A young man who comes from a long line of good Lebanese cooks is planning to open his own lunch spot on Campbell Avenue in downtown Roanoke.
Daniel Melki is aiming to open Hummus House on Feb. 27. The restaurant will be located in the same space that has housed several other eateries in the past, most recently Chance & Maddie’s. It is in the Crystal Tower building in the 100 block of Campbell.
Melki, 28, said he’ll be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday serving such Lebanese specialties as pita wraps (chicken, beef and vegetable), tabbouli salad, hummus, falafel, kibbi, stuffed grape leaves, spinach and feta cheese wraps and baklava. He said the recipes he’ll be using are family recipes. If you recognize the name Melki, it might be because his mom, Marcelle, was one of the featured home cooks in our “Look Who’s Cooking” series last year.
Daniel Melki said he is not too concerned that previous restaurants did not succeed in that spot because they had very simple burgers-and-fries menus. “There was no creativity,” he said. “There are a ton of burger-and-fry places around.” He knows the Lebanese Festival at St. Elias Church on Cove Road in Roanoke has become hugely popular and thinks Lebanese cuisine is something people get a craving for. He doesn’t want it to only be available once a year.
Melki said he will aim to offer quick, in-and-out service and reasonable prices. For example, he wants patrons to be able to leave with a platter (wrap, hummus and fries, for example) with a drink for under $8.
If the opening date changes, I’ll let you know.