published on May 11, 2017 - 1:53 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Long-awaited Persian restaurant Caspian Grill is now open in Fresno’s Sunnyside area.

The locally owned eatery, located near GB3 on the southeast corner of Kings Canyon Road and Fowler Avenue, welcomed a line of locals Monday at its soft opening.

Owner Firouzeh Heidari said the crowd was much larger than she had anticipated.

“I have 10 employees, but at this rate I’m going to have to hire more,” she said. “We even ran out of some food so now we’re making larger batches.”

The Caspian Grill menu features authentic Persian cuisine, including shish kabobs, chicken kabobs, and koofteh, a ground beef and rice dish, all seasoned with Persian herbs and spices, which make the menu items distinctly different from the more well-known Mediterranean style counterparts. All the meat, Heidari said, is made from scratch, skewered, spiced and grilled.

In addition to classic Persian offerings, Caspian Grill also has a variety of sandwiches including turkey, smoked tri-tip and hot pastrami.

Heidari said she wanted the majority of menu items — with the exception of the fries — to be healthy options for nearby residents and workers.

“I see so many fast food restaurants around here,” Heidari said of the growing neighborhood. “I noticed that kids in this generation are trying to eat healthier, though, and I thought, ‘why don’t I do something to keep them on that track by offering food that is healthy and home cooked?’”

Heidari is a familiar face in the area’s food industry, having served as the owner of the Deli Delicious franchise on Kings Canyon Road and Clovis Avenue for seven years. When she decided to open her own restaurant, she said she wanted to stay rooted near her existing customer base.

“I wanted to stay on this side of town because this is my territory and most people know me, and I can pick up from where I left off instead of starting and not knowing anybody,” Heidari said. “Sunnyside is a beautiful community.”

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