The Middle East has a dining space ready for customers on Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square. (Photo: Marc Levy)

The Middle East returns to serving food this weekend, with an outdoor dining area set up in front of 480 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, in deference to the coronavirus pandemic that shut down businesses in March 2020.

“We are opening the restaurant, Zuzu and The Corner first at regular hours but slowly,” a Middle East post on Facebook said Thursday. “You will see other events hosted in our various rooms as we get everything in order to bring happiness and entertainment into your lives and ours.”

The restaurant serves kebabs, regional specialties such as falafel and mjudra, as well as burgers, steaks and pizza. The patio also has a small performance area – a poster in the window at the Middle East Café refers to it playfully as “Our smallest stage ever.”

The multistage nightclub complex, owned by the Sater family and including The Middle East, Sonia and Zuzu, has requests on file with the License Commission to reopen fully, said someone familiar with the situation. There are bands booked to appear as soon as Friday in the café and July 11 in the clubs – though earlier dates could get filled.

“It’s been a long and arduous year, and we are so happy to announce that we will officially be open for business,” the post says. “Thank you to all who have reached out to offer help, comfort, and love in the most difficult time we have all seen in our lifetimes as a global community and as a hub for the arts.”

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