(Updated at 9:35 a.m.) A new fast food restaurant and hookah lounge looks to be on the way to replace a vacant building along Lee Highway.
All About Burger plans to open up a new location at 5009 Lee Highway, according to county permit records.
The records indicate that a hookah lounge is also part of plans for the roughly 11,100-square-foot space, though it’s unclear if it will be attached to the restaurant, or merely operate in the same building.
The Lee Highway location would become All About Burger’s third shop in the county. The small chain already operates a location in Virginia Square, with plans to open another in the revamped Ballston Quarter mall.
All About Burger has several other locations in D.C., and has a bit of an unusual past.
The company’s owners, Mohammad and Ebrahim Esfahani, started out as business partners with Peter Tabibian to run the D.C.-area chain Z-Burger, and even opened the Virginia Square location under that name.
But a dispute between the company’s co-owners led to a severing of the business — Tabibian earned the right to retain the “Z-Burger” name and still runs two locations in D.C., while the Esfahanis’ restaurants became All About Burger instead.
The eatery offers hamburgers, hotdogs, cheesesteaks and milkshakes, according to its menu.
Mazagan Restaurant, the Moroccan eatery and hookah bar next to the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse, is open to the public starting at 4:00 p.m. today.
The restaurant replaced the quirky electronics store Venus Stereos & TVs at 2901 Columbia Pike, and the interior has completely been redone with wood floors, stone wall and a glass-enclosed, “privately insulated” hookah bar, which owner Riyad Bouizar said allows hookah smokers to still feel like they’re part of the restaurant without their smoke disturbing those simply there to eat and drink.
The restaurant will only be open for dinner and late night for the next month, Bouizar said, before opening for lunch. It will be open until midnight Monday through Wednesday, 1:00 a.m. Thursday nights and 2:00 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. It will also be open from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., including brunch, on Sundays.
The restaurant specializes in Moroccan food with a “contemporary twist,” and includes tajines, food that is cooked over a wood fire and ordered ahead of time. All food and drink will also be served to those partaking in the hookah lounge.
Chef/owner Riyad Bouizar said he’s hoping to open the business April 15, but after a long, drawn-out construction and licensing process, the opening could be delayed even further. Bouizar signed the lease for the space in August and was hoping to open in December or January.
For the first month, Mazagan will only be open for dinner and late night, Bouizar said, after which it will start selling lunch. During the week, the bar and hookah lounge will be open until 1:00 a.m., and until 2:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
“This is something new to the neighborhood,” he said. “With the movie theater right next door it’s a chance for people to get a drink afterwards.”
The private hookah lounge, Bouizar said, will be a glass enclosure in the dining room. That way hookah smokers won’t feel like they are cut off from the rest of the patrons, but the non-smokers won’t have any secondhand smoke.