Casablanca and Arabian come together uptown
Casablanca restaurant has merged with Arabian Deep Fried Chicken on Court Street.
Amre Elsayed, owner of Casablanca in Washington Lane, decided to follow his heart in this new venture.
Just as he was about to open another Casablanca takeaway café on Front Street, he was swayed in another direction.
Mr Elsayed said: “I was working on opening the Front Street location but decided to help the owners of Arabian Deep Fried Chicken.
“They are getting older and can't push their bodies to the limit anymore. Abdul Hakeem and his wife, Taheerah Ayannah Hakeem, have been in business for a long time; you can only push your body so far. I saw that they needed help and they are like family to me, so I had to help in some way.”
Mr and Mrs Hakeem have been the owners of Arabian Deep Fried Chicken for more than 36 years and attribute the success of the business to their faith.
“Our secret to having a successful business is that we have been conscious and aware of almighty God's blessing on us,” said Mr Hakeem.
“We could not do it without divine intervention. My wife and I have made a conscious decision that we would not go into business for the purpose of chasing after money; we would go into business for serving the needs of our community and because of this we have become a part of the community.
“People will come in and we always made sure that we gave them the best of quality service. We treated them with the upmost respect and let them know we are grateful.”
Mr Hakeem expressed his gratitude for Mr Elsayed and said that it was a natural transition as they share the same values and beliefs.
“The business is a merging of efforts, we aren't just friends we are family and Amre shares our faith, he has the unfailing commitment to the principles of halal foods, and I have to pass the baton to him now. This is a continuation and a revolution from Arabian Deep Fried Chicken to Casablanca.”
Mr Hakeem mentioned that Arabian Deep Fried Chicken was the first to introduce halal to the island, which is a method of preparing meats practised by the Islamic faith.
Because Casablanca is following the same practice it was a natural fit.
Mr Elsayed said he is ‘not the typical businessman' and he believes that the merger will help the Hakeems in the long run.
“I would like to dedicate this article to the legacy of Mr and Mrs Hakeem. It is not about Casablanca opening another branch, although everyone was asking me when I am opening the Front Street location. I have decided to put a hold on it to open this one right now,” he said.
Arabian Deep Fried Chicken will have its name changed to Casablanca Uptown.
“I have decided to name it Casablanca Uptown, and when the Front Street branch opens it will be called Casablanca Downtown,” said Mr Elsayed.
The takeaway will still serve some of Arabian Deep Fried Chicken's favourites such as fish pockets, fried foods, and fresh local fish. It will introduce kebabs, shawarma, Chinese foods, soups, hot and cold buffet, and fish chowder, which is one of the favourites made by executive chef Mohamed Wafik.
Mr Elsayed said: “Everyone is trying to steal my chef, people have came from overseas, everywhere, but we have a good relationship and have been working together for years.”
The takeaway will open tomorrow. Its hours of operation are 10am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday. It is closed on Sundays.