Residents and day-travelers west of downtown Lansing will find a fresh, healthy option to traditional fast food as Tabooli Mediterranean
opened its second restaurant over the Memorial Day weekend.
Located at the corner of Waverly and St. Joseph Streets, the West Side Tabooli features the same on-the-go Mediterranean style food popularized by brothers and co-owners Fathy and Mohammed Shetiah at the first Tabooli location near Sparrow Hospital.
"Our menu is very simple," says Fathy. "We want to keep it that way and go after things that people enjoy."
Tabooli brings the make-your-own model of national restaurant chains to their local enterprise, allowing customers to build their own meal from Mediterranean staples. Customers decide whether they want a "bowl" or a "wrap" made with beef or chicken shawarma, falafel, eggplant or kofta, then choose toppings like hummus, pickled turnips or tabooli. All selections are made in-house, and draw on the influences of Lebanese, Greeks, Italian and Egyptian cuisines. Salads, paninis, desserts and beverages round out the menu.
"We want the community to see Mediterranean food in a different way," says Fathy. "We want our restaurants to look and feel different than anything else out there."
Like the original location that made its home in a renovated Kentucky Fried Chicken, the new Tabooli occupies the footprint of a repurposed gas station. An inviting layout allows customers to see staff making food, with sit-down seating accommodating 30 to 40 diners. An outdoor patio is in the works, upping capacity by a dozen or more customers.
The newest Tabooli created 15 to 20 jobs. A third location is slated to open in August in East Lansing in the previous location of Grand River Coffee on the city's western edge.
"We’re trying to go for good locations and want to go where people want us to be," says Fathy. "Our goal is be part of the community, and we're always looking for community engagement opportunities."
Source: Fathy Shetiah, Co-owner, Tabooli Mediterranean
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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