ANDERSONVILLE — For 35 years, Hisham Khalifgh has served fresh breads, spices and nuts to his neighbors from the small bakery he owns near the intersection of Foster and Clark.
In the mornings, Khalifgh would greet the children passing the Middle East Bakery & Grocery, at 1512 W. Foster Ave., on their way to school with fresh bread. Now, those children visit his store daily, he said.
"The best part about being here is I don't feel like I have customers, I have friends," Khalifgh said. "We're a neighborhood store. All our customers are family and friends. We know them very well and they know us very well."
But Khalifgh wants to get a little more time with the extended family, so he's expanding into the former Icosium Kafe with a cafe. The cafe will have Mediterranean food featuring their fresh products, breakfast items, drinks and several vegan and vegetarian options, he said.
The restaurant will seat about 40 people and could be open by early September, Khalifgh said.
The bakery is currently open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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