Members of the Jewish community in the western suburbs can now go out to eat kosher sushi, Chinese food, steak, shwarama and burgers all at the same place. On July 12, the Star of David Kosher Grill opened on Montgomery Avenue in Narberth, replacing Burger.org, which closed the first week of July. It will have a grand opening in August.
“The first day was great,” said co-owner. “After 5 p.m., the restaurant was very busy. I got a lot of very good feedback.”
Abargel, 41, has been in the business for 12 years and owns two restaurants in Northeast Philadelphia, Espresso Café and Japanika, a kosher restaurant that serves sushi, Chinese and American food. He acquired Star of David Kosher Grill with his brother Nadav, 27, who was a chef and manager at Burger.org.
Growing up in northern Israel in Tiberias, Sharon Abargel dreamed of owning a business. After completing his service in the Israel Defense Forces in 1995, he moved to Philadelphia at the age of 21. He owned a clothing store in North Philadelphia from 1995 to 1999 and in 2004, opened Espresso Café in Northeast Philly. Then in 2014, he opened his second restaurant in the Northeast, Japanika.
When the opportunity arose to purchase the Narberth Burger.org location, he and his brother seized it.
“We were surprised they closed,” he said. “All my customers from there” — at one time, Burger.org had four locations spreading from Elkins Park to the Jersey shore before the locations began to close one by one — “begged me to open over there.”
This is one of the few places in Philly where people can get kosher Chinese food, he said. With friendly service, a warm atmosphere and a new chef, Oshri Kakon, people will enjoy their dining experience, Abargel said. The location will also provide catering for events and the High Holidays.
“We make very good food and offer a very beautiful presentation,” he said. “If they keep kosher, they have to come. They don’t have this variety of food on the Main Line.”
Shlomo Moody, a recent lunchtime customer who came to Burger.org in the past, said the new restaurant looked nice and he looked forward to trying the food. He said Burger.org was a bit disorganized and it often took a while to get his food. While at minyan at Lower Merion Synagogue on Monday morning, a congregant told him about the restaurant and raved about the sushi. He figured he would give it a shot and ordered shwarma and sweet potato fries.
“They’re starting with an Israeli cook — what more can you want?” Moody said.
Rabbi Naftoli Eisemann, who is the area’s kashrut supervisor for Community Kashrus of Greater Philadelphia, said the restaurant has high standards of kashrut and appeals to all levels of observance. Although there are not many Sephardic Jews in Philadelphia, it still attempts to satisfy their dietary customs; it also uses winter wheat for observant Jews.
“They not only have high standards of supervision, but they go beyond the requirements to cater to everybody,” the rabbi said.
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