WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A popular Wilmington restaurant will soon close its doors.
According to the owner of Sahara Pitas and Subs, Edwin Bahouth, the restaurant will close after 37 years of business. He doesn’t have an exact date he’ll shut the doors for the last time, but it will be sometime in two weeks.
Bahouth is retiring. He said now it’s time to relax.
“It has been my livelihood for the last 37 years, so it means a lot and it is going to take a lot of getting used to, but I’ll adjust I’ll get used to it," he said.
“It’s time for me to kick back and go fishing,” Bahouth said.
Thursday at lunchtime, a crowd of customers lined up into the street of the walk-up and order restaurant. Bahouth said it was the busiest it has ever been in the shop’s 37 years.
He opened the restaurant when he was 23-years-old, moving from Lebanon and using his mom’s recipes.
“It started with one hot dog machine and one ice cream machine and we kept adding on, and I wanted to bring Mediterranean food to Wilmington," he said.
Some customers have been coming to the restaurant every day for lunch for 15 years and said they’re sad to see it go.
“We were a bit sad, but certainly happy for the owner Edwin ," customer Jimmy Taylor said.
“He has been at this for 37 years and he deserves retirement and he’s very excited about it. We’re sad that it’s closing, but excited for him,” Taylor said.
Bahouth said a car dealership will replace his restaurant.