At this time next month, McLean diners will be able to grab a hamburger and sit down to a platter of lamb kabobs all in one location.
“We are really excited to open our McLean location,” said Tabibian, who founded both concepts. “We think we got a really, really good site — very visible off the street, easy in, easy out, plenty of parking. We’re going to have really good food, like we’re going to give out gourmet food at fast-food prices.”
Since starting in Tenleytown in 2008, Z-Burger has grown to six locations, all in D.C. The chain once had an Arlington franchise, but that was converted into an All About Burger after a legal dispute between Tabibian and his original business partners.
This will be the first expansion for Maman Joon, which opened in Tenleytown last summer, and it will be Tabibian’s first attempt at co-locating the brands.
For the venture, he has teamed up with Crust Pizzeria Napoletana owner Kevin Ejtemai, a longtime McLean resident with three children attending Churchill Road Elementary School.
Tabibian says they paired Z-Burger with Maman Joon, because the 4,000-square-foot space is large for just one restaurant, and it already had two kitchens. McLean also has a vibrant Persian community, as evidenced by the popularity of businesses like Amoo’s and newcomers like the recently opened Parsa Bakery.
The restaurants will have separate kitchens but share indoor and outdoor seating. Food from Maman Joon will be served with formal plates and silverware, while Z-Burger will operate more like a fast-food or food court eatery, but customers can order from both at the same time.
In addition to custom burgers, the Z-Burger menu consists of chicken and vegetarian sandwiches, hot dogs, cheesesteak, fries and onion rings, and 75 flavors of milkshake.
Maman Joon offers kabobs, wraps, sandwiches, soups, and salads. One highlight is the tofu ghormeh sabzi, an herbed stew that typically comes with beans and lamb or beef. Tabibian says he hasn’t encountered any other restaurants with a vegetarian version of the dish.
“We think that our kabob shop is going to be really busy at night, and the Z-Burger is going to be busy in the day time, with the students,” Tabibian said. “We’ve always done a lot of stuff with the community over the years. We always do fundraisers. We always make it a fun place that people want to hang out at.”
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