Goodbye, grape leaves: Hamsah Mediterranean Grill closes
Kosher PittsburghHamsah Mediterranean Grill

Goodbye, grape leaves: Hamsah Mediterranean Grill closes

Look elsewhere laffa lovers, Greenfield kosher restaurant shuts its doors

Nissim Assouline in 2019. Photo by Adam Reinherz
Nissim Assouline in 2019. Photo by Adam Reinherz

Laffa fans are going to have to find another source for their flatbread, because on Jan. 11 Hamsah Mediterranean Grill closed up shop.

Nearly 18 months after opening, the Greenfield-based kosher eatery, whose sandwiches included shawarma, schnitzel, falafel and beef shish kabob, shuttered with little notice.

At 11 a.m. on Jan. 11, representatives of the restaurant, which was located at 4371 Murray Ave., posted on Facebook: “Hi everyone unfortunately Hamsah Mediterranean Grill will be open today for the last day … We will serve from 4:00 – 8:00 pm tonight and then the doors close. If you want to take advantage of it we will thank you! Thank you everyone for understanding and your support!”

Follow-up posts expressed gratitude for the community’s support and encouraged individuals with outstanding gift cards to contact Nissim Assouline, who, along with his wife Sigalit, owned and operated Hamsah.

When reached by phone, Nissim Assouline reiterated the sentiments shared on Facebook.

“It was a pleasure meeting so many people who came to the restaurant,” he told the Chronicle.

“All the people who came from outside the Pittsburgh area, all of the business people, it was a pleasure meeting them as well. I really appreciate it, but right now I’m taking off.”

Assouline didn’t indicate where he was going or what his future plans may be, but said eager eaters shouldn’t expect to see him or his shakshuka anytime soon. Given the exhaustion he faced, it was time to close the restaurant, he said.

“It’s a hard business,” he said. “I’ve been working like a dog.”

Assouline, who turns 59 next month, said his age crept up on him and made work more difficult.

With Hamsah’s closing, Pittsburgh’s kosher consumers face even more limited dine-in restaurant options. Familiar staples Milky Way and Cafe 18 remain open. Multiple catering options also exist; Assouline said he will not be joining them.

“No catering,” he said. “I’m done with the food business, but thank you for the support.” PJC

Adam Reinherz can be reached at

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