In his 15 years of owning Aladdin’s Restaurant in Frandor, Ali Elbast noticed a pattern in his lunch crowd.
“Most of our customers for lunch come from downtown
,” he says. “So we decided we’ll come to them.”
That’s exactly what the new Aladdin’s Express on Washington Square will do when it opens in mid-May. The 2,400-square foot restaurant will serve fast, fresh meals to downtown diners, including soups, salads and both chicken and beef on a shawarma grill.
“We are going to have a big variety of vegetarian options on the menu,” says Elbast, “and also a meat menu.”
Aladdin’s Express will also serve fresh breads and pies in their bakery, utilizing the ovens from the pizza business formerly at that location. The restaurant will seat 88 diners and offer take out. Elbast will hire 12 employees to open the new restaurant. After opening Aladdin’s Express with his sister, Elbast hopes to next open a Lansing-area bakery.