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Former Taco Bell Site Transforming into Mediterranean Restaurant Aida

Two CPAs and a former travel guru shake up their lives and careers.

The former spot is going from offering fast Mexican food to fresh Mediterranean cuisine. New owners Ahmed Mohamed, his wife Amy Mohamed, and Sammy Eldabshoury are preparing their new restaurant, Aida, for a grand opening in mid-February.

Aida will be the team's first restaurant venture and quite a detour from its prior experience. Amy Mohamed worked in the travel industry for many years, while her husband and Eldabshoury are certified public accountants who share a practice in Edina.

So why, in today's economy, would two CPAs and a former travel guru decide to open a restaurant?

"I think we all just wanted to do something different," Ahmed Mohamed told Richfield Patch.

"This is something that I have wanted to do for a while," Amy Mohamed said. "And the space became available. I love the style of the building."

Amy Mohamed will be overseeing the bulk of the day-to-day operations, acting as a sort of general manager. However, her primary focus will be on the catering side of the business.

Mediterranean cuisine often infuses Greek, Italian, Middle Eastern and some African styles, dishes and spices. The restaurant's menu has mostly Middle Eastern influences, and will offer shawarma, gyros, kebabs, falafel and more.

"I'm really hoping that people in Richfield like the style of food," she said. "That was [obviously] one of my worries."

Amy Mohammed is already looking toward the future, with thoughts of eventual expansion.

"I'd love to have a fine dining place with an entirely Middle Eastern theme," she said.

Gordon Hanson February 24, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I really hope people come out to support Aida. A group of citizens and business owners volunteering as the Penn Central of Richfield group have been working hard to guide the future of the Penn and 66th area in a positive way. We really love the idea of independent businesses with unique identities that add life to the area. Let's all support and welcome Aida to our community.
Brittany Mohamed February 25, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Thanks Gordon! So far we have had a great turn out at Aida. :)
Brie Shultz February 25, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Saw the search light out over Penn Avenue. That was cool. The place was packed when I drove by tonight. Can't wait to stop in and try it out.:)
Barb Bloom March 19, 2012 at 04:47 PM
I love the food. I've already eaten lunch there several times and can't wait to go back and try different menu items. Once the staff settle in, I hope they consider 1/2 size portion as lunch specials. The portions are generous and a bit much for lunch. A half sandwich or a half salad in the $5-$6 range would be a wonderful addition.
Caitlin Burgess March 19, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Love to see people supporting local businesses. Make sure you put your review on Patch Places as well! Go here to review Aida: http://richfield.patch.com/listings/aida

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