Home Events + News Mamoun’s Falafel Celebrates 50 Years in Business

Mamoun’s Falafel Celebrates 50 Years in Business

by Diana Cooper
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Popular Middle Eastern eatery Mamoun’s Falafel has recently reached its decade-long milestone in Hoboken and celebrated its 50th anniversary in business on May 11th. Upon bringing the brand to Hudson County, it quickly became a hot spot for the restaurant’s falafel sandwich. Hoboken Girl chatted with Mamoun’s co-owner and CEO, Hussam Chater, to get the scoop on how the famous joint plans on expanding and the challenges Mamoun’s had to overcome over the years. Read on to learn more about Mamoun’s 50th anniversary.

Mamoun’s Falafel

{Photo credit: Mamoun’s Falafel’s co-owner and CEO, Hussam Chater}

A Look Back at the Hoboken Location

Mamoun’s Hoboken first opened in April 2011 at 502 Washington Street. Back in 2017, it was reported that the business was moving locations downtown to where it is located now, at 300 Washington Street, “for better visibility in the area.” At that time, the location was part of the newly renovated property, which was destroyed five years earlier in a catastrophic fire that broke out in the five-story building. A year after opening, Hurricane Sandy hit in the fall of 2012 and brought immense devastation to the area.

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Co-owner Hussam Chater recalls how Mamoun’s was directly affected. “There was no power for weeks and the National Guard had to set up a post. In order to remain open, we purchased generators and adjusted our operations with makeshift lighting, kitchen, and customer counter area. It was a grueling operation as we would have to wait hours in line every day to purchase gasoline for the generators and most of our staff could not make it to work as they had no transportation,” he says. “Nevertheless, we were very proud to be serving the community and it was extremely rewarding to see the community respond so positively.”

mamouns falafel platter

{Photo credit: Mamoun’s Falafel}

Fast-forward to March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the United States and businesses were forced to shut down — Chater depicts what the company went through in the past year.

“With the exception of a few stores that were operated by franchisees, we are proud to say that none of our company stores shut down during the pandemic, even on a temporary basis. Our flagship locations in NYC, as well as our Hoboken and Princeton locations, continued to remain open,” the Spring Lake, NJ, resident says.

“We adjusted our hours of operation in order to comply with local and state directives, as well as our operating procedures to incorporate safety measures. This was all part of our commitment to serving our customers. Although it was a very difficult and stressful time, particularly during the first month of the pandemic, we felt it was very important to continue serving our community and to give people some level of normalcy, especially during challenging times.”

mamouns falafel hummus dish

{Photo credit: Mamoun’s Falafel}

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Mamoun’s Falafel first opened its doors on MacDougal Street in New York City’s Greenwich in 1971. Chater shares what he’s most proud of after being in business for 50 years is “carrying on the legacy” of his father, Mamoun Chater, who emigrated from Damascus, Syria. The business is now run by all four of his sons.

“[My father] was a poor immigrant that started the business out of small 200-square foot space in NYC simply as a means to support his family. But because of his hard work, dedication, and charisma, the business blossomed into something much more,” Chater says. “From a business standpoint, we are very proud of our customer base – they are so diverse, supportive, dynamic, and loyal.”

mamouns falafel greenwich village nyc

{Photo credit: Mamoun’s Falafel’s very first location, 119 MacDougal Street, New York, NY}

There are now a total of 11 locations nationwide, two of which are franchise units operating in Atlanta and Philadelphia. Other locations in New Jersey include East Rutherford {which opened in August 2020}, New Brunswick, Paramus, and Princeton. Most recently, Mamoun’s opened its Upper West Side location end of April.

In addition to expanding locations over the past 50 years, Mamoun’s added new menu items, like seasoned rice and pickled veggies, as well as started baking their own pita bread on site. Chater adds, “Our food is made fresh and to order. Our falafel, hummus, baba ghanouj, chicken kebob, and shawarma are all proprietary recipes that we make ourselves and do not outsource.”

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More recently, the company began utilizing a rewards and loyalty program, mobile app, online ordering, and delivery. “We will always stay true to the brand ethos of high-quality ingredients and amazing hospitality, but we will constantly be looking to stay in line with technology innovations,” Chater shares. “We also believe that continuing to invest in and develop our teams will make the brand even stronger.”

mamouns falafel sandwich

{Photo credit: Mamoun’s Falafel}

What’s To Come

On Tuesday, May 11th, Mamoun’s Falafel celebrated its 50th anniversary nationwide with a special offer — their signature falafel sandwich was on special for buy one get one for 75 cents, to commemorate the price it was initially in 1971. The falafel sandwiches are currently priced at $4.99 and up.

Additionally, the first 50 guests at each location received a commemorative t-shirt and Mamoun’s online store launched that same day, where fans can now purchase merchandise including their famous specialty hot sauce and unisex vintage T-shirts.

The hours of operation for the Hoboken location are Sunday through Thursday from 11 AM to 11 PM and Friday and Saturday from 11 AM to 12 AM. For more information, visit Mamoun’s Falafel website found here, and follow them on Instagram here.


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