As Soufi’s Syrian restaurant proudly reopened today, Toronto police continued their investigation into who sent the Al-Soufi family the hundreds of threatening messages that forced them to close.
Friday’s opening marked a new chapter for the restaurant which closed because of the threatening hate messages.
Public support from across Toronto and Canada, however, was overwhelming. That support, family members say, made them decide to reopen.
According to Canadian Press, media swarmed the popular eatery, outnumbering patrons entering for lunch.
Printed emails and notes of hope, love and support adorned the restaurant.
Friday’s customers said no one should feel threatened as they showed their support for the family.
The September event that supposedly trigged the threats against the business took place in Hamilton at an appearance by right-wing People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier. The Al-Soufi’s oldest son was reportedly among the crowd of protesters decrying the event.
Alaa Al-Soufi, according to news reports, was one of the demonstrators at the Sept. 29 gathering where a group of masked protesters blocked the path of a senior-aged woman using a walker.
When the Al-Soufis announced that they were closing due to the threats, Mohamad Fakih, the head of a local Middle Eastern restaurant chain, Paramount Fine Foods, offered to run the establishment until the owners feel safe.
The Al-Soufis will receive all profits and retain ownership, Fakih said.