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Bayside photography shop closes after two decades

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After more than 20 years on Bell Boulevard, Bayside’s Happy Hour Photo was set to close its doors this month.

Co-owners Moghees Akhtar and Abid Siddque said the tiny shop, at 39-39 Bell Blvd., was facing a number of difficulties, including Siddque’s declining health.

Akhtar said his partner was scheduled to undergo heart surgery in their native Pakistan in the spring because the procedure was too expensive in the United States.

“We are not happy to lose the business,” Akhtar said in a recent interview. “One thing that was discouraging for us was the landlord flatly refused to extend the lease.”

Akhtar said he and Siddque signed a one-year lease when they took over the shop last year, but when they sought to renegotiate for a longer lease, the landlord turned them down. Akhtar said the lease will end in 2004.

“We wanted to revise the lease, but were told there was only 2 1/2 years left,” Akhtar said. “We like the location, we liked the business.”

Happy Hour developed photographs, took passport photos and also provided some photo restoration services. Akhtar said the shop was expected to close by the end of January.

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