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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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New Mediterranean grill opens in Citrus Heights


Falafel Corner
Franchise owner Luqman Shah stands outside his new restaurant at 7700 Sunrise Blvd. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip—
Falafel Corner is the latest restaurant to open its doors in Citrus Heights, offering various Mediterranean favorites like wraps, gyros, Halal meats and falafel.

The restaurant currently has seven locations in the greater-Sacramento area, as well as one in Fremont. The Citrus Heights location is in the same building as Round Table Pizza at 7700 Sunrise Blvd., near Antelope Road.

Franchise Owner Luqman Shah said he opened the location earlier this month, but is just now able to offer the full menu. The franchisee is currently working with the Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce for a ribbon cutting ceremony slated for the end of this month.

Shah said he decided to open a restaurant after working in the food industry. “Things were going nice, so I decided to open my own restaurant,” he said.

An immigrant from Pakistan, Shah said he left his homeland in 2010 for the United Kingdom. After working a variety of jobs there, he made the move to the United States in 2015 and settled in Arizona. Now he lives in Oakland and commutes more than an hour to Citrus Heights each day.

Before opening Falafel Corner, Shah says he worked a variety of “gig” jobs including Uber and fulfillment by Amazon.

Originally, Shah was hoping to open a Falafel Corner in Oakland, but delays led him to seek a Citrus Heights location for the franchise that began locally. Falafel Corner’s first location is in Natomas, according to a previous report by The Sentinel.

The website Open Corporates lists the Falafel Corner Franchising Corp owner as Sajad Shakoor with a primary address in the Natomas area. News reports by Sacramento News and Review and a Diablo Valley College student newspaper show Shakoor found success in the restaurant industry after serving more than 20 years in prison and has become an advocate for programs to help individuals with felony convictions gain employment.

According to hours posted on Yelp, the new Citrus Heights restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, except on Sundays when closing time is an hour earlier.

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