A 40-year old Montrose neighborhood restaurant has new owners, but the old owner "hand-selected" a successor who will continue his legacy.
Baba Yega Cafe announced on Friday that Hungry's owner Fred Sharifi has purchased the restaurant from owner Sidney Hakim. Both Hungry's and Baba Yega opened in 1975, and the two men have become friends over the years.
While Montrose has emerged as Houston's most high-profile dining neighborhood, Baba Yega harkens back to a slightly simpler time. The restaurant's sprawling patio and serene courtyard transport diners away from the city. The $25 Sunday brunch buffet has become a neighborhood institution.
Although Hungry's is not ready to reveal whether changes are coming or when they might occur — patrons might welcome sprucing up both the decor and the menu — all of the current employees, many of whom have worked there for 20 years or more, have been told they will keep their jobs. Hungry’s co-owner Ashkan Nowamooz and his wife and head chef, Sue hosted a dinner for Baba Yega employees Monday night to welcome them to the company.
"I owe my success to the loyal employees I have had the privilege to work with all these years,” said Hakim in a statement. “I know Fred and Hungry’s respects what we have built, and with their keen insight in this business, will provide an even brighter future for Baba Yega and its family. They’ll take care of Baba Yega. It’ll only get better now."
This year is shaping up to be a busy one for Hungry's. In the fall, the restaurant will open its new, two-story, 9,300 square foot location in Rice Village. The new restaurant will feature an expansive patio as well as an upstairs bar designed to appeal to young professionals.