Diners visit another location of The Halal Guys. Credit: Via Rabi Ullah

A halal chain that started as a popular food cart in New York City is branching out into Maryland and plans to open a restaurant in Rockville.

The Halal Guys is set to open in the Wintergreen Plaza shopping center, said Rabi Ullah, franchisee for Maryland locations of the restaurants. He plans to open the Rockville restaurant, at 891A Rockville Pike, in late summer or early fall.

“We’re just really, really excited to be bringing this concept into the state,” Ullah said. “It just gives the people of Maryland a different option for lunch and dinner.”

The restaurant will offer the same menu as the chain’s other locations, serving Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food that adheres to Muslim food practices. Gyro, falafel or chicken can be ordered either with rice platters or in pita bread sandwiches. Diners can add toppings such as jalapenos, olives and hummus, and meals come with The Halal Guys’ signature tangy white sauce.

The Halal Guys will take the place of Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company, which will close April 16. The barbecue restaurant chain will still serve the area with a food truck and catering.

The Halal Guys will have 15 to 20 seats available inside and more seating outside, Ullah said.

He said he expects the Halal Guys will draw local workers during lunchtime and will also attract diners from nearby neighborhoods and students from the nearby Montgomery College campus in Rockville. He hopes restaurant fills a void of “very limited halal food options” around Rockville.

The chain’s push to open as many as 15 to 20 locations in the state was reported by The DiamondbackUllah also plans to open restaurants in Baltimore and Columbia.

He signed the lease for the Rockville space this week. Once county permits are acquired and the interior is constructed, The Halal Guys should be ready to open in about three or four months, he said.