Azee Raghbat traveled from Atlanta to visit his in-laws in Columbus one weekend, and he realized we had something really special going on here, food-wise. “I saw food trucks everywhere and realized they were doing amazing. I thought to myself, ‘Let me take my talents here and see what I can do.’ So, I moved to Columbus,” Raghbat explained.
At first, Raghbat was set on a food truck business, something he was familiar with, for he operated a food truck down in Atlanta for years. When he moved to Columbus, he first opened Ana Shawarma on W. Broad St. “I applied, did all my paperwork correctly, signed a lease for the parking spot, created an electric plug…and then of course I found out that the location wasn’t technically Columbus Jurisdiction. It was in Prairie Township, who called me saying the rules were completely different, and that I was only allowed to be at that spot for three months,” he said.
In the three months that AnA Shawarma was open, it gained a lot of popularity, with their gooey, cheesesteak offerings and fresh chicken shawarma. AnA Shawarma then found a new spot on Hudson Ave. and was there for another three months, but then, an opportunity arrived for a spot at a new ghost kitchen, High Street Kitchens, located in the heart of Clintonville, at 2864 N. High St.
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“On our grand opening day, on September 8th, over 500 people showed up. The community has shown us a lot of support in the past week and a half. Now, we’re just trying to get the word out and let the community know we’re here to serve you,” Raghbat said.
AnA Shawarma is influenced by Ragbhat’s Afghani and NYC/Philly background. His father used to own a restaurant in Philadelphia that focused on Philly Cheesesteaks and fried chicken, and he grew up visiting family members in NYC. “I have that culture of Philadelphia, New York, and Afghanistan instilled in me,” said Ragbhat.
And that culture is evident in Ana Shawarma’s menu, which features Falafel Platters, Chicken and Lamb Shawarmas, Wings, and of course, their iconic Philly Cheesesteaks, Chopped Cheese, Cheeseburgers, and Gyro Sandwiches. Sides include Rice, Fries, and Banana Pudding.
Ana Shawarma is open 7 days a week: Monday-Wednesday, 11am-11pm, Thursday-Saturday, 3pm-2am, and Sunday, 12pm-12am, making it a go-to spot for late night food options, as well. Call (380) 206-7794 to place an order, pick it up or sit-in at 2864 N. High St., and check out their Facebook to stay up-to-date.
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