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A pedesterian walks past Habibi's Restaurant, which was previously the Dragons Dragon's Cup on Court Street on Monday, Jan. 18. Habibi's Restaurant is currently under constrution but will open in a couple of weeks.

OU grad seeks to spice up Athens

After graduating with a master’s degree in financial economics from Ohio University, Samer Daou wanted to invest in the town he loved.

Daou decided to start Habibi’s Restaurant, 19 S. Court St., which will serve Mediterranean and American food.

“I loved living in this town and wanted to come back and add some spice to it,” Daou said.

Daou grew up in Lebanon and came to the United States 10 years ago. He said he chose Mediterranean food because it is not only his culture, but also his passion.

“Athens is something of a melting point and I wanted to add to it,” Daou said.

Daou said the restaurant would have express-style sandwiches, platters of gyros and kebabs, and vegetarian options. Most sandwiches will cost $5.49 and platters will cost $8.49.

He added having platters in addition to express-style sandwiches and a mixture of American food diversifies Habibi’s from other Mediterranean restaurants in Athens.

The restaurant is currently being renovated and is scheduled to open in a few weeks, Daou said.

Many different businesses have opened at 19 S. Court St. in recent years, including GG’s Bubble Tea and The Dragon’s Cup, but Daou said he is not worried about the location.

“It is the heart of town,” he said. “It is the place to want to be to spread good food.”

Daou is opening Habibi’s with business partner Danny Mercurio. Mercurio graduated from the University of Toledo but said he visited Athens numerous times and always enjoyed the town.

The duo is planning on having regular restaurant hours but said Habibi’s will “stay up with the bars” on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

He said the most important part of opening his restaurant is being a part of Athens.

“This place was always nice to me and it is my time to give back,” Daou said.

ml147009@ohiou.edu

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