1981: Drayton Street
It’s hard to believe… nearly 40 years ago, what started out as nothing more than an idea in a small kitchen on Drayton Street in Ferndale, has come full circle into the AK restaurants we are today.
The original Anita’s Kitchen first opened its doors, at the now-legendary Tally Hall food court in Farmington Hills, Michigan. In 1981, our founders, Anita and Pierre Farah embarked on a journey to share the fresh and exotic flavors of their homeland Lebanon, with the local people of Michigan. Anita’s Kitchen enjoyed several years at Tally Hall, complimenting the lineup of international cuisine offered at this once dynamic food court, essentially pioneering the idea of today’s ever popular fast-casual cuisine concept.
In 1984, enjoying the feedback of their patrons, Anita and Pierre incorporated their Middle Eastern fast-casual cuisine into their full-service family dining location in Troy. Once again, introducing their offering of the exotic flavors of Lebanon, and expanding their namesake to suburban Detroit.
It’s All in the Family
In 2008, Anita and Pierre Farah’s daughter, Jennifer with husband Joe, believed bringing Anita’s Kitchen back to its founding roots of Ferndale would be a great opportunity to celebrate the family’s passion for offering old world food in a new world way. Almost instantly in 2008, Anita’s Kitchen Lebanese Café on Woodward Avenue quickly became a staple in the local community, bringing new customers together with the old customers of Anita’s Kitchen proper.
With the emergence of the “new” concept of fast-casual, Jennifer and Joe quickly realized representation of fresh, authentic Lebanese food served fast and affordable, was a niche they knew well. In 2018, the official fast-casual concept of Anita’s Kitchen, AKtakeaway, was born and opened its doors in thriving downtown Detroit. Conveniently located in the Detroit financial district, AKtakeaway offers healthy, locally sourced food that can be pre-ordered or ordered on-the-go, from your laptop, smartphone or at the counter, and served up by our fabulous AK team.
Our decades of telling, sharing and celebrating the Anita’s Kitchen vision has provided us the opportunity to grow and evolve into the AK brand. With the addition of our Lake Orion and Metro Airport locations in late 2019, AK is up for the challenge of carrying on the Anita’s Kitchen legacy for generations to come.
Thank you for an incredible 40 years, and we hope to see you at one of our AK locations soon!