Saturday, May 18, 2024

Those waiting for Banjo’s deli to reopen in Porter Square will be waiting a long time. (Photo: Marc Levy)

It’s hard to forget Banjo’s — it’s the deli that replaced the KFC/Taco Bell in Porter Square, taking literally years to open. It’s easy to forget Banjo’s was ever open, though, as it served customers for only a matter of weeks. A sign on the front door says to expect a re-opening.


According to the North Cambridge Stabilization Committee, it will be replaced by Darul Kabab, a 37-seat Bangladeshi-Indian-Pakistani kabob, curry, and rice dish Halal eatery. Proprietor Monir Saji had a hearing with the Cambridge License Commission on Tuesday to replace Banjo’s, which is at Massachusetts Avenue and Walden Street.

When visited earlier this year shortly before opening, the manager of Banjo’s explained it was delayed by a search for the perfect staff. It had almost opened already, the manager said, when some criminal history was found in some employees’ pasts and those people were replaced.

Maybe there are no perfect employees, and that’s what led the Banjo’s folks to shut down forever. Too bad! The place had plenty of interesting sandwiches with cute, locally themed names. Darul Kabab sounds wonderful, but it faces a fight winning customers in a city crowded with similar restaurants. Right across the street is Annapurna, which features the food of Nepal, India, Afghanistan and Tibet.