WATE 6 On Your Side staff - KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - In 2011, Yassin Terou was forced to leave Syria because of war. He relocated to Knoxville with only a suitcase and a few hundred dollars.
Six years later Terou is opening up his second location at 159 North Peters Road, near Panera and Best Buy in West Knoxville. Terou says the new locations should be open in about seven weeks.
For two years Terou ran a pop-up shop using two plastic tables. He said when he first went to his mosque and asked for work, they said they could only offer him food and monthly assistance, which was hard for him because he could work, so he started selling homemade falafil and juices at the mosque.
Terou was approached by Nadeem Saddiqi at the mosque about opening a restaurant. They found a space downtown and "Yassin's Falafel House" was born.
The downtown location, located at 706 Walnut Street, is busy, especially around lunch time. Terou says a lot of his customers have never tried a falafil before and he is excited to introduce them to his native cuisine.
He says his dream is about more than just serving good food. He says his first restaurant brought all types of people together and he hopes to bring the same message and values to his second location.