D.C.’s iconic Amsterdam Falafelshop is closing its doors on Saturday, May 27.
“It is with great sadness that we announce our closing as of May 27, 2023,” the restaurant announced on Instagram late last month. “It has been our great honor to have you as our guests, as our friends, and as our fellow lovers of falafel.”
Open for 18 years, Arianne Bennett co-founded Amsterdam Falafelshop with her late-husband Scott, who died last year from complications from COVID-19. The Adams Morgan restaurant has been a local favorite, serving up delicious fast-casual falafel sandwiches, falafel bowls, and (of course) french fries to pair with its sensational dipping sauces: curried ketchup, fritesaus, and peanutsaus.
Washingtonians were quick to take to social media to mourn the loss of this local staple. However, Bennett has said it’s an unfortunate situation that’s out of her hands.
Bennett told DCist that her landlord is selling the building—where Bennett also lives with her dog—for $2 million. Bennett can’t afford to buy it, with the restaurant itself just rebounding from the effects of the pandemic, as well. And without her husband, who she envisioned and created Amsterdam Falafelshop with, she doesn’t want to pursue reopening it in a new location.
“There is so much of my history and my history with Scott that is wrapped up in this restaurant and in this concept,” Bennett told DCist. “And we’ve met so many people through it, and it’s just been a major force in my life.”
Customers new and old are encouraged to come by, share a memory, indulge in a final falafel, and raise a drink before Amsterdam Falafelshop before it closes for good on Saturday night.
Bennett and her employees are all searching for new jobs. You can purchase Amsterdam Falafelshop on the restaurant’s website.