Ayhan Hassan, owner of the Shish Kebab chain of Mediterranean restaurants on Long Island, was the featured speaker at the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting held at the Inn at Great Neck on April 21. Chamber Program Chairwoman Lee Seeman introduced Hassan as “an American success story,” having gone from “merchant seaman to successful restaurateur.”
Hassan was born and raised on the island of Cyprus. He told the audience that more than 45 years ago as a teenager, he left his native homeland, boarded an oil tanker and emigrated to the United States.
He spoke to the members about how he was “impressed by the scenic waterfront areas” on Long Island, which reminded him of his homeland. Hassan found a small vacant location in Port Washington overlooking the harbor, worked hard, “settled down” and opened a local restaurant serving gourmet Mediterranean cuisine at reasonable prices. It was an instant success—and the rest is history.
Over the years, Hassan has opened eight restaurants all over Long Island, each under a different concept. The Great Neck location, which opened in 2012 at 132 Middle Neck Rd., is his newest.
For more information on the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce and its upcoming events, visit www.greatneckchamber.org, contact the group through its Facebook page or call 516-487-2000.