A popular city restaurant known for its Middle Eastern cuisine is moving into bigger digs at the former Sandwich Man in Harrisburg.
By late next month, 2nd Street Shawarma will slide into space once occupied by the deli at 111 N. Second St., said co-owner Mustafa Thabata.
“It was time for us to find a bigger space so we would be able to expand,” he said.
The Sandwich Man was listed for lease and closed in December after operating in the city for four decades. A sister restaurant under the same name remains open in Lower Paxton Township.
For 2nd St. Shawarma, the move two blocks from its base in the 300 block of Second Street, will relieve the restaurant’s growing pains. It opened in 2014 at 316 N. Second St. and is tiny with a counter and smattering of tables.
During lunches Thabata said patrons pack the 28-seat restaurant for falafel, gyros, stuffed grape leaves and tabbouli, but many turn around and leave when they see the lines. The new restaurant’s dining room will have double the amount of seating and a larger kitchen.
It also will position 2nd St. Shawarma in a better block closer to more foot traffic near Strawberry Square and UPMC Pinnacle Hospital, Thabata said. Right now, it sits in a quieter section of the street mostly because of its location near two vacant establishments, the Capital Gastropub and Bridges Social Club.
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Once the restaurant relocates, diners will order off a new menu with favorites as well as new additions. There is a possibility Thabata said for grab-and-go sandwiches and a salad bar.
Meanwhile, remodeling is underway at the Sandwich Man.
“It’s really, really outdated,” Thabata said. “There are at least four contractors working on new fixtures, new lights, new floor and we are building a new counter.”
During the transition, diners can still hit up 2nd St. Shawarma for all of their favorites. It’s open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday. It is closed Mondays.
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