OMG: Olive Mediterranean Grill returning to downtown Evanston
In late December or early January, a brand new restaurant will open in Evanston, bearing an outdated acquainted identify: Olive Mediterranean Grill.
The native counter-service chain is transferring into the previous Taco Bell spot at 1743 Sherman Ave. The area is barely smaller than Olive’s earlier Evanston location, which was simply throughout the road at 1726 Sherman. That restaurant closed in 2020 after nearly seven years, and the area is now occupied by Tomo Japanese Avenue Meals.
Chain co-owner Pekin Bayramli mentioned Evanston’s unique Olive restaurant and the corporate’s first location at Clark and Lake streets in Chicago needed to shut due to the pandemic.
His accomplice Faisal Ghani, a self-proclaimed exercise addict, based the OMG chain in 2010 as a result of he discovered himself trying to find wholesome, scrumptious, inexpensive meals after going to the fitness center in Chicago. He launched Olive Mediterranean Grill to fill that gap with shawarma, pita sandwiches, soups and salads.
Bayramli began as common supervisor on the Clark and Lake eatery. On the chain’s first location, Ghani deliberately selected a meals courtroom with a number of greasy fast-food choices in order that clients could be drawn to Olive’s more healthy alternate options, Bayramli mentioned.
“All people mentioned, ‘You guys are going to final a month in right here.’ After which we have been the busiest one,” Bayramli mentioned. “Our traces have been ridiculous.”
Although that unique meals courtroom location has closed, Bayramli mentioned its efficiency funded Olive’s present Lincoln Park restaurant, which opened in 2012. He mentioned that in flip, that location’s success has contributed to launching two extra eating places over the following two months – one on Taylor Avenue in Chicago’s Little Italy, and the opposite right here in Evanston, which would be the chain’s fourth location.
“Evanston is sort of out of the way in which, technically, for us, however the truth that we love being there, that’s why we need to reopen,” Bayramli mentioned. “We love the group.” From the time it opened on Sherman in 2014, Olive usually catered occasions at Northwestern College and served lots of its college students on the restaurant.
Deli case, wine membership deliberate for Evanston
Whereas the brand new Evanston restaurant’s menu will replicate the opposite areas, all 4 spots will look unalike inside, Bayramli mentioned.
“One of many fundamental issues that we’ve all the time accomplished with interiors is that each Olive is totally completely different,” he mentioned. “When individuals are speaking about Olive, they speak about their Olive,” the distinctive location that they frequent most frequently.
An Olive location on Van Buren Avenue, for instance, has an all-white inside, Bayramli mentioned. Evanston’s restaurant will really feel cozier and hotter, he mentioned, with wooden paneling and darker colours.
Earlier than the Evanston grill opens across the new 12 months, the enterprise has to put in kitchen gear and bear inspections. Among the many new gear will likely be a deli case. Clients will be capable of purchase meals like hummus or baba ganoush by the pound.
The Evanston location additionally will function a wine membership that the chain is rolling out to all of its areas. For $10 a month, members will be capable of purchase bottles from Olive at wholesale worth, Bayramli mentioned. Members will likely be ready order wine on-line for supply or take pleasure in it with meals on the restaurant.