On September 8, 2008, the west-end NiHao Tea House (81 Holland) closed up shop, citing poorer than expected business. We at foodiePrints really enjoyed having a tea house nearby, especially one that served bubble tea. It is somewhat surprising as I always saw clientÃ¨le in the restaurant just about every time I walked by. Then again, since I commute to work in Hull everyday, I usually walked by on the weekends. Perhaps weekday traffic was poor and employees from the nearby office complexes chose to eat or drink elsewhere.
Here are the notices that were displayed in NiHao’s windows during the fall months:
NiHao isn’t the first Asian-style Tea House to fall in Ottawa. For those of you older readers, you may remember the Sweet Potato Cafe.
When the Sweet Potato Cafe opened, it was one of the first restaurants to serve bubble tea in Ottawa. The cafe was originally run by a Taiwanese family who served a Taiwanese menu to a total of 6 tables in what looked like a converted town house. Everything was made to order, but, sometime between my going there as a university student and 2007 when I took the picture, the restaurant closed. It may have been location. The Sweet Potato Cafe was tucked away on one of the side streets off of Chinatown’s main drag, Booth Street. I surmise that, when the rest of the restaurants on Somerset (Chinatown proper) started serving bubble tea, including some dedicated bubble tea restaurants, the notoriety faded and people stopped going.
That said, someone has already purchased NiHao’s closed location and chosen to open up a shawarma house, which will compete directly with Les Grillades. Les Grillades, another proprietor of middle-eastern food, is situated almost next door.
Here is the new signage that my better half and I saw shortly after Christmas.
Called the “Shawarma House”, it will be the third restaurant we’ve seen try to make business in the same location.
Speaking of which, the Allo Allo cafe on Hinton Avenue (78) has also called it quits.
According to Ottawa Foodies, Allo Allo is the last attempt to re-establish business by the owners of the former Westboro Bakery, which used to be located on Richmond Road. Like several other businesses in Westboro, recent property revaluations caused the Westboro Bakery to re-locate because rent more than doubled. Unfortunately, their new location, Allo Allo did not fair well. Again location may have been an issue. The cafe was located very “off the beaten track” from main traffic; two streets off Holland, behind a large condo building.
Best of luck all eateries in 2009! Cheers.
81 Holland Avenue
85 Holland Avenue