Olive, which opened in 2015, won first place in Dayton.com's category for Best Mediterranean/Greek Dining in both 2016 and 2017.
“We know we are going to make it and make it big in downtown,” said Fred Shokri, one of the restaurant’s owners.
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Brothers Fred and Mahdi Shokri originally intended to open a hookah bar on North Dixie Drive, but after signing a lease, they were unable to obtain the proper approvals from the city of Dayton to allow patrons to smoke inside.
But instead, they decided to open a restaurant specializing in Mediterranean and Greek food that Mahdi learned to cook from a chef well versed in the cuisine.
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Mahdi, 23, is head chef and handles the bulk of the kitchen and cooking responsibilities. Fred, 33, keeps busy doing everything else associated with running a restaurant.
44 W. Third St. will get a new restaurant called Olive Mediterranean Grill. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Some of the main food items include gyros, lamb shanks, sandwiches, kabob platters, falafel, salads, feta rolls, Baba Ganouj and Greek potatoes.
Fred says they always wanted to be in a higher-traffic and busier location like downtown but they had to first learn how to run a successful business and get more experience.
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Olive Mediterranean Grill will retain its menu but might make some tweaks after moving downtown, Fred said.
“We’ll see what’s hot here and what’s not,” he said.
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Fred said Olive was able to build a customer base by having an online presence and getting positive reviews on websites like Yelp.