After 20 years, Cole Valley standby Burgermeister will close at the end of July , but owner Paul Mogannam’s long-running business will remain in the family: His son, Samir Mogannam, will transform the 86 Carl Street space into a second location of Beit Rima, the Palestinian and Jordanian restaurant he opened in February.
That first location, at 138 Church Street, also occupies a former Burgermeister restaurant space. The second Beit Rima will open in September, Samir hopes, retaining staff from Burgermeister as well.
Named for Samir’s mother, Beit Rima has drawn crowds for “Arabic comfort food” like muhummara, fattoush, and fresh, hand-kneaded bread — all served at reasonable prices in a casual, homey setting. Mogannam, who brought experience from Aziza, Dyafa, and Tawla, says he hoped to expand Beit Rima to other Burgermeister spaces — there’s another in Daly City and one in Berkeley. But he hadn’t planned to do so this quickly.
Amid Beit Rima’s early success, “My dad just busted it out on me that people wanted to do it sooner than later,” Samir says. The new location will serve a menu very similar to the first, with interior designs also by Fadi Alnumaani. A downstairs prep area could become a bread room for more fresh pita, too.
The beginning of the Beit Rima era is the end of another: Burgemeister has served neighborhood faithful day-in and day-out, the first in what became a city-wide chain. But now, the highly residential neighborhood is ready for something new. “Cole Valleys’ already really excited,” says Samir — there’s been chatter about Beit Rima on a neighborhood Facebook page.
Eventually, Samir would like Beit Rima to help his dad retire after a long, 52-year career: For now, they’re business partners, with Paul Mogannam a 51 percent owner.