Caribbean Paradise: Expectations and Joy linger 21 years later

Caribbean Paradise:  Expectations and Joy linger 21 years later

In the 21 years that Babita and Danraj Parsram have been welcoming customers to their little restaurant on Newman Street in LaSalle, their biggest motivation has been that all Montrealers will come to see it as a place where they can enjoy a good meal as well as the full extent of our community culture.
That’s why in the pre-pandemic days, when all was nice, Caribbean Paradise was the place to be on many weekends throughout the year, taking in the shows… everything from calypso, soca, chutney, reggae, dancehall, hip-hop, funk, gospel, African music, dances from the Seychelles and beyond.
But of equal significant has been the massive Christmas Dinner and Toy Giveaway that provided toys and free meals to hundreds if not thousands of Montreal families, which has been taking place for decades.
This global pot-pourie of events at the Paradise has always been flavored by an equally international menu with the tasty cuisine of the Caribbean rotis, doubles, plates of stews and curries and fish, jerked chicken, chow mein and low mein as headliners.
It’s was March 4, 2000 when the young Guyanese couple and their growing family opened the doors of the restaurant, full of expectations and joy. There have been a lot of high points along the way, as well as a lot of losses of friends near and dear.
But the emotions of expectation and joy linger today even though they have been dampened by the scourge of the pandemic, as Dan and Babita, a little older, their family a little bigger, still look for ways to celebrate.
For months they’ve kept their kitchen opened offering a free meal or two to those finding it difficult to cope with the drudgeries of COVID-19.
Now as they walk past the 20-year milestone, with their eyes far into the future…they’re still hopeful and expectant.
But most of all they say, thankful for the many amazing people that have walked through those doors in the 21 years that they have opened.