Suraya, the Middle Eastern food destination in Fishtown, opens its market

Market side of Suraya, 1528 Frankford Ave.

Suraya, the Middle Eastern-inspired food destination stretching across an entire block in Fishtown, opens Tuesday, Nov. 28.

It’s being rolled out in phases, with the market — at 1528 Frankford Ave. — going first. In addition to gifts, spices, and food to go, there is a full bar as well as a cafe menu, plus comfy seating.

Camera icon SURAYA
Baba ghanouj at Suraya.

The morning starts with Stumptown coffee and house-baked pastries, the flatbreads known as manousheh, appetizers and plates such as hummus, and yogurt. Lunch brings sandwiches and salads. Market hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; kitchen hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Next up — likely in January — will be the adjacent 125-seat restaurant, built around an open kitchen fronted by a 20-seat dining counter and including a 12-foot charcoal grill and Woodstone oven.

In early spring, the project adds a 4,000-square-foot garden and outdoor bar on the property’s Front Street side. Richard Stokes Architecture did the layout.

Camera icon MICHAEL KLEIN / Staff
Outside Suraya last summer (from left): Chef Nick Kennedy, Nathalie Richan, and Greg Root.

Owners have plenty of firepower and knowledge of the land known as the Levant — the eastern Mediterranean area encompassed by Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, and Egypt: Beirut-born Nathalie Richan, who owns Northern Liberties’ Cafe La Maude, and her brother, Roland Kassis, who’s been instrumental in redeveloping the neighborhood — as he owns about a million square feet in the area, including the buildings occupied by La Colombe’s flagship and Frankford Hall. Also on board, running the day-to-day operation, are chef Nick Kennedy and Greg Root of the nearby Root restaurant — also a Kassis tenant.

Suraya — say it “sir-AY-ah” — is Suraya Harouni, Richan’s and Kassis’ grandmother and the matriarch, the oldest sister of a big family of sisters.

“She kept the family together during war, and she loved everybody. Race, religion did not matter,” Richan said.