Get your hookah and hummus on at Shelby Township's newest Mediterranean establishment, Sahara Restaurant and Grill.
After seeing coming soon signs in the Vitale Plaza on 25 and Van Dyke, Sahara opened it's doors to the public in July.
The Shelby Township location marks the fourth family-owned restaurant in Michigan. The other three Sahara Restaurants can be found in Oak Park, Farmington Hills and Sterling Heights.
Part owner and manager Kenny Hermiz told Patch the food at Sahara reflects his family's traditional Chaldean cuisine from Iraq, but also mixes Mediterranean dishes from Greece to Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.
For example, the curry stew, can be found from my family's hometown of Baghdad, Hermiz told Patch.
However, you can't visit Sahara without trying their famous chicken shawarma and lamb kabobs, he added.
The ambiance is equally eclectic. The decor of the new restaurant is modern with, mosaic tiling, blue lights and glass-blown chandeliers, but you never get too far from the soft dessert colors that line the walls.
For Now Hookah, But No Cigar
While flavored hookah pipes can be smoked seven nights a week after 8 p.m., no alochol will be served -- for now.
Hermiz told Patch he's in the process of transferring a liquor license over after the Shelby Township Board of Trustees denied his request during an August board meeting.
"They just denied me for no reason," said Hermiz.
Sahara Restaurant and Grill applied for the license under the name, Kayla Sky Inc.
Hermiz said he also plans to build an outdoor patio, once he gets approval from the township.
But for now, Hermiz said business is booming and he is pleased with the "friendly and nice crowd."
Sahara Restaurant and Grill is open Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.