Owner of Lebanese Eatery to Open Abe’s Shawarma

BOARDMAN TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Abe’s Shawarma will open Monday, bringing with it the return of Ibrahim Jafar to the Valley restaurant scene.

The new restaurant at 4721 Market St. is in a building formerly occupied by Sauceeino, which also offered Lebanese food. It is already open for takeout and delivery orders.

Jafar had built a following of regular customers at Eman’s Lebanese Cuisine, the downtown Youngstown lunch stand where he worked for nine years. Eman’s, which was in the food court of 20 Federal Place, closed in April because of the sharp decline in foot traffic downtown since the pandemic.

Jafar had been searching for a new location, and was close to moving into Southern Park Mall when the current opportunity arose. He is renting the building from owner Johnny Bassil, his longtime friend who ran Sauceeino until its recent closing.

“I had been talking to [Bassil] about getting the equipment [from Sauceeino], and we reached a deal for me to rent this place instead,” Jafar said.

He could not be more pleased about the location and the restaurant building.

“It feels like I have my own place,” he said, noting it won’t share space in a food court.

Munadel Al-Akash of Youngstown stopped by Abe’s Shawarma this week for a takeout order. The butcher at Jerusalem Market, a Middle Eastern food store in Liberty Township, said he was  a regular Jafar’s downtown location.

“He makes the best falafel,” Al-Akash said.

At Abe’s Shawarma, Jafar will offer a new menu along with many of his old favorites.

The list of wraps is led by chicken shawarma –  marinated chicken breast slow-roasted over a spit, shaved off into slices, and then combined with pickles and garlic sauce in a grilled pita.

Other wraps are made from kafta, a seasoned ground beef specialty; chicken shish tawook, marinated tenderloins; and falafel, made from fried chickpeas.

Dinner plate entrees include shish tawook, kafta, chicken, falafel, the signature burger, and a vegetarian option with hummus, baba-ghanouj, tabouleh and falafel.

Hummus and baba-ghanouj are also offered as sides.

Salads include fattoush, one of the most popular items at Eman’s; and tabouleh, made from chopped parsley, green onion, tomato, mint, bulgur, olive oil and lemon juice.

The dining room at Abe’s Shawarma has seating for at least 25. There is also a drive-thru takeout window, and food can be ordered for delivery from DoorDash and GrubHub.

Those who dine in will place their order at the counter, and can watch the meal being prepared in the open kitchen.

Abe’s Shawarma will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. To place an order for pickup, call 330 333 7766.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.