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Couple fulfills dream by re-opening local restaurant

By Staff | Mar 25, 2011

(Chronicle photo by Kelly Cambrel) Shaharazade’s Exotic Tea Room and Restaurant received a face lift. New owner, Lisa Olney redecorated the dining area in preparation for a soft opening April 1.

Shaharazade’s is under new ownership and will re open its doors to the public Friday, April 1.

According to Lisa Olney, who recently purchased the restaurant with her husband David, Shaharazade’s is relaunching with some of the familiar favorites still on the menu as well as some new additions.

Olney said that she and her husband decided to make an offer on the restaurant after visiting Shepherdstown last fall.

Olney, who resides about 30 minutes outside of Shepherdstown in Myersville, Md., has been a fan of the restaurant for years and often visited to have a meal at the eatery.

For almost six years now Olney and her husband have discussed opening a small restaurant similar to Shaharazade’s in theme and planned to use the exotic tea room as a model.

When the space became available last year, the couple saw it as an opportunity to fulfill that dream.

According to Olney, Shaharazade’s has been revitalized with some changes in decor and an upgraded kitchen, though the overall atmosphere will not change.

“It looks fresh and new,” she said.

Olney, an attorney who previously ran her own nonprofit international adoption agency, said she will introduce some new dishes to the menu that are inspired by her extensive travel all of the globe.

” We hope that we’re taking it up a notch or two,” she said.

The restaurant will still boast a selection of more than 70 teas. The English-inspired three-tiered tea platter will still be served, as well as the Middle Eastern themed kabobs, in addition to a variety of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern inspired soups, salads and wraps.

Paninis and quiche have been added to the menu as well as an assortment of Indian entrees and appetizers to be served every weekend on a trial basis.

“People I met in India actually gave me recipes,” Olney said.

The menu will include Indian entrees, like Chicken Tika Masala; a grilled chicken dish; appetizers, like Indian Samosas that Olney described as veggie-filled pastries; and baskets full of traditional Indian breads.

Though Olney plans to do some of the cooking herself, she has hired a few experienced to cooks to help, as well as a wait staff.

A soft opening is planned for April 1 with a grand opening to follow in the weeks to come.