Burgermeister owner's son to open Beit Rima on San Francisco's Church Street

SAN FRANCISCO -- In November, local mini-chain Burgermeister shuttered its Church Street location after more than 16 years in operation.

But shortly after slinging its last slider, a note posted to the business signaled that a new fast-casual Arabic restaurant called Beit Rima (Arabic for "Rima's House") would be taking over.

It turns out that Beit Rima is still part of the Burgermeister family. It's owned by Burgermeister founder Paul Mogannam's 28-year-old son, Samir Mogannam, who plans to have the restaurant up and running by February.

The elder Mogannam is hoping to retire soon, Samir told Hoodline, though he will still be a majority owner in the business.

In addition to the Church Street outpost, Burgermeister also closed its North Beach location this month. It continues to operate at Carl and Cole streets in Cole Valley, as well as in Daly City and Berkeley.

Samir Mogannam. | Photo: Beit Rima/Instagram

Samir's first solo restaurant venture, Beit Rima is inspired by his mom Rima's cooking.

"She's originally from Jordan, and she's my inspiration for a lot of the cooking that I'm going to do," he said. "She's a great cook."

The menu will mirror food served at the Mogannams' family dinner parties. "We always have this huge meze appetizer spread," he said. "So to help preserve my culture and the recipes that I grew up with, we'll have a wide selection of veggies and hummus, all those foods that you want to share and eat with bread."

For lunch, expect to see pita sandwiches, house-made falafel and a vegan "chicken" option, as well as soups, salads and potato dishes with seasonal Arabic flavors.

From there, Samir plans to roll out dinner service, followed by a "full Arabic brunch, something that you'd have at my mom's house on a Sunday," he said. Shakshuka (poached eggs in a tomato-based sauce) will be served all day, and an assortment of Arabic and Turkish coffees and teas are joining the mix, too.

Shakshuka at Beit Rima. | Photo: Beit Rima/Instagram

Since Burgermeister closed, Samir has teamed up with a designer friend to give the interior a refresh. "We've been working on getting it back after 16 years of grilling burgers here," he said.

"The transition has been pretty easy. Because my dad is still the majority owner, it's technically still under Burgermeister management," he added. "But I want to take care of him and do my best here, so that I can help him retire."