Baba’s Kitchen Turning its Dining Room into a Mediterranean Market

| August 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

Baba’s Kitchen, which remains open for carry-out, will be transitioning its small dining room into a Mediterranean market. Baba’s Owner Farid Salloum said the transition is starting to take place and the market will open on September 10th.

Salloum said the dining room, which has not been open during COVID-19, was pretty busy all the time before the pandemic, but he’s trying to adjust to the new reality. He said he will miss having customers coming inside to eat Baba’s plates with their own bottle of wine and seeing people make new friends at the tables next to them, but this is a new concept he’s been thinking about for many years.

The same menu will remain for carry-out orders during and after the transition. Baba’s menu features platters, pitas, salads, sides, and entrees inspired by Middle Eastern, Greek, and Italian cuisine.

Salloum said carry-out has always been about 70 percent of Baba’s business. He noted that this part of his business has remained strong during the pandemic and he’s been able to keep the hours and shifts of his key personnel. Baba’s has been hurt, however, by the lack of catering opportunities.

Salloum was hoping to open a second restaurant, which he described as a Mediterranean version of Di Pasquale’s with its combination of a marketplace and restaurant, but he said he’s getting too old to run a second restaurant and he saw the pandemic as an opportunity to make this change at Baba’s. He also started a produce bag special in recent months that was popular with customers.

Customers will soon be able to pick up Baba’s popular items such as hummus, babaganoush, soups, salads, and frozen falafel. Salloum said Baba’s will be a testing ground to figure out what items might work well for larger distribution in the future.

Other items will include deli meats, cheeses, fresh breads, olives, eggs, cucumbers, and additional produce.

Salloum said the market concept will keep the kitchen busy with lots of additional prep work and he said this will lead to additional hours for employees and new hires. He hopes to hire individuals from the neighborhood to fill the new positions.

Baba’s hours will be Tuesday to Sunday from 1130am to 8pm.

Salloum hasn’t decided if he will reopen the outdoor seating at Baba’s.

Salloum said getting the market open will be the first phase and phase two will be preparing products for distribution and potentially getting a license to sell beer and wine. A potential third phase would include finding a bigger space in South Baltimore if the concept takes off.

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