For Hassan Rafiei, the evolution to sole owner of Schnitzel’s European Flavours in downtown Cornwall has been years in the making.
He started as a host way back in 2009, and in the time since has climbed the ladder to become the sole owner of the popular eatery at 158 Pitt Street. The announcement of the new proprietorship became official Oct. 1.
Rafiei had been a part owner of the restaurant with the Sabourin family since 2015, but made the move to sole ownership after some soul searching and some encouragement from friends and staff.
“Owning a restaurant is not a normal life…my average is 12 hours a day,” he said. “I was getting all these messages from people saying they missed me…I like what I do and I have been doing it for a while now. I’m ready to run my own operation. It didn’t feel real, it felt like a dream all summer. But the last week of September, it was just like ‘Holy Cow!’ It’s amazing.”
Rafiei has already started putting his stamp on the Schnitzel’s brand. The restaurant is now open Sundays, there’s an anniversary party planned for Nov. 22, and some menu tweeking is on the way as well.
“We really want to focus on the European flavours aspect of our name…all parts of Europe, including the east, west and southern parts of the continent,” said Rafiei. “There might be Spanish items on our menu. Who knows?”