Queens Favorite Wafa’s Closed Over the Weekend

Gone too soon.
Gone too soon. Photo: Cassandra Rose Tannenbaum/New York Magazine

This is a bummer: The owners of the esteemed Lebanese restaurant Wafa’s closed their family-run restaurant over the weekend. Owned by Wafa Chami and her three sons, it first opened as a takeout spot in 2008, which closed in December of 2010 so they could open a full-fledged restaurant in February 2011. During its all-too-brief tenure in Queens, the restaurant received glowing press from the New York Times, Michelin, and Serious Eats and earned the No. 4 spot on New York’s Queens Top 20 list and No. 35 on the 2014 101 Cheap Eats list. In the latter, the Underground Gourmet called it the “rare exception” to the rule of the city’s “dime a dozen” Middle Eastern spots. According to the family, the restaurant’s lease was up, and it was facing a rent increase, but they had apparently decided to relocate to Newport Beach, California. Chami herself won’t return full time to the kitchen, she tells DNAinfo, but she will help her son Joe Salameh with a takeout spot.


Queens Favorite Wafa’s Closed