More than a year ago, Michelin-starred Aziza (5800 Geary Blvd.)—one of the Richmond's gastronomical mainstays and its second Moroccan restaurant—closed its doors for a temporary, then-estimated two month renovation.
Two months passed, but as we reported last year, Aziza stayed closed. Now, after months of silence, and the evident emergence of complications with the project, chef and owner Mourad Lahlou has told Eater the extended hiatus is due to hurdles they face with city planning.
Specifically, upgrades to the space have triggered city requirements for ADA compliance and retrofitting to the building, built in 1900, and Lahlou says the changes would cost him a crippling $3 million.
Eater reports that while moving to a new location is an option Lahlou is considering, he hopes to stay in place at 5800 Geary, where he started out 16 years ago. (Since then, he has also launched the downtown modern Moroccan restaurant Mourad.)
Last year, restaurant spokesperson Kristine Keefer told Hoodline that on its reopening, Aziza would feature a modified menu and cocktail list, though details are still hazy.
Hoodline has reached out to Lahlou for comment, and we'll update this article if he responds. In the meantime, fans of Moroccan cuisine can always head to El Mansour around the corner or go downtown to Mourad.
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