Shalimar Grocery adds Halal cafe to the mix

Shalimar Grocery, specializing in Indian, Pakistani and Middle Eastern foods, has added a Halal cafe at 16541 Redmond Way.

Halal cafe chef Majeed Barrak

Halal cafe chef Majeed Barrak

Shalimar Grocery, specializing in Indian, Pakistani and Middle Eastern foods, has added a Halal cafe at 16541 Redmond Way.

A popular offering is the $5.99 lunch buffet which includes entrees such as butter chicken or chicken masala and a dessert.

Since a soft opening in March, owners Aftab Farooqi and Syed Sajjad have seen many of their regular grocery shoppers drifting over to the cafe side during daytime hours. In the evenings, young, ethnic professionals from Microsoft and other local businesses are treating the cafe “as a hang-out,” said Sajjad.

The owners plan to get a big-screen TV for cricket-watching — and with warmer weather arriving, will introduce outdoor seating and iced drinks.

“We plan to have some stalls at Derby Days. It’s a good marketing opportunity,” Sajjad noted, referring to Redmond’s annual summer festival which happens this year on Saturday, July 11.

Although Shalimar didn’t actively participate in last year’s Derby Days, several new customers discovered the shop as they explored downtown Redmond, Farooqi said.

On the grocery side of Shalimar, best-selling products include basmati rice, bulk lentils, raw or blended seasonings, speciality cooking oils and unique teas, pickles, chutneys and snack foods.

Shalimar is open seven days a week from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. For more information, call (425) 881-7487.

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