One of the neighborhood’s premier restaurants for more than two decades, LalaRokh will close permanently
after dinner service on Saturday, Aug. 11.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done for nearly a quarter of a century,” said BabakBina, who co-owns the restaurant at 97 Mt. Vernon St. with his sister, AzitaBina-Seibel. “It was not a small thing to achieve.”
At her husband’s behest, Bina-Seibel, who had previously operated an Italian restaurant in the neighborhood, opened LalaRokh in 1996 to introduce people to not only Persian foods, but also to her mother’s cooking. Since then, “Mama Rokh,” as she is affectionately known to the restaurant staff, has traveled twice each year to Iran’s capital of Tehran to procure herbs, spices and other key ingredients for the restaurant’s cuisine. But with Mama Rokh turning 85 in September, Bina said these trips have become too arduous for her to undertake.
Bina extends his gratitude to the hundreds of staff members LalaRokh has employed over the years, including a couple who have remained with the restaurant since Day One. “We’re just thankful to all the staff, neighbors and patrons over all these years,” he said.
The neighborhood embraced LalaRokh “from the get-go,” Bina said, and since news of its closing has spread, he and Bina-Seibel have received countless e-mails from across the globe.
“The support we’ve received has really been incredible…with kind words coming from all over the world,” Bina said. “We’ve even heard from some patrons who first came into the restaurant as toddlers and are now adults.”
Despite LalaRokh’s imminent closure, Bina said operations of Bin 26 Enoteca on Charles Street, as well as his and Bina-Seibel’s other restaurants in Downtown Crossing – jim Curley and its steakhouse Bogie’s Place – would continue as usual.
“We have introduced thousands of people to Persian cuisine and culture,” Bina said. “We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved.”