When Lampon Tuli was looking to open a second location in addition to his restaurant in Brampton, Niagara Falls was a natural for him.
“Niagara Falls is the best city to attract visitors, tourists,” he said.
But he shied away from opening up in the area of Clifton Hill as the location for Flavors and Spice, a restaurant with Indian and Pakistani cuisine.
“Everybody knows Clifton Hill but we wanted to do something related to the old part of the city, the downtown,” he said.
“Clifton Hill is crazy expensive, high rent,” said Tuli. “Downtown is more affordable.”
He was speaking to a reporter on Tuesday moments before a big gathering in front of his eatery on Valley Way, a stone’s throw from Queen Street, as dignitaries and members of the Niagara Falls Business Improvement Area (BIA) wandered up and down Queen Street conducting a mass ribbon cutting event of 16 of 21 new businesses that have opened downtown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Likewise, Dominion Lending Centres owner Michael Distefano said he was looking to relocate his 14-year-old finance company when he came across the Christmas market the BIA organized. That sold him on setting up shop on Queen Street.
For a local boy, it’s coming home in a way.