Downtown Auburn Welcomes International Restaurant | Business

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Downtown Auburn Welcomes International Restaurant
Downtown Auburn Welcomes International Restaurant

International restaurant owner, entrepreneur and founder Nabin Naral could have started a business anywhere in the world. Having already opened multiple restaurants in Singapore and seeking to expand into new markets in Indonesia and Australia, Nabin couldn’t be more pleased with his first location in the United States and corner spot in downtown Auburn, Maine.  

“Opening a restaurant in America has been difficult, but will be worth it,” said Nabin. “Restaurants take time, but they succeed if done right.”

With thousands of followers on Facebook and throughout the globe, Nabin has the credibility with his client base.   

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held today at Narals Experience Arabia, welcoming the newest restaurant to Auburn on the corner of Main and Court Street.

Located at the former location of No Tomatoes and most recently home to O’Shea’s Irish Restaurant, Narals Experience Arabia has seating capacity for 90 and a second space that will soon be made into a gift shop and entertainment area.

“The support for this restaurant has been growing every day,” said Naral. “Between our Facebook page and our customer recommendations, the community wide support has been encouraging.”

The ribbon cutting ceremony included remarks by restaurant owner Nabin Naral, co-owner Pramod Shrestha, City of Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte, LAEGC Board of Directors Chair Dan Thayer, City of Auburn Economic Development Director Roland Miller and Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce President Chip Morrison. The ceremony was also attended by City of Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald, representatives from Maine’s congressional delegation and Auburn City Councilors.

Peppering the walls, Nabin has added a multitude of colors to brighten up the former location. “The restaurant is a work in progress,” said Nabin. “It takes time to remove the tint on the windows, add new paint, bring in the custom fabrics, add lighting, train staff, and make sure everything works.”

“This new restaurant echoes what we’ve been saying for a long time,” said City of Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte. “People see an opportunity in downtown Lewiston-Auburn and will invest. It is critical for the city to support these investors to ensure they are successful. This restaurant will be a welcomed addition to the Auburn business community.” 

With an attention to detail, Nabin knows that it’s the small pieces that add up to create not just an atmosphere but an experience. “When you step into our establishment, one of the first things you will notice are the colors,” said Nabin. “In Arabic culture, colors have significance. It’s not just the food that is sold here, but the memory you take home.”

“The restaurant business is certainly tough,” said Lucien Gosselin president of the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council. “Nothing is given to you in this business, you have to earn it. But you don’t get the type of following Narals Experience Arabia has received internationally if you aren’t doing something right.”

From 11:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., Narals Experience Arabia will showcase their daily sizable lunch portion specials priced at $7.90 which include an entrée, daily soup, dessert, tea or coffee. Open Monday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m., Naral hopes to capitalize on those looking for a taste of foreign culture and cuisine. 

“We are a family friendly restaurant and at the same time I understand that belly dancers are not for everyone. But our customers must realize this is an art form that has existed for hundreds of years overseas. That is why our artists perform Friday and Saturday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.”

With 17 new employees and a significant investment into the 4,800 square-foot location, Naral wants his downtown location to serve as a message. “Restaurants take time to develop. This is an investment into the community because I see the opportunity and the momentum. Good things are happening downtown and this restaurant is proof.”



Lewiston - Auburn Businesses