Washington Business Journal: Mike Daryoush, founder and president of Moby Dick House of Kabob chain in the Washington metropolitan area, died of heart failure late Thursday, May 9, 2019. He was 66.

Daryoush has operated the Moby Dick House of Kabob restaurant chain for the last three decades — this year is the restaurant's 30th anniversary. He had opened then-Moby's Luncheonette in 1989, serving traditional American breakfast and lunch cuisine.

But after building a traditional clay oven to bake fresh pita to sell at Moby's Luncheonette, Daryoush realized he could offer an authentic take on traditional Persian food instead. The success of the pita led the Iran native to create a Persian-inspired menu and, eventually, reinvent and rename the restaurant Moby Dick House of Kabob.

Today, it's the Washington region's sixth-largest locally based restaurant chain, with 24 locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, including the original Bethesda restaurant that opened in 1989 along Wisconsin Avenue.

“He left a big void not only with his family and friends but also in our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Daryoush's family during this difficult time,” said Alex Momeni, director and chief development officer for Moby Dick House of Kabob, in a statement Friday.

Moby Dick House of Kabob won the Favorite Fast Bites of the Year Rammy award last year from the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington.

Daryoush is survived by his wife, Suzan, and four sons, Ned, Josh, Aarod and Aaram.