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BenjYehuda, Israeli-Inspired Street Food, Opening Lincoln Park Location

By Paul Biasco | May 20, 2014 6:28am
 A shawarma pita and fries from BenjYehuda.
A shawarma pita and fries from BenjYehuda.
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LINCOLN PARK — BenjYehuda, an Israeli-inspired street food restaurant, is preparing to open on Clark Street in Lincoln Park.

The restaurant will take the place of Tzatziki Grill, 2485 N. Clark St., which recently closed.

The Clark Street BenjYehuda will be the first location of the restaurant outside of the Loop.

"We wanted to try to venture out into some of the local neighborhoods and obviously Lincoln Park was a high contender for us on the list," said Benji Rosen, who started the restaurant with his wife four years ago.

The fast casual restaurant serves up self-described urban street food that is found in Israel, but with an American twist, according to Rosen.

The restaurant, which has become popular at the two Loop locations, is known for its pitas, laffas and box lunches containing falafel, chicken or steak shawarma.

Everything is made in house down to the hot sauce, according to Rosen.

"It's sort of our own eclectic mix of street food," he said. "It leans toward Israel, but it's very Americanized and our own spin on things."

Rosen and his wife, Stacy, hope to open the Lincoln Park location in June.

The couple came up with the concept while on an extended trip to Israel four years ago.

In the past he had operated a hot dog place and a Mexican restaurant, but had been out of the business for some time.

"I said, hey we could do this in Chicago and her response was, 'That's what we are gonna do,' " Rosen said.

They opened the first location at 212 W. Van Buren St. in 2009 and a second location at 10 S. La Salle St. in late 2012.

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