Last year Yassin’s Falafel House in Knoxville, Tennessee was voted the Nicest Place in America – and its latest initiative to care for furloughed government workers further re-enforces the title.
The restaurant has been offering free meals to federal employees who have not been receiving paychecks since the US government shut down in December.
Furthermore, local community members are pitching in to cover the costs of the free meals by making donations to the restaurant.
“Government employees are our brothers and sisters and they are not going be alone during the longest shutdown and we can’t be the nicest place in America if we leave them alone,” the restaurant wrote on Facebook.
The owner of the restaurant, a Syrian refugee named Yassin Terou, has been a beloved part of the community since he migrated to the US in 2011.
For the last four years, Terou has used the restaurant as a neighborhood sanctuary for everyone, regardless of their religion, race, or politics. During a local candlelit vigil in 2017, Terou was praised for reaching out to a man who attended the gathering and spent the event yelling to the crowds about how immigrants were stealing American jobs.
Instead of reciprocating the man’s venom, however, Terou approached him and offered to buy him dinner so they could talk – and he even offered the man a job at his restaurant.
(WATCH the news coverage below) – Feature photo by Yassin’s Falafel House