After his restaurant suffered some damages by the anti-police-brutality protests in New York, the Lebanese executive chef and owner of Au Za’atar, Tarik Fallous, made it clear that he will donate money to support George Floyd’s family.
Au Za’atar is a popular Lebanese restaurant in East Village, New York City, and the home of the widely famous specialty, the original tableside shawarma,.
Since the pandemic hit America, the restaurant has expectedly taken a hit in sales, as have others. Recently, NYC restaurants were allowed to reopen with takeaway and delivery as their only two options for serving food.
However, the reopening coincided with the riots taking place in the city and across the country, and they resulted in Au Za’atar’s door and front window being shattered.
Now, Tarik Fallous has to cover repair bills on top of the losses that he has sustained as a result of the prolonged lockdown.
Nonetheless, the chef finds himself lucky to be still able to push his business forward through take-out and delivery sales as well as the fundraiser he recently launched to support the restaurant’s employees and expenses.
“My business can be repaired, but I can’t speak to others who have struggled to get through coronavirus to finally have an opportunity to open their doors, to find it shattered,” Fallous told KDNL-TV.
The income he’s currently making, he hopes, will be enough to cover the needed repairs, but he also intends to do something else with the money.
With his supportive stance towards the ongoing protests unchanged, the restaurateur said he will donate a portion of his restaurant’s delivery and takeaway revenue to a fund that supports George Floyd’s family.
“All this can be replaced,” Tarik Fallous tells Eater. “However, nothing can undo or fix what happened in Minneapolis,” he asserts, indicating the death of George Floyd.
In addition to serving remarkable Lebanese home-style dishes, Au Za’atar is famous for its innovative “fun” approach to dine-in.
Its tableside shawarma special gives diners the exciting opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a shawarma chef by cutting their own shawarma at their table before diving in. That’s truly innovative and fun.
Tarik Fallous is not the first Lebanese whose business was affected by the riots in the US. Samir Pierre Farhat and Ben Footh are two such examples out of numerous others.