‘Hoomoos Asli’ Shutters After 18 Years on the Fringe of Little Italy

Posted on: October 10th, 2017 at 5:00 am by

Hoomoos Asli, consistently rated as one of the best Mediterranean establishments in the city, is kaput. The Kenmare Street restaurant closed last month after nearly two decades in business.

The bilingual, red canopy was extricated from the facade, and windows papered. All that remains is a farewell to customers, discussing the difficulty for mom-and-pop businesses to survive in the current climate.

With a heavy heart, Hoomoos Asli after many years will be closing its doors. We want to thank all of our customers who have tried to make our dream come true. We truly appreciate all of you.

It has become increasingly difficult for small mom and pop stores to do business in this beautiful city with our old kosher concept. People prefer quality affordable fast-casual dining without table service, therefore, we will be turning what we’ve built into something even greater to meet these new market trends.

We hope to return even better than before but as a non-kosher establishment with gourmet affordable similar cuisine. We hope you join us when we reopen.

It’s the second longtimer on the block to close within the last year, behind Mexican Radio just across the street.

Hoomoos Asli, July 2011

Hoomoos Asli made some of the best hummus and falafel around town. It was also one of the last Kosher meat establishments in the area, certainly a blow to those who adhere to the dietary restriction.

Tsachi Cohen and business partner Sheron Fayagh launched Hoomoos Asli back in October 1999. Eighteen years, usually a lucky number in Jewish mysticism. (Numerological dissection the hebrew word “chai” adds up to 18.) The tiny corner dining room would eventually expand into the adjacent retail space back in July 2014.

The New York Times had this to say about the phonetic spelling of the restaurant’s name upon its opening:

Meanwhile, Israeli music alternated with reggae on the stereo system, creating a multilingual cacophony that didn’t seem to faze any of the diners, who seemed more intent on capturing the attention of the single waitress rushing back and forth. Somehow, she managed to keep track of everybody in the full room without losing her smile.

Such is the nightly chaos at Hoomoos Asli, which diners are willing to endure, even enjoy, because of Mr. Cohen’s sparkling Israeli dishes and good cheer. But regardless of his perpetual crinkly grin and mop-top set of corkscrew curls, it is his seriousness about the food that makes the difference. He insists, for example, on the pronunciation HOO-moose for his signature dish. ”Please don’t pronounce it humm-us,” the menu says. When Mr. Cohen moved to New York from Israel seven months ago and heard the typical New York pronunciation, he said, ”I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.”

Recent Stories

Claw Money Closes Delancey Street Boutique

Street artist Claw Money recently closed down her Delancey Street store. Now encased in plywood shed, the space is undergoing renovation. And joins the litter of other commercial vacancies at 101 Delancey. Indeed, the handful of divided storefronts comprising 101 Delancey went under the knife nearly a decade ago, and largely remained dormant. Except for […]

Happy Ending for the Good Luck Spa as it Reopens on Orchard Street

The good luck is back, as the Chinatown spa of same just reopened. You’ll recall that the Good Luck Spa on Orchard Street fell victim to a police sting last month, and was busted for prostitution. The proverbial happy ending treatment for customers. The business only remained closed for a minute, and was back at […]

Carbon Monoxide Leak at Broome Street Bodega Sickens 5 People

Carbon monoxide levels spiked at a Broome Street bodega early yesterday morning, sickening five people. The purported gas leak happened at the Optimum Gourmet Deli on the ground floor of 243 Broome. Firefighters rushed to the store at 7:40am. Five were sickened by the elevated gas in the air, including one who was seriously hurt. […]

Discover Opportunity with Manhattan Charter Schools [Sponsor]

We, the Manhattan Charter School for Curious Minds, are two small public elementary schools educating children in grades Kindergarten through 5th. We believe in the importance of an intimate learning environment and are committed to offering a well-rounded education designed to help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. There are never more than 25 […]

Art Basel Banana Surfaces on Essex Street

Not since Velvet Underground has a banana polarized so. You may have seen the viral story about the banana fastened to a wall at Art Basel fetching $120,000 in the name of “art.” Back home on the Lower East Side, the locals have added their two cents about Maurizio Cattelan’s work (known for the golden […]