Mr. Hummus Grill Expanding with New Restaurant in Italian Village
Work is underway on a long-vacant building in Italian Village. Mr. Hummus Grill will transform 1131 N. Fourth St. into its second Central Ohio restaurant.
The authentic Lebanese eatery had its beginnings as a food truck in 2015. After three years, calls from fans for a dine-in restaurant accumulated as the food truck grew in popularity. In 2018, Chef Tarek Albast opened Mr. Hummus Grill at 1450 Bethel Rd.
“It was the best move I have ever done in my life,” Albast says.
Soon, he was getting requests to bring Mr. Hummus Grill to the Short North. Albast was already familiar with the area. He’s owned Midnight Hookah at 1167 Mt Pleasant Ave. for the past 13 years.
Albast also saw a lack of Lebanese cuisine in the neighborhood, and really, across the city. While there are many Mediterranean eateries, he says, few are specifically Lebanese.
Authenticity is paramount to Albast. His mother’s sister, who previously owned a catering company and has been training in Lebanon, will take on the role of chef at the new location. Many of the other members of the kitchen staff are also making their way to Mr. Hummus Grill directly from culinary school in Lebanon.
The restaurant’s menu will be extensive offering 25 plus meat dishes with a focus on lamb and kabobs. Aiming to be one of the most vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurants in the city, Mr. Hummus Grill will offer somewhere in the range of 35 veggie-based dishes, Albast says.
Other highlights of the menu will include manakeesh, a Lebanese flat bread piled with a variety of toppings spanning savory to sweet options. Wine will be the focus of the drinks menu.
Mr. Hummus Grill in Italian Village will offer a more casual atmosphere. Guests will order and pay at the counter, then find a seat where their food will be delivered. They’ll also have WiFi, coffee and a protein shake bar for the laptop crowd, creating an atmosphere where people can spend time during the day.
The restaurant will not only appeal to daytime diners with lunch and dinner hours, but the late night crowd as well. Mr. Hummus Grill will be open until 4 a.m. on the weekends.
Mr. Hummus Grill is sizable, with nearly 5,000 square feet of indoor space. The restaurant will utilize the empty lot to the south of its building to build a patio. And not just a patio for dining humans, but one for dogs as well. Canine and human will have separate spaces to do their thing.
Construction started on the space last March but took a pause due to COVID. Things got back underway three months ago and Albast is hoping for a spring opening but yet to nail down a date. The exterior of the building is slated to receive its final approval at the March 9 Italian Village Commission meeting.
Mr. Hummus Grill is joining a growing Fourth Street corridor, with Seventh Son across Fourth Avenue, Ducento around the corner, and a diagonal neighbor in Budd Dairy Food Hall, which will open at 1086 N. Fourth St. on April 6.
When it opens, Mr. Hummus Grill will be open from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. – 4 a.m. weekends.
For more information, visit mrhummusgrill.com.