Thirty years ago, Paymon Raouf opened a local deli featuring Middle Eastern food and beverages on Maryland Parkway in the University District. He had dreams, but he couldn’t have known in 1988 that the Middle Eastern Bazaar, as it was known then, would evolve into what is now arguably the best-known and most awarded Mediterranean restaurant in Las Vegas with three locations in the area. All Paymon’s locales serve traditional dishes from around the Mediterranean region, and a fantastic line of signature cocktails, as well as provide a first-class Hookah Lounge (a name he trademarked and concept he created) experience for those who wish to gather with friends and socialize in a relaxed and ultra-comfortable setting.
Through the years the name had changed to the Mediterranean Cafe to reflect the diverse cuisines in the Mediterranean region, and finally to Paymon’s Mediterranean Café & Lounge. The final name change was due to branding the Paymon’s name and to bring attention to the full-service operation with the Hookah Lounge. In 2004 Paymon’s opened its second full-service location on West Sahara Avenue, and just last week, they opened the doors at the newest restaurant and the third location at 8955 S. Eastern Avenue, at the Northwest corner of Eastern and the 215.
Paymon’s encompasses cuisines from various parts of the Mediterranean versus a single origin of cuisine. No other restaurant that calls itself Mediterranean serves a combination of Italian, Greek, Persian, Arabic, Israeli, and even some Indian dishes that are ultra-popular in the Mediterranean. The menu also features over 25 vegan and vegetarian selections. The quality ingredients include sea salt, the freshest herbs and spices, hand-trimmed lean meats, zero-trans-fat oils, and no artificial additives or preservatives making its offerings not only delicious but also healthy. Paymon’s is well known for its flavorful dishes, huge portions, and casual pricing.
Competing for talent in a market like Las Vegas can be a challenge, and one of the keys to success is how little staff turnover there is. Jeff Ecker owner of Restaurant Consultants of Las Vegas manages the company and understands the importance of high morale and its impact on retaining staff, some of which have been under his direction for as long as 18 years. As a result, the service is very consistent. The company philosophy of mutual respect allows staff to be much more self-directed than traditional full-service restaurants. Paymon’s also understands the importance of the home life of their staff which helps keep spirits and productivity up. “We try to keep our patrons happy with healthy, fresh food and keep our staff happy by keeping a close eye on morale,” says Ecker.
Loyal patrons who live in the Henderson area have been requesting a Paymon’s Café and Hookah Lounge presence for years, and the new S. Eastern Avenue location will happily serve the residents and visitors of the area. The new location has a pizza oven that allows Paymon’s to create Mediterranean themed pizzas like the Med Pizza, a combination of sauce, seasoned ground lamb, a fine 50/50 mozzarella-provolone cheese blend, grilled seasoned eggplant, baby spinach, red onion, and goat cheese. There are four themed pizzas and a build-your-own option as well.
Fine imported tiles, fabrics, and other unique collectibles adorn the walls, creating an incredible visual experience. The outdoor patio is also something to see. Paymon himself, designed and created a very inviting outdoor environment with a combination of lights, canvas ceilings, incredible sound system, and more, making it a must-see experience. Know that at its newest location, you’ll be greeted by a combination of their seasoned staff and new employees specially trained to maintain its consistent operations.
Paymon’s is open for lunch, dinner, and late-night dining and is committed to delivering the best dining experience by using only the freshest and finest ingredients. With unique and fresh Mediterranean food, they happily continue to serve Vegas, her visitors and her residents, the best hummus and Athens fries to satisfy your Mediterranean cravings – now in three convenient locations!