Shawarma On the Falls inviting and tantalizing

Thomas Lavasani and Joe Hassoun
Thomas Lavasani and Joe Hassoun have been friends for years and now are co-owners of Shawarma On the Falls. Photo submitted.
Posted on: September 26, 2018

Spotlight on Business

If you haven’t tried Smiths Falls’ newest restaurant/take-out yet, get there fast. Shawarma On the Falls is more than worthwhile…

Co-owners Thomas Lavasani and Joe Hassoun have worked together for 16 years — “He’s like an older brother to me,” Thomas laughs, with emphasis on the ‘older’. Thomas was a manager for Joe at one of his nine Subway’s in Ottawa; Joe liked Thomas’ loyalty and work ethic and said to him “it’s time to be a partner.” So while Thomas now lives in Smiths Falls and is at Shawarma On the Falls every working day, Joe lives in Orleans and is only at this newest venture four days a week.

The bright, clean interior is inviting and attractive. Small red-topped tables, each with red-cushioned chairs, catch the eye and invite customers to stay a while. Joe and Thomas are mostly always available for a chat, except if there’s a line-up at the counter.

Joe remembers Smiths Falls from the times he brought his three children here to visit Hershey’s. To him, it was a “beautiful town.” But there was something missing and that was Mediterranean food. Looking around for a place to settle after selling his business at the Tanger Outlets, Joe and Thomas settled on Smiths Falls. Thomas, a trained chef, took even more training  in Mediterranean-Lebanese food to ensure consistency in preparation so the taste was the same every day.

They opened September 14; this is the thirtieth restaurant Joe has opened since 1999 so to say he knows what he’s doing is a bit of an understatement. As an added perk to the Town, the two have hired eight local people to work with them. “We’re training them,” Joe says and likens the work atmosphere to Cheers — where “everybody knows everybody,” he adds, grinning.

The menu includes combos, appetizers, platters, family platters, sandwiches and poutine. Prices are competitive, probably “cheaper than the city,” Joe says. A small Donair is $5.50 or Chicken Sandwich $5.99; Combos range from $12.99 (two Shawarma sandwiches and a coke), to a large mixed Family Tray at $42.

  • They take Mastercard, Visa and Interac.
  • They’re open Monday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • They’re located at 16 Beckwith Street N in Smiths Falls.
  • Reach them at 613-283-5556.