AK Takeaway, the anticipated fast-casual spinoff of Anita’s Kitchen, is making big strides towards opening day in downtown Detroit. Jennifer Wegrzyn co-owns the growing restaurant group with her husband Joe Wegrzyn. She tells Eater that the Lebanese restaurant located inside the 150 W. Jefferson building near Larned and Griswold streets could arrive sometime next month.
The new location will feature a counter service format focused on carryout for breakfast and lunch. The menu will feature many of Anita’s Kitchen’s most popular carryout items such as chicken shawarma, fattoush, and gluten-free tabbouleh made with quinoa rather than the traditional cracked wheat. Many of Anita’s Kitchen’s Lebanese recipes, she notes, are naturally vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. The restaurant, designed by D Met Studio, will seat roughly 20 diners inside with space for an additional 20 on the patio.
As for the fast-casual format, Jennifer says the timing felt right given the restaurant industry’s trend towards more casual service, but notes that it’s also a call back to the restaurant’s roots. Her parents Pierre and Anita Farah founded Anita’s Kitchen nearly 38 years ago at the Tally Hall food court in Farmington Hills with a quick-service format. Only later did the restaurant go full service with locations in Troy and the Ferndale location in 2008. Both the Farmington Hills and Troy locations have since shuttered. The move also made sense given that carryout is “a major part of our daily sales” in Ferndale, she says.
AK Takeaway isn’t the only new location in the works for Anita’s Kitchen. The Wegrzyns are also opening a location in Lake Orion. Whether that location will be a full-service restaurant or another outpost of AK Takeaway is still “to be determined,” says Jennifer.
AK Takeaway it on track to open in June. Stay tuned for updates as the project moves forward.