Pizza fight heats up: Lebanese restaurant facing eviction hires lawyer
A Lebanese restaurant in a downtown Montreal food court is not going down without a fight.
The owner of Chez Fourna, who is embroiled in a dispute over pizza with the mall managers, has hired a lawyer to help him avoid having to close after nine years in business.
"You asked me the question before, are you ready to go to the court, of course I'm ready to go to the court," said owner Mohammad Eid in an interview with CJAD 800.
Eid has been given until the 15th to get out for not respecting an exclusivity clause involving pizza.
Eid said management has been after him for selling manouchi - a Lebanese-style flat bread with toppings that they claim is too much like pizza, violating the exclusivity deal with Double Pizza across the way.
The mall managers say such clauses are par for the course and they want "to ensure healthy competition and protect Double Pizza's exclusive niche."
Shuyee Lee/CJAD 800
"Carrefour Industrielle Alliance wishes to specify that the actions taken with its tenant, Chez Fourna, which ultimately led to the termination of its lease, were taken for the sole purpose of managing and protecting sound and honest competition among the businesses operating in the Carrefour's food court," said Pierre Picard in a statement to CJAD 800.
"The existing legal situation has since led us to take concrete action with this tenant to come to a settlement and agreement that is satisfactory to all parties."
Eid said it's unfair that he's being singled out.
"There is some people in the same food court selling small pizzas, and three or four pizzas in the same package," said Eid.
"There are three or four places selling submarines, the baguette sandwiches, in the mall. They all sell this with chicken, with beef, with ham, with salami, with everything. Why (is this happening) to me?"
His lawyer Abdelkrim Kebache said to CJAD 800 that his client will stay put and the ball is in the mall management's court.
Eid said he felt he had no choice but to hire a lawyer and is bouyed by the support of his customers and others.
"The people are supporting me, the media, they are behind me, this makes me strong and makes me survive and go to the end with them," said Eid.