Mediterranean Restaurant to Open on Broad Street
Nader Khatib, owner of Evans-based Laziza Mediterranean Grille, will expand his Middle Eastern restaurant concept to the center of a budding downtown.
Khatib said he will sign a lease on the 3,600-square-foot ground floor of 901 Broad Street this week and has plans to open the fast-casual restaurant in the fall.
The second location of Laziza will be located on the first floor of the apartment complex that is currently being built at the corner of Ninth and Broad streets. The building’s owner, Haltermann Partners, Inc. president Bryan Haltermann, said he plans for the nine-unit complex to be finished around September.
“We’ve been wanting to open another one for a while,” Khatib said. “I noticed the growth downtown and the jobs that are coming. We’re different than all the other restaurants that are there.”
Khatib said the lack of fast-casual eateries in the central business district will make his restaurant an attractive location for people looking for a quick bite. He said a steady flow of TaxSlayer employees frequently go to the Evans location for lunch. He expects the same will be true when TaxSlayer moves its headquarters downtown to join an influx of cybersecurity professionals based in the new Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training.
“It was too good to be true,” Khatib said.
The new and improved Laziza will offer a wider variety of dining options than the original location. Adding to the menu’s core items—Greek salads, shawarma, wraps and hummus, to name a few–will be a weekend hot breakfast menu, a cafe, bar and small market.
The new 3,600-square-foot space—more than double the size of Khatib’s current restaurant—will also become a home base for the restaurant’s catering business, which has a strong presence in the medical district.
“We’re going to take it a step further and really go for it,” Khatib said.
Khatib opened Laziza on Washington Road in Evans in 2011. Growing up, his Palestinian family lived in Michigan, where Middle Eastern fare was commonplace. Khatib said his grandma used to help him cook when he was a boy and that he “was always interested in food, big time.” After six years in the Air Force, Khatib saw a wide open opportunity to open a restaurant in Augusta inspired by the food he grew up eating.
Now, he’ll take that ever-growing inspiration downtown.
“I am super excited,” Khatib said.