HOUSTON, TX - July 21, 2016 — Hungry’s has officially expanded its family of restaurants by acquiring the Montrose institution and Houston favorite Baba Yega Café. Representing more of a marriage between two families than a typical business acquisition, the union brings together well-established neighborhood restaurants known for patron-pleasing menus and generous outdoor seating, not to mention Saturday and Sunday brunches considered among the most popular in town. The legacy of Baba Yega will continue and all of its employees have been welcomed into the Hungry’s family.
Both established in Montrose in 1975, Hungry’s and Baba Yega have grown up together and succeeded over the past 40 years. Hungry’s founder and co-owner, Fred Sharifi, and Baba Yega founder and owner, Sidney Hakim, formed a long-standing friendship and continued to support each other through the years. Hungry’s was originally a sandwich shop with 75 beers. Baba Yega began as a bar with a few food items. Both have grown to become local institutions.
Baba Yega has become an award-winning restaurant as well as a beloved neighborhood fixture. Loyal patrons enjoy people-watching out front under the shade of a century-old oak tree, and dining on the converted bungalow’s veranda overlooking a lush garden complete with fishpond, waterfall and fountains. The restaurant creates an atrium-like feeling for diners, protecting them from the noise and heat of the bustling streets of Montrose, while providing them a wonderful dining experience. Loyalty extends to the employees as well, many of whom have been members of the Baba Yega family for more than 20 years.
Hakim attributes the success and longevity of Baba Yega largely to the loyalty and commitment of his employees. As he felt the desire to retire from his life-long endeavor, Hakim hand-selected his trusted colleague and friend Sharifi to carry on the legacy of Baba Yega.
“I owe my success to the loyal employees I have had the privilege to work with all these years,” says Hakim. “I know Fred and Hungry’s respects what we have built, and with their keen insight in this business, will provide an even brighter future for Baba Yega and its family. They’ll take care of Baba Yega. It’ll only get better now."
That future is already underway. Hungry’s hosted a family get-together dinner for Baba Yega employees on Monday night — just one day after the keys were officially handed over. Hungry’s co-owner Ashkan Nowamooz and his wife and head chef, Sue, personally welcomed the newest members of the Hungry’s family as they embark on day-to-day operations together.
Family-owned and operated since 1975, Hungry’s is a family-friendly, neighborhood restaurant with locations in the Memorial and Rice Village areas. Hungry’s offers diverse, globally-inspired and affordably-priced comfort food prepared with sauces and dressings made from scratch, fresh herbs (often grown on-site), hand-selected produce, farm-fresh meats and dairy, and fresh seafood. Serving as a home-away-from-home, Hungry’s is open seven days a week and makes all menu items available for seated dining, and take-out or home/office delivery via phone or online ordering. Hungry’s also brings market-fresh flavor to large and small events through social and corporate catering, with a variety of rentals and service options available. Adjacent to Hungry’s Memorial location, the Next Door Bar & Lounge offers patrons a place to unwind with a select bar-bites menu and craft cocktails featuring Hungry’s farm-to-table fruits and juices. The new Rice location, also set to open in the fall, is a two-story building with nearly 9,300 square feet of indoor seating, dining room on the main floor, an expansive patio, private dining options and the new Upstairs Bar & Lounge on the second floor.
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