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Caterer wants talk with locals

The owner of Shahi Darbar, a catering hall off Hillside Avenue in Glen Oaks that has drawn the ire of civic associations and residents for what they say are patrons having sex in or on top of their cars, is calling for a sitdown with community leaders over their problems with his business, his spokesman said Saturday.

The spokesman, Mandeep Singh Sahi, wrote an e-mail message to TimesLedger Newspapers in response to stories written about the catering hall at 83-47 258th St., saying the accounts by civic leaders, residents and elected officials were not true, according to Shahi Darbar owner Gurdeep Singh.

“Although Mr. Singh believes some of the complaints about Shahi Darbar are unfounded, he nevertheless understands the sensitivities of the community and the responsibilities that come with ownership of such an establishment,” Sahi wrote.

Sahi said Singh lives near the restaurant and is just as concerned about the community as those making complaints about Shahi Darbar.

“As a fellow neighbor, I believe we all have a common goal to peacefully co-exist in a wonderful community,” Singh said. “I will do everything humanly possible to insure that there are no further problems or incidents.”

Civic leaders and neighbors have complained of patrons having sex in cars outside Shahi Darbar along with broken bottles of alcohol on the street and double-parked cars.

Sahi said Singh “and other members of the South Asian community have reached out to their friend, community activist and Glen Oaks Village President Bob Friedrich and have asked him to arrange a meeting of local civic associations, neighbors and the owner of Shahi Darbar so that we can all sit down at the table and work through all the issues and arrive at an amicable solution.”

TimesLedger reported last week that Friedrich took a $1,100 contribution from Shahi Darbar to his personal campaign account he set up for his primary challenge against state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck).

Friedrich claimed he accepted the contribution in error and would return the donation.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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