MILWAUKEE – A rich aroma of falafel, shawarma and Israeli spices is now wafting down North Farwell Avenue.
Falafel Guys restaurant owners Ron Stroli and his wife Chrissy Stroli have opened their second fixed location – in addition to their food truck – this time, on the East Side.
For people who are thinking about becoming first-time diners, the current restaurant offers a “real nice, comfortable, homey feeling,” Ron said.
The new location on North Farwell Avenue opened its doors Dec. 17. It’s a vendor spot inside Crossroads Collective, a food hall open every day 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Customers can sit at the bar or at a table in the food hall. The menu is smaller than at the first location in Mequon but bigger than the Falafel Guys food truck menu. The new location does not serve wine.
Many of their food truck customers frequent the new location, Chrissy said. The spot is “very busy,” she said.
The new location has a “more modern” feel to it with a different color scheme on the walls than the Mequon restaurant, Ron said.
Ron, who is Israeli, came to Milwaukee in 1989. Serving Israeli food had always been a dream of his, he said. The restaurants serve “food I grew up with,” he added.
Falafel Guys in Mequon serves Israeli wine and mezze salads. “Food is fresh. All the seasonings are from Israel,” Ron said.
Chrissy works the front of the house at the Mequon location. “I enjoy meeting new people, interacting with them,” she said. That first restaurant “got a lot of regulars,” she said, and she’s made friends with customers.
Falafel Guys started as a food truck and hit the roads of Milwaukee and the Whitefish Bay area in 2014. The food truck is “grab and go. Simple and fresh,” Chrissy said.
Customer enthusiasm led to their idea of a restaurant. “People were requesting us to open a brick and mortar,” Chrissy said.
During the week, the Falafel Guys food truck parks at Schlitz Park, Westown Farmers Market, the Milwaukee County Court House, US Bank and Chase Bank downtown and Whitefish Bay area.
“The food truck is off the road in winter,” Ron said. The Falafel Guys food truck will be back on the road in March.
Ron said the most rewarding part of being a restaurant owner is “showing my love of food and other people eat it and enjoy.”
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Falafel Guys restaurant
First location: 105 W. Freistadt Road, Mequon
New Location: Inside Crossroads Collective, 2238 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee
Falafel Guys is not certified kosher.