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New Lebanese Eatery Opens this Weekend

Photo: QueensPost

Aug. 16, 2011 By Christian Murray

A new Lebanese eatery is opening on Queens Blvd this weekend.

Ahmad Osman, who founded the now defunct El Shater, will be opening “Souk El Shater”. It will be located at 43-03 Queens Blvd.

Ahmad’s store will be similar to the original El Shater, but more modern. It will feature fresh-cut meats, a gyro machine and grill. The store will sell falafel sandwiches, hummus, and other Lebanese treats.  (Some of the menu items are displayed below).

Ahmad’s brother Mehdi converted the original El Shater into Habibi (43rd and 43rdAve.) , which opened in July. The original El Shater was family owned before the brothers split up the business.

Ahmad, who has lived in Sunnyside for more than two decades, said the neighborhood is big enough to support both Lebanese stores. He said that there are already Turkish restaurants in Sunnyside that offer similar products—so it’s not as though they are competing head-to-head.

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so yesterday after the thunderstorms, elshater on queens blvd opened. my initial thought was wow, what a terrible time to open, but i went inside and saw about 50 people all there eating food that the store was providing for free! they invited me in to try the food (including free shawarma, grape leaves, meat pies, spinach pies, rice with beef etc). When I asked why they did it at this time, they told me because they were fasting and had to wait until after the sun set. but as i looked around, the store seemed very very clean, food was freaking awesome, and the owner ahmad and his family were friendly as ever, not to mention the prices on the menu which were real cheap! I definitely recommend this place for anyone passing by or anyone that wants a lot of good food for very little money haha

Lucky Lu

I was a big El Shater aficionado and was terribly sad when they closed. I’ve stopped into Habibi, the former El Shater at 43rd & 43rd. It’s bright and clean and I do hope the owner does well. I recently bought dinner here for all of $6 – a chicken shwarma sandwich ($3.50), some tabouleh and fruit salad. The owner, one of the brothers, looked like he had lost lots of weight and wasn’t feeling too well. To be honest, it’s not often that I pay so much attention to my local merchants, but this family is really special, so nice and they normally enjoy interacting with their customers. I hope everyone gives this place a chance and supports. Their food is delicious and all made in-house by the owner’s lovely wife and her small staff. Stop in and say hello and try something new if you aren’t familiar with this type of cuisine.



If I recall correctly, the story was they disputed the rent price by the landlord of $5000 for their location and decided to leave. Of course, that’s not the truth since
a) Habibi owned by one brother is still at that location – and renovated it besides
b) the other brother opened up this store less than two blocks away rather than their proposed relocation to Woodside.

They have decent prices for sandwiches. I hope they get an “A” rating from DoH.


El Shater’s was not going out of business. They chose not to renew their least and looked for other space.


yeah, lily. you’re absolutely right.

i wonder if they’ll do better on queen boulevard…especially if they ease the parking restrictions and easier to jump out of your car and grab a bite on the go.

but this is clasically sunnyside: open a bunch of the same kinds of business. watch them all fail. wonder why there are so many shuttered storefronts. rinse. repeat.


I always loved the food at El Shater – my only gripe was that the place on 43rd and 43rd never looked too clean. I look forward to this new place being better because of it – best of luck to them!


The story did not say if it is a sit down and eat or just a take out. Can you please let us know. Anyway another store front is fillled which is great for us. and another place to eat.lets hope their are a success. We seem to have too many restauants .Good luck to them


Not to be a Debbie Downer, but their business plan doesn’t make sense. They were going out of business, so they open second, similar storefront only a block away? Huh. I hope they both do well; I love their hummus.


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