Murray’s on First Ave. closes

feb14-local-businesses-murrays-falafel

Former Murray’s owner Murray Allon at the restaurant (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, August 27, Murray’s Falafel & Grill on First Avenue, the only kosher restaurant serving meat in the Stuyvesant Town and Stuyvesant Square neighborhoods, was hit with an eviction notice from the city marshal’s office.

An employee for the marshal confirmed the notice and said such evictions are usually due to nonpayment of rent, though she didn’t have specific information in this case.

However, a Stuyvesant Town resident who was a customer said she heard from the previous owner, Murray Allon, that the restaurant had recently been sold to a family member who’d gotten behind on rent in the past few months.

The resident said she and others at her synagogue, Town & Village, were very upset considering how few kosher restaurant options there are locally.

“It’s very sad that it’s gone,” she said. “There’s the Second Avenue Deli, but they’re not so close, anymore. It’s very expensive to (run) a kosher restaurant.”

Another former regular told T&V she felt like she should be sitting shiva for the place.

Along with falafel, the restaurant served shwarma, shish kabob, kufta burgers, Moroccan cigars and schnitzel in a casual setting that included photos of regulars along the wall.

Murray’s had been open for about 15 years at 261 First Avenue between 15th and 16th Street. The restaurant scored an A during its last city inspection on July 24. It was next door to Bagel Boss, a kosher bagel and pizza restaurant, which, like Murray’s gets a lot of traffic from Mount Sinai Beth Israel.

In a previous interview with Town & Village, original owner Murray Allon said prior to opening the restaurant across from Stuyvesant Town, he sold falafel out of a cart in midtown, starting in 1978.

“I’ve always had this falafel bug,” he said.

Allon didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment and the restaurant’s Facebook and Twitter feeds haven’t been updated since 2017.

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