
The Montreal Gazette took a similar tone in an article about the shop's closure: "We tried to negotiate a new lease, but we just couldn't make it happen," Randhawa told the paper. "We're heartbroken."
Loyal customers will doubtless mourn the departure of D.A.D.'s.
As Lindeman notes:
They made bagels the old-fashioned way, in a wood-burning oven. Over time, their menu grew to include samosas and other staples of Indian homemade cuisine.
Yet amid the media elegies, a source alleges that Randhawa was often late with his rent and knew well in advance when his lease was set to expire. In recent months Randhawa apparently refused to accept what the source insists was a "modest rent hike." Had he done so, D.A.D.'s Bagels would most likely be open today, alleges the source.
Randhawa spoke to Eater Montreal contributor Danielle Levy today and disputes that he was late with rent payments. Randhawa reports that there were no actual conflicts with the landlord and that D.A.D.'s had a 20-year lease that was simply over. The landlord apparently gave the bagel shop owner a choice-less choice - split the space with Dollarama and cut out most of the kitchen and front area. For Randhawa that was less than ideal. As a result, D.A.D.'s is no more.