GO station java shop won’t be derailed
Couple were to make way for Timmies
AJAX — Mike Chung had already started applying for jobs.
He and his wife, who came to Canada six years ago from China, had already received the eviction notice from Metrolinx in May that their lease had expired on their Deja Vu coffee shop at the Ajax Go Station.
“We were going to be replaced by a Tim Hortons,” said Chung. “We knew what it meant. It meant we had to go.”
There are already several Tim Hortons locations right around the corner, so it really felt like a David versus Goliath situation.
Nothing against Tim Hortons, which certainly is a terrific establishment, but many people stood up in favour of Mike’s existence, too.
One of those was MPP Rod Phillips, who at the time was still vying for the job he ended up winning.
“The thing is, I had been going there almost every day at 5:45 a.m. to meet the great constituents and saw how much his customers loved him, how much he loved his customers and how good the coffee and food was, too.”
Everybody loves Tim Hortons, but not necessarily at the expense of the little guy and his wife who had found a little niche and job for themselves as they raise their daughter.
Phillips didn’t much like the idea of putting them on the unemployment line.
“I thought there was a way for him to be able to stay and for other businesses to flourish, too.”
He was right and Metrolinx saw it that way too.
Deja Vu’s lease has been extended indefinitely.
Chung said he was told that even Tim Hortons was OK with it.
And on the very day that Phillips was in the heart of his riding to announce that Ajax Downs and Casino Ajax were going to stay open, he popped in to see Chung, who also received a stay of execution.
“I am still here and I am happy,” said Chung. “I want to thank Rod and Metrolinx and my customers for standing up for me.”
It means his famous bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches are still the rage and he gets to see his friends again.
Deja Vu is the kind of place where if the owner doesn’t know your name, he certainly knows what you’ll take in your coffee and what you’ll order.
“I always surprise the bus drivers and riders that I remember what they like,” Chung said with a smile.
He’s no longer looking for a job. He has a job.
MPP Rod Phillips serves up a cup of coffee for Deja Vu cafe owner Mike Chung after finding out that his restaurant will be allowed to stay.