Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Zerza owner discusses his intentions for new Avenue B space

Yesterday, we posted an item about Zerza moving from East Sixth Street to the former Carne Vale space on Avenue B ... the owner left a comment on the post last night, and it sounds as if he is a good neighbor...

My name is Radouane and I came to the United States in 1994 as part of the Walt Disney World college program. I enjoyed working at the Moroccan Pavilion at Disney’s Epcot Center in Orlando and sharing my culture with visitors was very much an enjoyable experience so the idea of opening a restaurant to became one of my goals.

In 1997 I was hired by the Plaza Hotel on 59th street and 5th Ave. I was the guest relations manager there, handling the Hotel’s VIP guests and its distinguished visitors. All along I never let go of the idea to open a restaurant so I started taking classes in entrepreneurial management, I secured a loan and I quit my job in 2003 to take the plunge!

In order to make the restaurant experience complete and more authentic, my mother, a talented chef, accepted my invitation and came from Morocco to be part of Zerza and till this day she has been the real magic behind it!
I am proud to say that for the past 7 years we have been operating Zerza, we never had a complaint from any neighbor. We strive to operate the restaurant in the highest standards of hospitality.

Fresh, authentic Moroccan home cooking has always been our first and foremost focus. Yes we did have belly dancing in the past (on Friday and Saturday for 15 minutes) but since I was never a fan of that I decided to stop it a very long time ago. After all belly dancing is not really part of the Moroccan culture! I don’t believe there is any mention of the belly dancing on our web site: www.zerza.com.

We are absolutely not about hookahs and we stopped serving it a long time ago, we had a few exceptions every once in a while for a few guests who requested it after their dinner just so they can try it. Hookahs are definitely not our draw. Many times we get customers who walk in asking if we serve hookahs but we just direct them to a hookah bar in the area.

Now you might ask why Ave B and here is the answer: Our current location is tiny, narrow and high rent! The location we are after on Ave B offers more space at a very reasonable rent! It is not going to be as big as you might previously know it: The landlord has taken half of the space and is turning it to an apartment, so it is going to be smaller but still better for us than the current space that we occupy.

I hope this gave you an idea of Zerza and its story. I hope we get a chance to show you that we will be a positive addition to your neighborhood.

Zerza is on Facebook! Please take a look at some of the guest’s interactions to get a better idea about. Also you are welcome to come and see us now at 308 East 6th street and judge for yourself.


Anonymous said...

Considering the history I would ask the following:
What is the name of the corporation?
Who are the investors?
Is ANYONE from Le Souk involved?
Will there be dancing?
Will the basement be used for customers?
Will the backyard be used for customers?
Will the business need to make its profit from liquor?

These question and more will be asked at the board meeting.

Anonymous said...

Bring the landlord to the meeting!
Is this the same person that allowed Le Souk to open carne valle in violation of the SLA regulations?

Melanie said...

This sounds good. I love Moroccan food. BTW-There was a stop work order on one of the restaurants on Ave B which was redoing their front(between 6&7th streets yesterday.

Anonymous said...

"and it sounds as if he is a good neighbor... "

Yeah, uh... it sounds like he's kind of a douche to me (but then who would want to open a business on that Ave, other than a douche), but hope I'm wrong.

Richard D James said...

Gee, the East Village would be WAY better the way it was before. No businesses, no restaurants, drug-dealers everywhere, unsafe to be alone on the streets at night (this is sarcastic FYI).


I understand not wanting the East Village to be frat-bar city, but lets be realistic, the bars, the restaurants, and the foot traffic are what has helped transform this neighborhood into someplace cabbies aren't afraid to go.

I remember being uneasy about being on Ave C and D on late nights b/c of the crime. Now there are several supermarkets, coffee shops, bars and restaurants.

Anonymous said...

I am a neighbor and customer of Zerza. This is a small, family-owned restaurant serving delicious, home-cooked Moroccan food. In fact Radouane's mother is the chef. People go to this restaurant to dine and appreciate the fine cuisine, unlike many of the other establishments in this community who cater to the drunken hordes and who are slowly destroyiing the East Village and Lower East Side. Zerza will be an asset to the neighborhood on Avenue B and will be missed on East 6th Street.

Jean. S

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I'm looking forward to this opening (yet another restaurant/cuisine for me to taste & review). I haven't been to the original location yet, but this seems like a great addition to the 'hood. Best of luck & I'll be there once you guys open!