In 1976, Tanios and Marie Abi-Najm along with their five young children, Dory, Dany, David, Gladys and Grace, boarded a cargo ship in the middle of the night to escape the Civil War in Lebanon. Bound for Arlington, Virginia, where other family members had already been living, Tanios, Marie and their children set course for their new life. In 1979, after having worked in several local restaurants, the family had finally saved enough to purchase a humble corner restaurant in the Westover neighborhood of Arlington. Being practical, they kept the original sign, “Athenian Taverna,” but changed one word, and thus the “Lebanese Taverna” legacy was born.
After nearly 4 decades in the national capital region, the Abi-Najm family has won the hearts and taste buds of foodies all over town. Today, the Lebanese Taverna Group owns and operates 12 locations around the Washington D.C. Metro area, and has been recognized by numerous media outlets and publications as a staple in the local region for the very best Mediterranean cuisine.