Simone's Kitchen opens in Schenectady


Simone's Kitchen began as a small, makeshift Mediterranean restaurant in Coxsackie with an unwavering line out the door in 2018. Its success left Bashir Chedrawee with a decision to make six months in — because running the restaurant wasn't the plan all along.


"I was going to either close down the restaurant and just continue with my original plan. But this became such a passion for me. And I felt such tremendous opportunity that this ended up being the thing I wanted to do," he said.


So, he and business partner Shan Kaurejo, friends from their biochemistry and neuroscience days at University at Albany, withdrew their medical school applications on the same day and together with Jules Trombley decided to pursue Simone's. It just opened its flagship location in Schenectady in August.


And it had a line waiting at the door at 10:57 a.m. for its 11 a.m. daily opening Thursday.


The restaurant serves fast-casual modern Mediterranean. Its original Coxsackie location is undergoing further renovations to match the new branding, with plans to reopen in the future.


The menu consists of its main dish, mezza bowls, which are a combination of small plates (think falafel, tabouleh and lemon potatoes) served as one combined meal, as well as a cafe counter with coffee and beverages, bakery items and Greek frozen yogurts. They'll also offer warm plates come fall.


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