Al-Bake needs no introduction. Located at New Friends’ Colony Community Center, the outlet is known for its Lebanese shawarma with food buffs turning up from across the national Capital to relish the delicacy.
Over the years, several outlets were opened in Jamia Nagar, but nobody could catch up with Al-Bake’s popularity.
If you live in and around Okhla you too must have tasted its shawarma. However, many among you must have not known about a few things: How it was started? And how the outlet grew from one to six branches in Delhi?
The story of Al-Bake goes back to 2000 when its founder MZ Beg, employed in Saudi Arabia, returned to his home in Zakir Bagh.
Originally from Azamgarh, MZ Beg told OT.COM that how his plan to open an eatery in NFC faced stiff resistance from his family members.
“It was very difficult to convince them. While in Saudi Arab I had bought this shop in NFC. After returning I was just thinking to open a shawarma shop. My family members didn’t like the idea. There was a PCO shop then a garment shop being run by my wife. But anyhow after a lot of difficulties I was able to convince them and I opened an eatery shop. Over years, it picked up. Then even a sale of Rs 100 used to make me happy,” he said.
MZ Beg brought with him 20 years’ experience of working in hotel industry. He said while coming from Saudi he bought a shawarma machine that is used to make the finger-licking delicacy. As shawarma was something new for many in and around Okhla, the eatery started attracting crowd in no time. Later as the business picked up, his only son, who was working as engineer in Saudi, too joined him.
A Jamia Millia Islamia alumnus, his son too participates in the family business.
Many old timers at Jamia still remember that seventeen years ago there were only a few vegetarian eateries around. However, Al-Bake changed eating habits of residents.
A down-to-earth businessman, MZ Beg is seen around his eatery with his wife too at the outlet.
Besides running business, the family is also involved in charity work, said sources.