A restaurant serving Mediterranean-style food that includes variety of gyros, falafel, pita bread, wraps, kabobs, hummus and salads is about three weeks from opening in Columbus.
Pita Mediterranean Street Food is preparing for its debut at 6600 Whittlesey Blvd., in the Columbus Park Crossing area, by March 24 or 25, the Peachtree City, Ga.-based chain’s founder, Nour Rabai, said Thursday.
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The 1,800-square-foot Columbus location will be in a small “lifestyle center” anchored by West Georgia Eye Care Center’s Lasik practice. It is adjacent to the Homewood Suites hotel and across from the Acura and BMW dealerships on Whittlesey Blvd.
The Columbus restaurant is being franchised by local resident Nadeem Chaudhry, said Rabai, a young entrepreneur who grew up in Beirut, Lebanon. Chaudhry hopes to open at least one more Pita Mediterranean Street Food in Columbus, Rabai said, and is also targeting LaGrange, Ga., and the Auburn-Opelika, Ala., market.
“It’s coming along really well,” Rabai said of the new Columbus restaurant. “When that one opens we’ll have a total of eight and then, by the end of summer, we’ll have a total of 12.”
Rabai founded Pita Mediterranean Street Food in 2012. It has steadily grown to locations in the Georgia cities of Peachtree City, Newnan, Dunwoody, Rosell and Marietta, with two more opening this spring in Newnan and Fayetteville, Ga.
“We’re looking to do about 38 locations in the metro Atlanta market, and then we’ll be reaching to Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida in the near future,” he said. “We’ve generated a lot of interest from those states as well.”
Rabai, 32, who said he has about 18 years of restaurant experience, was asked what he would recommend to someone eating for the first time at a Pita Mediterranean Street Food.
“I think we’d start with the hummus, and then go over to the gyro pita and then maybe the chicken kabob,” he said.