The Fan is getting a taste of the Mediterranean.
Mediterranean Bistro on Main Street will be the seventh installment in a family business that began in Sicily more than 50 years ago. The restaurant, opening next month, will serve 1970s-era Mediterranean cuisine, owner Jason Farag said.
Farag, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Deborah Farag, has the restaurant business in his blood. His father operates restaurants in New York and Florida. The Main Street restaurant will be the first Mediterranean Bistro in Virginia.
Mediterranean Bistro will serve gyros, falafel and hummus made from family recipes. Farag’s father, who learned his recipes directly from Antonio Farag, will teach Mediterranean Bistro’s chefs how to prepare the food.
“There’s no better teacher than the original teacher,” Jason Farag said.
The restaurant is more than three years in the making, Farag said. He searched for more than two years for a location before settling on the building at the corner of Main and Addison — the former home of Panache Hair Studio.
Farag moved into the 1,200-square-foot space June 1. He said construction is about half finished.
Entrees will cost between $6 and $10 with a drink included, Farag said. Each item will cost an even dollar amount, Farag said. The restaurant will not deal with spare change, in keeping with an Italian restaurant custom.
“In Italy, there are no coins,” Farag said.
Mediterranean Bistro will also grow its own basil, oregano, cilantro, mint and Roma tomatoes in a garden behind the restaurant. Growing the spices onsite will help keep prices down, Farag said.
Farag has about $150,000 invested in Mediterranean Bistro. He is financing the project with a loan from his father: an interest-free advance that he hopes to pay back in a year.
“We don’t do bank loans,” Farag said. Then he smiled. “So we were excited when this got approved.”