By Nadezhda Chayka Otterstad–
When the pandemic hit last year along with related prohibitions on indoor dining, the popular, 4.5-star rated Armenian Grill House in Citrus Heights saw a 40% drop in business. And although orders have picked up since then, owner Naz Muradyan says business isn’t yet back to pre-pandemic levels.
Muradyan and his wife have owned and operated Armenian Grill in Citrus Heights since 2017, located at 5925 Birdcage Centre Ln. in the same shopping plaza as Target and Walmart Neighborhood Market, off Sunrise Boulevard.
“This year we are still down 15-20% but it’s a gradual pick up which is pretty good,” Muradyan told The Sentinel in an interview Tuesday. He said it has helped to be located near the busy Target store, which has given him more visibility despite his restaurant being set back significantly from Sunrise Boulevard.
“We’re planning to gate out the patio and put red chairs to draw more attention,” he said, describing the foot traffic from the nearby big-box store as his restaurant’s “main bread and butter.” He said delivery services like GrubHub have also helped keep business flowing.
Muradyan’s restaurant is also located in the Sunrise Marketplace Business Improvement District, which he said has been a “huge help” during the pandemic.
“They’re like our right hand. Without them, we can’t do anything,” he said, noting district staff helped with sign banners, social distancing floor stickers and monthly “check-ins.”
Since opening three years ago, the grill house has earned more than 300 reviews on Yelp, averaging 4.5-out-of-five stars. Popular dishes include lamb gyros, kebabs, soups and appetizers like Greek fries and falafel.
Additional menu items can be found on the restaurant’s website, www.armeniangrillhouse.net.