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Iconic Moncton Restaurant On The Move

By Sam Macdonald Oct 3, 2022 | 8:49 AM

(Photo: Huddle Today)

It’s the end of an era for one of downtown Moncton’s iconic lunch joints. But don’t worry, it’s only moving down the street.

Fahda Battah, the owner of Fahda’s Pita Wrap, confirmed in a call with Huddle her plans to move from 981 Main Street to 1025 Main Street – a move that won’t see her Lebanese restaurant leaving the shadow of Moncton’s Crowne Plaza Hotel.

“I’m going into the same block, just two or three doors down from here,” Battah said. “It’s kind of hectic for me today because I’m dealing with the business and construction, too – you know, dealing with plumping and everything else since the new space has never been a restaurant.”

Fahda’s has been at 981 Main for the last 18 years. Battah’s landlord, Crowne Plaza, is tearing down a part of the block currently occupied by her restaurant.

“They’re going to demolish that section of the building – they’re going to take almost half the block down. I’m not going far at all – same landlord, same building,” she said.

Battah stressed the importance of keeping Fahda’s in downtown Moncton. She said it would have been easier to find a new home in commercial property on Mountain Road or in Dieppe but that she likes the downtown area “because I don’t want my customers to get confused and not know where I’m going to be.”

“I have a lot of customers and they are used to me being here,” she added.

The move will bring Fahda’s closer to the action at the Avenir Center. It’s a spot Battah credits for a lot of business, especially at night, during hockey games and concerts.

While the new 25-seat restaurant won’t be as big as the 1,100-square-foot, 35-seat location Fahda’s occupies now, Battah said that’s not going to be a problem since most of her revenue comes from the takeout side of the business.

Battah sees well over a hundred, and sometimes as many as 200 people ordering food per day and most of them order takeout.

“After Covid, we’ve done more takeout and delivery, catering and things like that,” Battah said.

“Last summer was busy, with people getting back to work at the office. Today, we had a double-line here, and most of them were government employees. I never have a problem with seating, since most people order takeout at lunch,” Battah said. “Like, tonight, a lot of people will be calling in to pick up their supper.”

Fahda’s has to be out of its current location by Oct. 17, Battah said. She hopes the move will only take a few days so she can get back to cooking and prepping food with her staff of two as soon as possible. Renovations are ongoing at the new location.

“It’s not going to be long because we’re going as fast as we can – I don’t want to be closed for too many days,” she said.

Battah is considering augmenting her staff of two part-timers with two or three new hires – part of her tentative plans to keep Fahda’s open later into the night.

Battah, who personally makes everything she sells from scratch, got her start three decades ago at the Moncton Market, at an outdoor stall under the same name as her restaurant.

“It was freezing in February – they didn’t have a table inside, at the old Moncton Market, so I was outside,” she said.

When the new Moncton Market reopened at 120 Westmorland Street, Battah got a berth indoors – and that’s when the popularity of Fahda’s began to grow.

“People didn’t know too much about Lebanese food and we did a lot of demos and people started to like and know about it,” recalls Battah. “I built it up and when my kids were in high school I decided to open a restaurant. I own it, I cook and manage everything.”

Sam Macdonald is a Reporter for Huddle Today, a content-sharing partner of Acadia Broadcasting.


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