Now open for busi­ness

Mian’s Restau­rant opens in for­mer Zana’s Diner in Syd­ney

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY JEREMY FRASER

A new In­dian and Pak­istani restau­rant has of­fi­cially opened its doors in Syd­ney.

Mian’s Restau­rant, lo­cated in the for­mer Zana’s Diner build­ing on Ge­orge Street, opened for busi­ness on Mon­day.

The new busi­ness will be owned and op­er­ated by the Ah­mad fam­ily. Athar, 23, and Aamir Ah­mad, 21, will serve as the own­ers, while their fa­ther, Mian, will be the head chef. Ah­mad’s mother, along with his sis­ter, Sehrish, will also work in the restau­rant.

The fam­ily is hop­ing the new restau­rant will offer the pub­lic more choice with dif­fer­ent types of food.

“We are hop­ing that ev­ery­thing goes well with the busi­ness,” said Athar Ah­mad. “We un­der­stand that the Syd­ney econ­omy is down, but hope­fully it will go well for the busi­ness since we have sup­port from our cus­tomers. We will al­ways try our best to meet our cus­tomers’ ex­pec­ta­tions.”

The Ah­mad fam­ily moved to Syd­ney in May 2012 from Pak­istan af­ter be­ing spon­sored by Dr. Anees She­hzad and his wife Farida, who are re­lated to the Ah­mad fam­ily, through the Nova Scotia Nom­i­nee Pro­gram.

Mian Ah­mad has been sell­ing the fam­ily-made food at lo­cal farm­ers mar­kets in Syd­ney, Mar­ion Bridge and Antigonish as well as at flea mar­kets and the an­nual Cape Bre­ton Farmer’s Ex­hi­bi­tion in North Syd­ney.

The fam­ily took over the Ge­orge Street lo­ca­tion af­ter Zana’s Diner closed on Dec. 31. Over the past month, the fam­ily has worked tire­lessly ren­o­vat­ing the in­side of the build­ing in prepa­ra­tion for the open­ing.

“The ren­o­va­tions at our restau­rant went very well and re­ceived a very pos­i­tive feed­back from peo­ple,” said Athar Ah­mad. “We did use the In­dian and Pak­istani colours in our restau­rant and peo­ple seem to love it.”

Ah­mad said the main rea­son for open­ing their own busi­ness is to be able to sup­port the fam­ily.

“Over the last four and a half years, it’s been re­ally hard to find jobs around here,” he said. “We re­ally thought that it would be a good op­por­tu­nity for the five peo­ple in our fam­ily to open a restau­rant.”

The restau­rant will offer eat-in and take­out op­tions and will also have delivery ser­vice within the Syd­ney com­mu­nity. Food items in­clude dif­fer­ent kinds of rice, but­ter chicken, three kinds of samosas (vegetables, meat and beef and chicken), and ke­bab pizza as well as dif­fer­ent Cana­dian food like but­ter chicken pou­tine, spe­cial burg­ers and teas.

Ah­mad said nor­mally peo­ple think of In­dian and Pak­istani food as spicy, but the restau­rant will have more to offer than just spicy items.

“We are bring­ing a new kind of food to the is­land,” he said. “All we want is for you to come to our restau­rant and let us know what level of spice you like. We will make the per­fect meal for you.”

Although the restau­rant has only been open for two days, the fam­ily has al­ready been faced with a challenge — a good challenge. Be­cause busi­ness was “non-stop” on Mon­day, the restau­rant ran out of prod­uct, forc­ing the busi­ness to close early.

“We want to send our apolo­gies to our cus­tomers — we didn’t know we were go­ing to be that busy on the first day,” said Ah­mad.

The restau­rant will be open seven days a week, Mon­day to Wed­nes­day 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thurs­day to Fri­day 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Satur­day 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sun­day 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Op­er­at­ing hours could change at a later date.

Ah­mad en­cour­ages the pub­lic to give the restau­rant a chance.

“Our cus­tomers loved our food and en­cour­aged us to open a restau­rant, so they can have our food any time they want,” said Ah­mad. “Come try our food, we know you will love it just as much as our other cus­tomers.”

The restau­rant has a Face­book page by search­ing Mian’s Restau­rant and Ah­mad en­cour­ages cus­tomers to use the page to pro­vide feed­back as well as watch for up­dates on the busi­ness.

JEREMY FRASER/CAPE BRE­TON POST

From left, Aamir Ah­mad, Mian Ah­mad, and Athar Ah­mad. Af­ter over a month of ren­o­va­tions, the Ah­mad fam­ily of­fi­cially opened Mian’s Restau­rant on Mon­day. The restau­rant is lo­cated at the for­mer Zana’s Diner on Ge­orge Street in Syd­ney.

JEREMY FRASER/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Mian Ah­mad, head chef at Mian’s Restau­rant, is pic­tured pre­par­ing a meal on Tues­day morn­ing. Mian’s Restau­rant of­fi­cially opened for busi­ness on Mon­day.

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