Business Beat

Many of us think of Main Street as the centre of our residential and commercial community. However, a good portion – perhaps as many as half of our residents – live in five apartment buildings between 160 and 190 Lees Ave. A number of small businesses have sprung up in that area.

There are a wide range of stores providing food, household items, take-out, coffee, tea and salon services. This article gives the rest of us in Old Ottawa East a glimpse of those businesses.

Need a coffee? One year ago, we featured Prime Time Café and its owner, ‘Joe’ Zaffir. Prime Time Café is located at 160 Lees Ave. and offers a range of coffees, teas and snacks as well as a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere in which to take a break. The other place to grab a coffee or a snack is Café Lees, located in the Lees Building of the University of Ottawa campus, 200 Lees Ave. Café Lees is open to residents of the neighbourhood, as well as to students. They offer Van Houtte coffee, soups, sandwiches, and baked goods, and are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday to Thursday and until 3:00 p.m. on Friday. They are closed on the weekend.

Last minute invitation to a Christmas Party? Need a trim or a perm? There are two salons on Lees Ave to meet your needs. The Unisex 180 Hair Studio at 180 Lees Ave. can provide a trim for men or a perm for women. They also offer coloring, highlights, waxing and ear piercing. Across the street at 169 Lees Ave is the newly opened Si Bella Salon and Spa. The owner and stylist, Dino, opened the salon in August. He offers a full range of men’s and women’s cuts and styles, as well as up-dos for special events, highlights and colour makeovers. Si Bella also offers full spa treatments. Maja Pecanac, the professional esthetician in the Spa, offers a full range of facials, body treatments, manicures and spa packages.

Too busy to make supper? There are plenty of choices available for take-out along Lees Avenue. Lees Greek and Pizza at 190 Lees Ave. offers an assortment of meat and vegetarian pizza, as well as a number of Greek specialties, such as souvlaki skewers, dolmades, calamari and baklava. Since they are located just across the street from the Lees transit station, they offer a Transitway Special: a 10 percent discount on any order if you show a bus pass or transfer. They also offer a range of burgers, subs and salads. More than three-quarters of their business is take-out, and free delivery is available.

How about a Shawarma instead? The Shawarma Prince is located at 180 Lees Ave. and also serves donairs, salads and meal combos. The Shawarma Prince opens at 5:00 a.m., every day of the week. If burgers and fries are more your style, try the Prime Sandwiches and Subs, located at 170 Lees between the Prime Time Café and the Cosmo Mart.

Maybe you have supper started, and just need some bread, milk or something in a can. There are three mini-marts on Lees. There is the Cosmo Mart at 170 Lees Ave. which we reviewed last December. In the next building is the 180 Convenience Store, owned and operated by Eddy Farahani. Mainstreeter readers will remember Eddy’s picture from a story in a previous issue about area residents taking care of a pair of ducks residing near Hurdman bridge. Eddy is proud of his store. He has operated it for more than 20 years, and his clients call it a ‘little Loblaw’s.’ Approximately 85 per cent are students living in the apartment buildings. The 180 Convenience Store is open 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., seven days a week.

The Bestone North Convenience Store is located at 190 Lees Ave. This long-established store was taken over nine years ago, and has been operated ever since, by Jason Tang. He also offers a full range of convenience products, basic groceries, household products and lottery tickets.

All of these stores and salons are located in the Lees Avenue apartment buildings, but they welcome clients from farther afield, and they all look forward to meeting new clients from Old Ottawa East.

Kazakhstan Embassy moves

The building at 56 Hawthorne Ave that used to house the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Canada now stands empty. Most of the embassy staff moved to 150 Metcalfe St. last spring. The remaining staff from the visa section moved in August. A spokesman for the embassy said they made the move to be closer to the centre of Ottawa.

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