Q is a man of many interests: acting, writing, motorcycling, cooking, entrepreneurship. After leaving his home in Iran more than 35 years ago to get a degree in the US (BS in agriculture, MA in Agricultural Engineering), Q has made the Bay Area his home.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve always had my own business. I’ve done so many things. Worked as a general contractor, opened a garage on 98th street in East Oakland. Back then the situation was pretty bad. My business partner and another owner of a gas station got shot. That got me to move out of that area and open my first café in Berkeley. It was a place to hang out. Everything was happening at the café; painting classes, cooking classes, history class, lot’s of partying.
We did “open café” nights where people would bring their own drink and food to share and talk politics, art, history, etc. Back then there was no Facebook or Twitter, people loved to hang out and meet new members of the community.
Tell me about Grazzy Burger. Why a hamburger shop?
Hamburger for Americans is a pastime food, and every single American has an opinion about how a hamburger should be cooked! The reason I did a hamburger shop is that the area where we are located is not fit for a formal setting. Also, the chances for success if you have a 10 item menu is much higher and the waste is less than a 100 item menu.
How did Grazzy and Albany taproom start?
I invited a few friends for a dinner one evening and I cooked for them. One of my friends was so impressed that he offered to start a business at the space he owned. We talked about it for a few months, did a lot of brainstorming and decided to open a hamburger shop. And since he owned the space next to Grazzy and insisted that I should do something with that space as well, I came up with the idea of a tap-room. The idea of a tap-room was still new and we had no idea how it would turn out. We didn’t advertise the opening but had over 700 people come to the event.
Do you cook at the Grazzy?
There are a few items on the menu that I cook or prepare for cooking. We have a big kitchen on the Grazzy side and a smaller kitchen on the Albany taproom side where I do my cooking.
If you’re a hamburger lover, take your family or friends out for a dinner and treat everyone to a great tasting hamburger and salads that have the freshest ingredients possible and house-made dressings. My personal favorite is the hamburger with blue cheese. On Friday nights and weekend you might be able to catch a local band playing at the Albany taproom. The selection of beer at the Albany taproom is quite impressive. Q also showcases art and photography by local artists. If you see his black and yellow motorcyle parked outside, make sure to say hi and ask for his advice for food and beer pairing.
Grazzy Burger and Albany Taproom: 747 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706