A new Middle Eastern restaurant is coming soon to La Grange, adding to the growing diversity in downtown dining options.
Falafelji, a Middle Eastern-Mediterranean restaurant in Lyons, will open its second location at 13 S. La Grange Rd., where Back Alley Burger was before moving down the block.
The game of restaurant musical chairs in La Grange continues, with existing places like Back Alley and Kama Bistro moving to bigger spaces in town and a new group of diverse restaurants coming, such as EmpanadUS and El Picante changing to a Vietnamese place.
Falafelji owner Bilal Beiram said he's been eyeing La Grange since moving to the U.S. 25 years ago and buying a car from a dealership down the road, well before he got back into the restaurant business.
"We already get a lot of business from La Grange (at the Lyons location)," Beiram said. "I thought we could take the business to them. It's such a vibrant place and it's an attraction for people from outside of La Grange."
Beiram grew up in Jordan, where he worked at his grandfather's restaurant. It was there that he learned the trade and grew a passion for cooking.
"It's in my blood," he said. "I get a rush. It's the gratifying feeling you get when a customer loves your food."
He moved to the U.S. in 1988 and runs his own accounting practice. In November 2012, Beiram decided to open the restaurant in Lyons.