Lebanese Taverna Soldiers On


Tunis-born Lebanese Taverna manager Zuhir Ayari is optimistic about his Westover restaurant’s successful return from coronavirus restrictions.  He estimates that takeout orders approximate 50% of the previous level, and under newly-issued Arlington County virus guidelines, outdoor seating (safely spaced) commenced Friday, May 29.  “We’ll see how things go,” he noted with proper caution.  Although staff were furloughed for the period when the restaurant was closed from March 15 to the end of April, no one was fired, and the parent corporation maintained their medical insurance.  The Westover restaurant was the first (1979) of what has become a 12-address Lebanese Taverna chain across the metropolitan area run by the children of its founders, Tanios and Marie Abinajm.  Ayari was particularly appreciative of the response by the Westover community to the challenges imposed by the coronavirus.  “They have been wonderful,” said Ayari, who came to the United States 20 years ago after winning a U.S. Green Card lottery in his home country of Tunisia.  

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