American restaurant Unit Sheffield to open second location at Valley Centertainment

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Founders Mo and Nabz “sunk their life savings” into the restaurant in 2017.

Unit is set to be the only Sheffield independent at Valley Centertainment, as they open their second location there after six years in business.

The new American restaurant is around double the size of the current location on Headford Street, and is expected to open in early September.

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Founders, Mohamed Thabet and Nabeil Asker, known as Mo and Nabz, “sunk their life savings” into opening the restaurant in 2017.

Unit's recognisable branding on the side of their Headford St locationUnit's recognisable branding on the side of their Headford St location
Unit's recognisable branding on the side of their Headford St location

They have been successful, bouncing back and growing after the pandemic despite being relatively tucked away in the city centre.

Mo said: “We are travelling around at the minute to get things sorted for the new location, and everything is reminding us of the feeling of starting this place. It’s a bit daunting, but it’s so exciting.”

Akram Ahmed, who grew up with Mo and Nabz in the Upperthorpe area of Sheffield, is leaving his job as a finance director to run the new venue with another friend, Salim Algundaidi.

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Akram said: “I'm going full pelt at this. I know it's going to be hard work but I'm really excited about tackling it.

“I’ve been involved with Unit for a few years, and now this opportunity is here. I’ve got the corporate background, but I’ve always wanted to do something creative and that energises you to get up the next day, you know?”

Many of the staff are long-time friends of the foundersMany of the staff are long-time friends of the founders
Many of the staff are long-time friends of the founders

The restaurant offers a huge menu with signature burgers, freakshakes, Philly cheese steak and tens of other American-style classic dishes.

Unit will be the only Sheffield independent at the entertainment complex, which mainly houses big names like Nando’s, Pizza Express, and Wagamama.

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Nabz said: “It took a year and a half to crack them! Now that it's happening there is so much going on, it's not fully sunk in. I think my face says it all.”

Mo, Nabs and Akram have exclusively worked with local Sheffield businesses for electrics, plumbing, and other aspects of setting up the new venue.

Akram adds: “I think one of the reasons why it has been so successful is that these guys love Sheffield.

“There are big plans for Unit. I can definitely see it going national, I don’t think that's unrealistic. People have been here from Dubai and the States, and said they would want us over there. So, one day, why not?"

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American milkshakes and freakshakesAmerican milkshakes and freakshakes
American milkshakes and freakshakes

Mo and Nabz were initially inspired to set up the restaurant due to limited Halal options when they went out for food.

Mo said: “We wanted to create somewhere that we could go and eat at. We used to travel an hour to go out to get food, and have to go to Leeds or Manchester.

“We’re alcohol free too, which makes it really nice for families. We get them their food quickly and they can go down the road and catch a film at the Light cinema.”

The new location will be in unit 4 of the entertainment complex on Broughton Lane.

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