May 2, 2011 By Christian Murray
The days of El Shater, the family-run Lebanese store on the corner of 43rd Street and 43rd Ave., may not be completely over.
Mehdi Osman, one of the brothers who ran El Shater, has decided to stay at the Sunnyside location and establish a new Lebanese store/restaurant by the name of Habibi, which is Arabic for “my friend”.
The remainder of his family will move El Shater to Astoria. That store officially closed at the end of April.
Osman said he will be renovating the new store/restaurant, both inside and out. This includes a new awning and paint job—with plans to introduce outdoor seating.
He said he will provide a juice bar and coffee bar. The store/restaurant will provide, among other items, chicken and beef shawarma, falafel rolls and hummus that will be cooked by Osman’s wife, an experienced chef. “Everything will be fresh and made here” Osman said.
Osman aims to hold his grand opening in June. The store will continue to sell Lebanese staples—from breads to nuts.
There will be a flurry of commercial activity on 43rd Ave., between 43rd and 45th Street in the next two months.
Habibi, will take over from El Shater, the Romanian Garden will be moving to the Super Market space, and Met Food is expanding to where the hair salon, Ceci Beauty, used to be. Ceci Beauty has just moved across the street (43rd Ave and 44th Street).