WARMINGTON: Deja Vu coffee shop won’t be derailed for a Tim’s

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 end 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.”

MPP Rod Phillips serves up a cup of coffee with Deja Vu Cafe owner Mike Chung after finding out that his restaurant will be allowed to stay, instead of Metrolinx putting in a Tim Hortons, and closing his restaurant in Ajax on Tuesday October 9, 2018. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun)

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, by extending Deja Vu’s lease and leaving it open-ended, which was finalized in the past few weeks.

Chung said he was told even Tim Hortons was okay with it as well.

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 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 will take in your coffee and what you will order.

“I always surprise the bus drivers and riders that I remember what they like,” said Chung with a smile.

Mike Chung is no longer looking for a job. He has a job.

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Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies