Laila's Kitchen being sold

June 11, 2012|By DAN DEARTH |
  • Sharif and Laila Basharyar, owners of Laila's Kitchen on East Franklion Street in Hagerstown, are selling the business.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Restaurants have come and gone in downtown Hagerstown, but one constant over the last five years has been Laila’s Kitchen across from City Hall on East Franklin Street.

Until now.

Sharif Basharyar, who co-owns the Afghan restaurant with his wife, Laila, said Monday that they’re putting the business up for sale.

“Honestly, we are getting old. One of the biggest reasons is my health,” Sharif Basharyar said. “We’re going to try to take it easy from now on and try smaller things.”

Laila’s Kitchen in known for its chicken, beef and vegetable kabobs, served with rice and naan, a soft and chewy flat bread.

Basharyar, 59, said he and Laila started to entertain the thought of selling the restaurant in 2010, when he returned from the hospital after being treated for heart problems. They decided to make the decision official in November of last year.

“As time went by, we tried to make up our mind and say, ‘Yes, we are planning to sell,’” he said.

Basharyar said the building at 4 E. Franklin St., which they lease from month to month, is not for sale.

The Basharyars are selling the restaurant’s equipment, such as grills, freezers and refrigeration units. He said the $45,000 asking price for the business is negotiable. The purchase price will include training the new owners in how to prepare Afghan cuisine and operate the equipment.

“The training is free. It comes with the purchase,” he said. “Basically, we would love to bring someone in to run this business the way it is or at least better than we are doing so the customers of this town are proud of the food and the service. Based on the customers’ feedback, we are doing OK.”

Basharyar said he and Laila emigrated from Afghanistan in 1985 during the Soviet occupation. They moved to Hagerstown in 2004 and opened the restaurant in 2007.

He said they plan to continue living in Hagerstown, spending their retirement visiting his brother in Las Vegas and their four daughters in New York City.

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