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Popular vegetarian restaurant Ariana in Huntington will remain open after death of owner

Restaurant owners Nazifa Rahimi and husband Ali Rahimi

Restaurant owners Nazifa Rahimi and husband Ali Rahimi make a toast at Ariana Restaurant in Huntington on Dec. 27, 2013. Credit: Jeremy Bales

Ariana, the popular Afghani and vegetarian-vegan restaurant in downtown Huntington, will remain open following the death last month of founder Ahmadali Rahimi.

Rahimi, 69, of Dix Hills, died of mesothelioma on June 29. Nazifa Kakar Rahimi, his widow and owner of Ariana, said that the restaurant will continue. "All the recipes, we made together," she said. "We want Ariana to continue the way it is."

Ahmadali Rahimi, known as Ali, was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. He came to the United States when he was 18 years old for a year as a student. He returned to Afghanistan, and later studied at the American University of Beirut on a scholarship, graduating in 1969.

From 1972 to 1979, he operated casual restaurants in Manhattan. Rahimi's original Ariana restaurant was in the Peppertree Commons Shopping Center in Commack. It opened in 1990. He established its successor in Huntington in 1995.

Ariana, at 255 Main St., Huntington, is open six days for dinner, starting at 3 p.m., and for lunch, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; 631-421-2933. It is closed Tuesday.

In addition to his spouse of 13 years, Rahimi leaves four children: Humyra Kakar of Dix Hills, Sabah Kakar of Douglaston, Monique Rahimi of Manhattan, and Jawad Rahimi of Pittsburgh.

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