Fans were disappointed when this Johnson County restaurant closed. It just reopened

In November, Overland Park Mediterranean restaurant Sahara served its last gyro. Or so everyone thought.

That was until now-manager Salah Harzi saw that the place closed and contacted owner Jawad Hijaz, who had shut it down, saying he would focus on his Lee’s Summit restaurant (705 S.E. Melody Lane).

With Harzi willing to run the restaurant, Sahara was able to reopen a couple weeks ago at 10150 W. 119th St.

Harzi said longtime customers came flooding back once they heard it was open again. The Johnson County restaurant, which first opened in 2021, had collected its fair share of loyal fans.

“People miss this kind of food, and there is a big community now,” he said.

The menu offers the same favorites from before — shawarma, kebabs, hummus plates and falafel.

He’s also now offering a lamb shank special with couscous. That’s a favorite for Moroccan customers, who he said can’t find good couscous dishes very many places in the Kansas City area.

Harzi, who’s from Tunisia, owned Holy Land Cafe in Lenexa — another Mediterranean spot — at 12275 W. 87th St. He served similar dishes there from 2008 to 2019.

He sold the cafe thinking he was ready to abandon the stress of the restaurant industry altogether. But after touring the Sahara space, he decided he was ready to jump back in, with the help of some of his former staff,rehiring cook and waiter.

“I like the place,” he said. “It’s nice and clean inside. I like the kitchen.”

Sahara is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays.