The name meant something, obviously. It’s a hell of a bio.

George Magar Mardikian (November 7, 1903 – October 23, 1977) was an Armenian-American restaurateur, chef, author and philanthropist who opened the well-known Omar Khayyam's restaurant in San Francisco, California, in 1938. He is the nephew of Armenian revolutionary Krikor Amirian.

George Mardikian's 'Omar Khayyam's' was located at 200 Powell Street in San Francisco in the basement of a building on the northeast corner of Powell Street and O'Farrell Street. The entrance was off O'Farrell Street.[6] After passing photographs of Mardikian "breaking bread" with various notable people (including Dwight Eisenhower and Eleanor Roosevelt),[7] diners would descend into the cavernous, sumptuously decorated restaurant below.

On the left at the bottom of the stairs was the Rubaiyat lounge with velvet banquettes, low Persian lamps, and a gleaming chrome cash register. Tables in the restaurant were contained in curtained chambers out of the Arabian Nights decorated with wall-hangings and inscriptions from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Mardikian would customarily "break bread" (a special flat bread served at the restaurant) with his diners as a sign of hospitality.

The menu was exotic (for the time), featuring a mix of Armenian, Middle Eastern, and African cooking adapted for American palates.

In the mid-1980s, a fire destroyed the restaurant.