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Smash Falafel to Open on Calder Way

by on August 27, 2019 8:59 AM

State College will welcome another new restaurant to its downtown dining scene when Smash Falafel opens its doors this week.

Local restaurateur Hitham Hiyajneh is pivoting once again. Just more than a year after the debut of UR Pizza, he’s bringing a vegetarian-focused and authentic falafel menu to the location at 214 E. Calder Way next to Underground Burgers and Crepes. Previously, UR Pizza had replaced Tazzah Fresh, another venture by Hiyajneh,

“It didn’t work the way I liked it to be,” Hiyajneh said of the UR Pizza venture.

Hiyajneh said that Smash Falafel’s menu will also include house-made pita and some recipes inspired by one of his other restaurants, Pita Cabana, which is located down the street. It will also maintain the build-your-own pizza option that UR Pizza began, though with different toppings, ingredients, and style.

“What sets us apart is we’re making fresh pita in house,” Hiyajneh said.

Hiyajneh said he thought of naming his new restaurant Yallah Falafel — a nod to his Yallah Taco and Burrito eateries — but chose Smash in part because he didn’t want to overuse the word “Yallah.”

Smash is expected to be open until 11 p.m. on weeknights but will push closing time into the early morning hours on weekends. Hiyajneh said it would officially open on Thursday or Friday this week.


Jim Davidson is a Penn State student and Onward State contributor.
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