Naf Naf Grill, the fast growing fast-casual Middle Eastern concept, will make its Lone Star State debut later this year.
Coming to 1525 US Hwy 380 in Frisco, the restaurant is the first of ten planned to open across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex over the next few years. The forthcoming Frisco location is expected to open in June or July 2022.
Naf Naf Grill has been trying to come to Dallas for some years now. As far back in 2015, Eater Dallas reported that the brand was “coming soon” to 5000 Belt Line Rd in Addison.
At the start of 2021, the brand signed a multi-unit development agreement with Dallas-based franchisee INAA Restaurant Group. The first location from that agreement was originally scheduled to open last year.
“We are thrilled that we have been able to drive growth during a difficult time for the industry,” Greg Willman, CEO of Naf Naf, said at the time. “It’s incredibly important for us to continue to grow with strong operators in key geographies to increase the footprint of the brand and share our great Middle Eastern cuisine and hospitality with even more guests.”
The INAA team, which includes Operating Partner Aamir Rajan and Principal Amir Didarali, has extensive business development experience with restaurants, real estate and retail both nationally and internationally. The group currently owns and operates a large, privately held insurance company with locations across Texas.
While exact locations for the remaining restaurants in the deal have yet to be announced, Rajan confirmed to What Now Dallas that McKinney, Plano, Las Colinas and Southlake are all set to receive a Naf Naf Grill within the next five years.
Naf Naf means to ‘fan the flame’ in Arabic. Per the brand’s website, the expression is used as an invitation for friends and family to gather and share a meal together.
Founded in 2009 by Sahar Sander, the first Naf Naf Grill opened in Naperville, Illinois. Today, the brand is headquartered in Chicago with 28 locations across Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. In November 2021, the brand also signed multi-unit agreements to bring franchise locations to Atlanta, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina.
The menu offers fresh Middle Eastern cuisine with staples such as chicken shawarma, falafel, and fresh baked pita.
Guests can build their own pita or bowl with rice, couscous or hummus; add a protein such as chicken shawarma, steak or falafel; and then top it off with chopped salad, purple cabbage or Middle Eastern pickles. Of course, there are sauce options – smooth and nutty Tahini, freshly made S’khug, and fiery Harissa.
Note: This article has been updated since its original publication to include comment from the owner.