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.
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.