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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.

Caitlin Burgess (Editor) January 30, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I love gyros!
Jeff January 30, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Glad to have another dining option in Richfield!
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) January 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Are you a fan of Mediterranean cuisine?
Brie Shultz January 31, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Great news to have another local dining option in the Penn Avenue area!
John C. January 31, 2012 at 05:13 AM
I would definitely try this place. Not quite the same, but I miss the old Afghani place, Da Afghan that was in Bloomington.
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) January 31, 2012 at 05:52 PM
I don't remember hearing about that place. Where was it located in Bloomington?
ann delaney February 01, 2012 at 04:34 PM
da Afghan, yes I've eaten there a few times. It was a small place in rather a poor location. Hard to tell just where they were. The other side of 494 off a frontage road, down a hill with odd businesses around it. I liked their food, tho.
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) February 01, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Interesting. I wish I would've been able to test it out before it closed.
Heidi Roufs February 23, 2012 at 04:23 PM
I work in the area--just a few blocks away--and there is a buzz of excitement around the office going on about it--'have you heard about the new Mediterranean place in the old Taco Bell'. Mediterranean is my favorite 'genre' of food, and expect that, if done well, I and many of my co-workers will be regular customers. Can't wait to try it!
Drew Miller February 23, 2012 at 06:25 PM
@Heidi, I think a number of residents have high hopes for the new restaurant. Richfield Patch will be at the opening tomorrow and reporting on it over the weekend.
Eric February 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM
I also love Gyros so am eager to try Aida. They are using the Subway/Chipotle model which is right up my alley and a great idea to apply to Mediterranean food.
Brittany Mohamed February 24, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Hi Heidi, on the behalf of Aida I want to invite you are your co-workers to the Aida Grand opening tomorrow Friday 24th from 11:00- 6:00 pm. Our GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION, come have "a taste of the mediterranean" ~We will have sample size tastes of our menu items available from 11am-6pm.. BUY 1 sandwich, get 1 FREE!!! (must be of equal or lesser value). ***The first 50 customers will receive a hand blown glass perfume botle or papyrus paper drawing from Egypt!!
Brittany Mohamed February 24, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Hi Eric, on behalf of Aida I would like to invite you to Our GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION, come have "a taste of the mediterranean" ~We will have sample size tastes of our menu items available from 11am-6pm.. BUY 1 sandwich, get 1 FREE!!! (must be of equal or lesser value). ***The first 50 customers will receive a hand blown glass perfume botle or papyrus paper drawing from Egypt!!
Brittany Mohamed February 24, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Hi Jeff, On behalf of Aida I would like to invite you to Our GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION on Friday Feb. 24th come have "a taste of the mediterranean" ~We will have sample size tastes of our menu items available from 11am-6pm.. BUY 1 sandwich, get 1 FREE!!! (must be of equal or lesser value). ***The first 50 customers will receive a hand blown glass perfume botle or papyrus paper drawing from Egypt!!
Brittany Mohamed February 24, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Hi Brie, On behalf of Aida I would like to invite you to Our GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION on Friday Feb. 24th come have "a taste of the mediterranean" ~We will have sample size tastes of our menu items available from 11am-6pm.. BUY 1 sandwich, get 1 FREE!!! (must be of equal or lesser value). ***The first 50 customers will receive a hand blown glass perfume botle or papyrus paper drawing from Egypt!!
Brittany Mohamed February 24, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Hi John, On behalf of Aida I would like to invite you to Our GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION on Friday Feb. 24th come have "a taste of the mediterranean" ~We will have sample size tastes of our menu items available from 11am-6pm.. BUY 1 sandwich, get 1 FREE!!! (must be of equal or lesser value). ***The first 50 customers will receive a hand blown glass perfume botle or papyrus paper drawing from Egypt!!
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 (Editor) 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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