There will be kebabs galore at the Mosaic District in Merrifield this afternoon.
Serving up eastern Mediterranean food, with a particular focus on kebabs, the restaurant is at 2911 District Avenue in the spot formerly occupied by Jinya Ramen Bar, which moved to a larger space a couple of doors down this summer.
“Kirby is the gathering, a celebration,” co-owner Rose Previte said. “It’s the joy of community and family and a sense of belonging. It’s our healing after Covid. We lost it for a long time and now that we have it back we crave and cherish the joy that coming together brings us.”
Kirby Club is the first Virginia location for Previte and fellow owner Mike Schuster, who developed the concept with co-founder and partner Mayu Horie. The team also includes Chef Omar Hegazi, whose previous work includes a tenure as sous chef at Bourbon Steak in D.C.’s Four Seasons hotel.
Initially called Tawle after the Arabic word for “table,” the concept was renamed to avoid confusion with Maydān’s “tawle” menu and pay tribute to a Lebanese American social club that Previte’s grandparents started in Akron, Ohio, in 1933.
According to a press release, Previte’s grandparents wanted to name the club after their home village of Kherbet Khanafar in Lebanon, but they figured it might be a handful to pronounce, leading to “Kirby Club” as a nickname.
“The club was created to preserve culture while fully embracing life in America,” the press release said. “Wherever the gathering, food was at the center, bonding old and new, heritage and new generations to foods made anew with American twists and local ingredients.”
Here’s more from the press release on Kirby Club’s food and drink offerings:
The menu revolves around kebabs, a universal love language shared across multiple countries in the Eastern Mediterranean. At the heart of the menu are Chef Hegazi’s Kebabs including Dukka Shrimp marinated in sesame, hibiscus, coriander and Chicken Shish Taouk with garlic, cumin and fenugreek. Guests can opt for a Kebab Shindig, a full-blown kebab party with one of each kebab plus dips and spreads like Havuc, a seasonal carrot dip with garlic and lemon, or Bessara made of fava beans, tahina and cilantro. To share or split, there are Picnic Platters such as the Beef Rib with cumin, allspice, Aleppo pepper, pomegranate, pickles, sweet & spicy harissa, as well as a wide range of shareable starters like Falafel, fava beans, parsley, coriander, sumac onions, bread, pink tahina.
To complement the food, house-crafted cocktails include the Wanderer of WANA made with tequila, orange blossom, mango, lime, sumac-Aleppo salt; and large-format cocktails including Camellia Kirby made with gin, apricot tea, campari +vermouth.
The restaurant will be open from 4-10 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays.
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