Just before COVID-19 restrictions set in, Gyro House moved into a new 10th Ave E location bordering Capitol Hill. The Iraqi-style mediterranean restaurant is now adjusting to business in a new neighborhood and new coronavirus age of serving customers.
Owner Akram Bouman Ali arrived with his family in the United States as Iraqi refugees in 2009 and achieved his dream of starting a restaurant in 2018 when Gyro House opened at its first location on 5th Ave S between downtown and the International District.
“My dad always inspires me — he’s hard of hearing, he has a lot of health issues going on but he never gave up on his dream,” said his daughter Amal Bouman Ali, who helps manage the business.
Gyro House has options for meat and veg lovers alike, including gyro, shawarma and falafel pita sandwiches and combo plates. The restaurant joins only a few other mediterranean spots around the Hill and stands out with dishes like ground beef kefta kabobs and pasha plates. Desserts include baklava — vegan and non-vegan — and burma.
In January, Gyro House moved into the new 10th Ave E space that used to be My Thai after new owners of its former downtown location decided to knock the building down, Bouman Ali said.
“That was actually a surprise for us because we were not planning to move anywhere else — the location was really convenient,” she said.
Although the restaurant has done business primarily through catering and takeout orders over the years and planned to do the same at the new location, operating during the time of coronavirus has not come without challenges. With brick and mortar closures and employees working from home, Bouman Ali says Gyro House has taken a hit since it relied heavily on catering for income.
“It was really hard because our main customers were through catering with companies in downtown Seattle, so we had a lot of orders from Amazon and Microsoft and we had a couple of design companies that were our regular customers,” she said. “When everything shut down it really hit us hard and about a month into it we were thinking to close our business.”
At the new location, Gyro house is offering exclusively takeout for now, although she says they may set up tables for dining-in depending on demand in the coming months.
“We’re staying hopeful that we’re going to find new customers and hopefully get the word out and improve our business,” she said.
Although the restaurant’s website and delivery platforms are currently being updated as some listings show outdated information, carryout orders can be placed over the phone, in-person or through delivery services like Grubhub and Postmates.
Gyro House is open daily from 11 AM to 9 PM at 2355 10th Ave E. You can learn more at gyrohouseone.com.
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