Café Natasha was first established in 1983 by husband and wife team, Behshid and Hamishe Bahrami. Neither owner had any prior aspiration of going in to the restaurant business.
In 1982, the couple’s first and only child was born. In the same year Behshid was laid off after a sudden downturn in the economy and the family had to choose between waiting out the recession or creating their own destiny.
Armed with only a passion for food and drive to succeed, the husband and wife team took the reins and effectively operated “The Little Kitchen” a small mom and pop cafeteria in the heart of Downtown Saint Louis.
Despite the obstacle of a small kitchen, Behshid and Hamishe quickly learned how to overcome the obstacle of their limited kitchen and improvised to provide homemade Persian delicacies with only a convention oven and an electric burner.
Saffron Chicken Kabob and other Persian specialties were served side-by-side American style comfort foods slowly expanding the taste palate of ordinary Saint Louisians by introducing them to the exotic spices of Persian cuisine.
For 14 years, loyal crowd formed lines that wrapped around the Paul Brown Building every weekday to purchase high quality, made-from-scratch Persian and America offerings.
After 11 successful years catering to the American cuisine the husband and wife team felt restricted at the casual lunch establishment and began searching for a new location to expand their culinary talents into a fine dining setting where they could properly showcase the art of Persian Cuisine.
In 1992 they found a perfect vacant store front in an already ethnically diverse business district missing a definitive Persian Flair.
Persuaded by the overwhelming support of their loyal customer base, the couple forged forward into the new venture; a fine dining restaurant specializing exclusively in Persian cuisine located on Delmar in the heart of the University City loop.
Named after their only daughter Natasha, Café Natasha introduced the intricate flavors of Persian marinades and expertly hand-crafted Kabobs along-side traditional Persian “khoresht” stews from memories of their childhood.
Hamishe ran the front of house with her charismatic personality, making every patron feel like family by the end of their meal.
Behshid managed the kitchen, devoting night and day to testing new sauces and developing Café Natasha’s signature flavors.
In 2001, Natasha herself took charge of the Delmar location her parents focused their energy on opening their third location “Kabob International” on Grand South Grand.
In 2001, the Bahrami’s opened their third location on Grand South Grand. Originally named “Kabob International” the restaurant was a manifestation of Behshid’s vision to overcome restrictive culinary barriers and expand the predominantly Persian menu to interpretive offerings influenced by Indian, Arabic and Turkish cuisines.
After 30 years, Café Natasha is still family owned and operated.
Currently, Café Natasha offers over 50 homemade items from savory Persian Stews, hand-crafted and individually marinated kabobs and innovative fusion items sure to satisfy the cravings of the most adventurous to the hard to please.