Atiya Ola’s at 45th and Baltimore has to move; fundraising campaign underway

June 16, 2017

Atiya Ola’s participated in Thursday’s Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll (Photos West Philly Local).

Atiya Ola’s, the vegan, vegetarian and raw foods restaurant at 4505 Baltimore Avenue, has been given 60 days to vacate the space, according to its owner. The business has been asked to move out by June 30 after eight years in the space.

“[The landlord] said he needed the space,” said owner Atiya Ola. “He gave a letter to the cook, then a letter in an envelope to me… Then a certified letter that says the same thing. Then he came by to check we got that mail…. He said we could move across the street, down the street.”

Prior to receiving the letter, Ola said their landlord complained about cooking in the space, which was followed by complaints about the restaurant vent. The request to vacate the space was his final request. 

According to business owner, Ola herself, rent has always been paid on time and there were never any neighborhood disturbances. But she acknowledges that the terms of her lease allow her landlord to ask her to vacate the space within a short period of time. Even then, 60 days is not much time to find a space and transport an entire business while continuing to depend on everyday sales to keep the business going… somewhere.

There’s a crowdfunding campaign online to raise $30,000 for the restaurant. The campaign is organized by community member Dullé Muhammad and the Black and Brown Workers Collective. Another fundraiser was held prior to last weekend’s Odunde festival at another community member’s house.

Currently, Ola is looking for another affordable space and hopes to keep her business in West Philly. She’s hoping to find a space that’s ready for move in and that’s a little bit bigger than the space they’re in right now.

Rana Fayez

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