Ghassan’s for family fare

by Charles Womack

After opening for business in 1975, Ghassan’s quickly became known for its Philly steak and cheese.

(photo by Charles Womack)

I love family businesses. Being part of a family business myself, I appreciate the hard work, long hours and unique dynamics that occur in family-run operations. That’s one of the reasons I like Ghassan’s, owned and operated by the Fleihan family since its founding.

Ghassan’s restaurant opened it’s first location on High Point Road in Greensboro back in December 1975.

“Originally the restaurant was a partnership between my parents, Khaled and May Fleihan, and Khaled’s brother, my uncle Ghassan,” said Lina Fleihan Urmos. “In 1995, my family bought Ghassan’s share and became the sole owners. My brother, Ziad is the General Manager of all 3 locations and I am in charge of catering and marketing. My sisters, Dunia and Rima, are also a huge help at the front of the house.”

There are many ways that successful restaurants can choose to operate. One is to focus on a particular menu item and do it, hands down, better than anyone. The steak-and-cheese remains a staple on the menu.

“Initially we served a variety of sandwiches and salads,” Urmos said, “but we quickly became famous for our steak-and-cheese subs.”

On my recent visit, I ordered the 8-inch steak and cheese which features grilled steak, melted provolone cheese and saut’ed onions on a toasted sub roll with lettuce and their famous dressing.

When they take your order, the cooks toss the meat on the grill and it starts to sizzle. They wait a few minutes and then lay the bread on top of the meat to soak up some steam and juice and soften it up. The platter comes with fries that are extra crispy and a salad. The staff was friendly and anxious to get my order out quickly.

The sandwich is great. Most long-timers in the area can attest to that. Anyone new to the area needs to get it worked into their lunch calendar.

“Many of our employees have worked for us for many years, which allows us to offer great customer service to our patrons,” said Urmos.

Ghassan’s features menu items such as hot and cold subs, hot pitas, souvlaki, fried falafel, chicken salad sub, Italian sub, chicken and beef kabobs and much more.