After two long years since it closed after its lease ended with UCI, Falafel Cafe
is set to reopen in March in a new Uptown location at 11454 Uptown Ave., which was most recently the home of Simply Greek.
Owner Mae Elassal, who founded and operated the casual University Circle restaurant with her late husband for 18 years before closing up shop, will be bringing back the affordable Middle Eastern fare that made the shop a popular and affordable option in the neighborhood.
“We were in University Circle when nobody was there. We’ve witnessed all this change there,” she said. “That’s why I want to go back, because I love my customers.”
The new location comes with a three-year lease from Case Western Reserve University, which owns the property.
“We are pleased to provide Mae the opportunity to reopen her restaurant in Uptown,” Kevin Slesh, the university’s director of real estate, said in a press release. “Falafel Café was a University Circle pioneer, a staple, and we’re thrilled to see its return.”