- Business Advocacy
Longtime Alhambra restaurateur Wahib Wahby, who owned Wahib’s Middle East Restaurant, 910 E. Main St., Alhambra, for many years, died April 9.
Mr. Wahby was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1945. He owned a downtown Beirut restaurant known as Wahib’s Union. In 1979 he and his wife immigrated to California and opened Wahib’s Middle East Restaurant in Alhambra in 1982. The first location held four tables and could seat 20 customers at any one time to enjoy Lebanese and Middle Eastern dishes including kebabs, lamb chops, falafels, vegetarian plates, and other favorites.
In 1990, he moved the restaurant to 910 E Main St. to accommodate the increasing number of customers, up to 200 at a time. Wahib’s could deliver, host, and cater events such as weddings and birthday parties of up to 500 people. The patio was set aside for smokers of the traditional Middle Eastern hookahs. In a tribute to Wahib, his friend and longtime Main Street businessman Sam Artino said, “No one on Main Street put in more hours at his business than Wahib.”
Unfortunately, Wahib lost his restaurant in 2017. But he did not stop cooking. He rented kitchen space at Star Buffet in Covina to keep his catering business going and to add Mediterranean dishes to the buffet menu.
Wahib and his cooking were so popular that the restaurant changed its name to Star Buffet Chinese & Wahib’s Mediterranean. In an interview last summer with Around Alhambra, Wahib candidly admitted, “I miss Alhambra.” Today, Alhambra misses him.
Services were held April 20.