Thursday, August 18, 2011
Hedary’s Lebanese restaurant opens in Allen
Unraveling the Hedary restaurant dynasty.
The Hedary restaurant family is flowering all over with a new restaurant in Allen and a re-opening in Fort Worth. Hedary's roots began in Fort Worth, when their patriarch opened Hedary's Lebanese Pizza in 1976. That has since closed, but there are now a total of four Hedary-owned restaurants serving authentic, from-scratch Lebanese food, using the same basic set of family recipes. And the four are:
- Hedary's in Allen just opened in March in a beautiful historic home, by George Hedary.
- Celaborelle in Fort Worth re-opened this week after being shut down for about a year and a half by Joseph Hedary, brother of George.
- The original Hedary's on Camp Bowie Boulevard in Fort Worth is overseen by sisters Lillian and Christine with their mother, matriarch Leila.
- Byblos in Fort Worth is tended by their brother Mario.
Celaborelle was a popular buffet which Joseph closed to take care of some personal issues, including getting married in Brazil. This week, he finally re-opened, though for now he's open without a buffet.
"A lot of people ask for the buffet, but it's not a good idea if I don't have a lot of customers," Joseph says. "I may just have it once a week."
For now, he's serving sandwiches and a la carte items such as a kafta sandwich for a mere $3.45, a vegan falafel sandwich for $2.95, and pistachio baklava for 85 cents. His website offers a pretty good history of the Hedary family and its restaurant doings in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Hedary's in Allen
The Allen Hedary's is the third restaurant from George, who previously opened restaurants in Dallas and Richardson, taking breaks in between.
"I got out of the business for a little while to spend time with my two kids while they were young," George says. "One is 8, one is 10. My daughter felt like she missed out. We would sit and talk about the restaurant, and she felt like she didn't get to have the same experience. She's my hostess, whenever you can pry her off the TV."
He opened Hedary's in 1988 in the Promenade in Richardson on the east side of Coit, and his second restaurant, Hedary's Lebanese Oven & Grill, in 1996 at Coit and Belt Line.
"I wanted to prove to my dad that I knew how to cook," he says. "We use the same basic recipes but in any family, people have their own taste, their own way of defining something."
One thing he's doing in Allen that he hasn't done before is "go local" -- i.e., grow a garden.
"The restaurant is in a house that was built in 1904, and in front, it has a good spot that gets a lot of sun," he says. "I like tending a garden. I like to grow stuff. And I thought, 'This would be cool if I could also use this stuff in the restaurant.' I grew eggplant, bell peppers, jalapenos, squash, okra, herbs -- I haven't had to buy any herbs this year."
Shannon Sutlief contributed to this story.
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