July 25, 2011 By Christian Murray
A new Lebanese restaurant opened on the corner of 43rd Street and 43rd Ave. on Thursday.
The new eatery, Habibi, replaces the former Lebanese store El Shater. Habibi is run by Mehdi Osman, who was a member of the family that ran El Shater. Other family members of the former El Shater have started other business ventures.
Osman said he has spent almost 3 months renovating the new store/restaurant, both inside and out.
Habibi provides, among other items, chicken and beef shawarma, falafel rolls and hummus that will be cooked by Osman’s wife, an experienced chef. “Everything is fresh and made here,” Osman said on Thursday.
The store also sells Lebanese staples—from breads to nuts.
what really makes me happy about this store, is that the owner of one of my favorite pizzerias, Lentinis pizza, is also the owner of this new store. This affects my opinion on this store the most because of the success, great pizza, and cleanliness of the pizzeria. Im so glad Mike took over. Thanks Mike!
i just had a beef shwarma and it was horrible. dry meat, and dry sandwich. the “meat ” was mostly grisle chunks–nasty. i want to give this place a chance, but this had def. turned me away. maybe ill try the falafel next time.
El Shater had such a disgusting store front (pigeon crap everywhere, NASTY!!!), that I refused to ever shop in there. I’d walk into the new place on 43rd/43rd though.
El shater on43rd and 43st was a family run business. One brother set up habibi and the other el shater on queens blvd/43rd.
Was walking on Queens Blvd, North side and thought I saw a paper sign on one of the empty store windows between 43rd and 45th stating El Shater was opening soon. Did anyone hear about this or see it also? Doesn’t make sense unless the brothers had a falling out and it wasn’t about the rent issue.
I stopped in yesterday. Beautiful interior. Of course, any place with a huge case of baklava right near the entrance is OK by me.
Just had the beef and chicken shawarmas. I’ll never go back to gyros.
The new exterior looks a lot sharper and cleaner than the previous one. The door is pretty cool too. An interesting choice of Arabic food inside at decent prices. I would just suggest they turn the music down a little bit inside the store.
Yeah! more food options is always exciting. Hope they have a good selection of heart healthy prepared foods including a Mediterranean Diet which has been studied and noted by scores of leading scientists as one of the healthiest in the world