Laziza Mediterranean Grill is on the Move, forty feet or so.
When “a little birdie” told Nader Khatib the former Barberitos may be closing a few doors down from his restaurant in the Publix Shopping Center in Evans a number of months ago, he immediately picked up the phone. “I had expressed to our landlords that if that spot ever came available I wanted it. He actually chuckled and said ‘I was going to call you tomorrow!’”
The timing couldn’t have been better. Open in his location on Washington Road in Evans for the past seven years, Khatib was in need of space. Fresh of a $40,000 renovation of the kitchen area, staff were now seeing customers turn away at the sight of a full restaurant with no open tables. (A good problem to have, but not a good one to have). Laziza was simply too small, and landlocked.
The original phone call expressing interest to the opening of Laziza’s new location, took a scant three months. The new space is twice the size-bright and airy- with plenty of seating.
Talk about seizing an opportunity.
A quick text Friday evening to the Metro Spirit tells the story of a very happy, tired restaurateur.
That’s right. On their second day in the new location, by 7:30 they were done.
“It wasn’t what we had planned to do, but we didn’t want to upset people and we had just been overwhelmed, so I made the decision to close it down early.”
No worries about visiting them today, however.
“We feel like we have it figured out. We just needed a couple of days to adjust to the increased demand.” Nader shared. “It’s been a lot of fun-a lot of hard work, but we all love what we do. It’s just really been a blast.”
“Making it fresh is huge. It is a lot of work and planning to get it right, and now we are having to prep triple, quadruple what we were accustomed to. It takes figuring out new systems and processes. It’s actually great, because at the smaller space, we really weren’t going to be able to mimic what we expect downtown. Now we can.”
Not only have they just moved the restaurant, they’re also expanding to a second location in Augusta.
“Lisa coming on board full-time in the spring of 2017 made a huge difference” Nader shared about his wife. “She retired from the Navy as a Master Chief and is very organized and a natural leader.”
With Lisa on board, the couple were able to focus on their next move. Downtown Augusta seemed like the right place at the right time.
In March of 2018 they closed on a property on Broad Street-the former Sit a Spell Café at 901 Broad Street. The permitting and build-out have been slower than expected, owing to the historic nature of the property and the crush of construction happening downtown.
Now the slower than expected pace of build-out has been just what the restaurateurs needed. The Broad Street Laziza is planned as an evolution. A full bar, new offerings to complement their already popular menu as well as a few surprises.
Now they have a test kitchen to really hammer out their concept before opening downtown.
It’s actually great, because at the smaller space, we really weren’t going to be able to mimic what we expect downtown. Now we can.”
Laziza is open in their new location 7 days a week, 4272 Washington Road, Evans, Ga.