Lebanese Taverna is proudly owned and operated by the Abi-Najm Family.
Tanios and Marie Abi-Najm along with their five young children, Dory, Dany, David, Gladys and Grace, immigrated to the United States in 1976. In the middle of the night, the family boarded a cargo ship to escape the Civil War in Lebanon bringing only what they could carry. The final destination was Arlington, Virginia where other family members had already been living. For three years, the parents worked in several restaurants and the three oldest boys performed odd jobs such as newspaper delivery, mowing lawns, and working as busboys. In 1979, the family saved enough money to purchase a small restaurant in the Westover neighborhood of Arlington, where they lived. Being practical, they kept the original sign, "Athenian Taverna," but changed one word, and thus" Lebanese Taverna" was born. Each family member had a role at the original location whether it was greeting guests, serving food, cooking in the kitchen or finishing homework at the tables.
With the success of the second Lebanese Taverna in DC, the family envisioned having several locations throughout the DC Metropolitan area. Lebanese Taverna Group was formed to house the corporate office. Henrik Suhr, a family friend and graduate of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, joined the group to help with business management and lease negotiation.
Today, Lebanese Taverna is a multi-concept collaboration with six restaurants, four quick service cafes, a market, and full service catering division. Tanios and Marie have retired and the five siblings, each with their own specialty, operate the business.
"My family and I have come a long way since opening the original Lebanese Taverna in 1979. We look at the hard work that has brought the business into its present existence and know that it was worth every effort. Each night my children are still greeting old friends and welcoming new ones into the restaurants where they grew up and shared their lives. Lebanese Taverna has come to symbolize the realization of dreams and the rewards of dedication for us. Good food is enjoyed in good company. What I wish to say to you is; thank you and welcome to my home" Tanios Abi-Najm