When Andy Hajjar opened Andy’s Mediterranean Grill in Walnut Hills in 2001, he quickly made a name for himself as a notable Queen City restaurateur. Now he’s in the process of opening a second location of the fast-casual counterpoint to Andy’s Mediterranean Grill, Kabobske, near University of Cincinnati’s campus on Short Vine Street in Corryville, slated to open the first week of January.
Hajjar, a native of Lebanon, taps into his background to create authentic Mediterranean food at an affordable price. The menu boasts healthy, fresh, and inexpensive options—think tabbouleh, a traditional parsley-based Lebanese salad; mama ghanoush, a sweeter alternative to the classic baba ghanoush, made with zucchini instead of eggplant; and a carrot-based hummus. The melts, which Hajjar describes as a “gyro but on pita bread,” can be made with chicken, steak, lamb, or vegan options, including falafel or grape leaves. Kabobske has also developed its own tahini (sesame seed paste) for falafel, which can be ordered medium, spicy, or extra spicy.
The original Kabobske location in Florence opened in 2016, and the brand operates a bright green food truck that you may have spotted driving around your neighborhood or at a local festival. For the second location on Short Vine, it brings a new interior look. The 40-chair space has tree trunk–based tabletops and etchings on the walls, adding to the casual and welcoming environment. Hajjar, who had a hand in creating the design, says the restaurant is his fulfillment of the “American dream.”
Kabobske, 2904 Short Vine St., Corryville