Popular Middle Eastern Restaurant reopens

Photo by Daniel Heraty

Cook Sobhi Alrumi prepares the rotisserie at the new La Shish, which opened May 10.

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN – La Shish, the popular local restaurant that closed down in May 2008, has reopened.

The restaurant, at 12918 Michigan Ave., opened May 10 following months of renovations and repairs, which cost about $450,000, owner Carmel Halloun said.

He owns two American-fare restaurants in the Flint area and acquired the rights to the La Shish name in January and soon afterward announced the original location’s comeback. Reactions have been positive, he said, and customers are excited to have the restaurant back.

“It’s been very busy since we opened,” Halloun said. “Steady in and out.”

Halloun also rehired most of original restaurant’s former staff and spent about $60,000 gathering the original recipes. He retained the name in July 2010 and reopened the original restaurant because of familiarity.

“I don’t want a different location,” Halloun said. “I’m used to the operation.”

He also plans to expand into locations where La Shish had been before, such as western Wayne County, as well as Oakland and Macomb counties. Halloun said he is in negotiations for other facilities, but declined to

The chain’s former owner, Talal Chahine, was charged with tax evasion and taking about $21 million from the restaurants. He fled the country in 2005 and is believed to be in Lebanon.