No catch – this Ayer restaurant could be yours – Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News

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AYER, MASS. (WHDH) – A local restaurant is giving back – in a big way.

Reza Rahmani owns three restaurants in Massachusetts and recently decided his “Bar 25” location in Ayer was feeling a bit too small for his business. But, wanting to ensure it remains independently owned, Rahmani decided something unusual: he’d give it away.

“There are four years left on the existing lease,” Rahmani said. “With an option on it, they get to take over the lease itself, they get all the business assets, there are no strings attached here, they get everything, we don’t keep any percentages or anything like that. This is really to give someone an opportunity to make their dreams come true.”

The restaurant owner said he remembers how challenging it was to start his own business, so he wants to offer a helping hand to a budding entrepreneur.

“I just remember so many sleepless nights and trying to figure out how to open the first door to my place,” Rahmani said. “I figured that if there’s ever a time that i’m going to be able to give back to the community that helped me to get where I am with these two very successful locations, it’s to give somebody the opportunity that I didn’t have.”

Applicants need to send Rahmani and his team a proposal explaining their vision for a restaurant and what they plan on doing with the space.

The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges during an event at one of his other restaurants, in Newburyport.

Rahmani said he will give them the opportunity to rename the restaurant and design their own menu.

“On a greater scale, I hope it’s something that becomes a thing,” he said. “The industry needs it. We can’t do away with independent restaurants and that personal love and touch that comes with them.”

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