Amsterdam Falafelshop is catapulting the falafel craze it has created in the capital city to a new level. Washington, D.C.’s fast-casual restaurant falafel brand announced the arrival of its third D.C. shop, sixth overall, which opened December 1 at L’Enfant Plaza.

Situated in L’Enfant Plaza’s recently renovated South Food Court in the Underground Promenade and easily accessible from each of the adjacent office buildings as well as the Metro and the glass atrium-entrance above in the plaza, the new shop continues the Amsterdam Falafelshop tradition of serving falafel in a unique atmosphere. Local entrepreneur Dane Cherry leads a team of investors in opening the new Amsterdam Falafelshop.

“Our time has arrived. Amsterdam Falafelshop is solidifying its place in D.C. lore as the brand expands its presence locally and is received so well by our growing fan base,” says Cherry, who owns and operates the brand’s 14th Street location that opened earlier this year. “Opening in L’Enfant Plaza is another validation of just how popular our shops have become. The falafel, the ambiance, the service—it’s all tops among our competitors. The constant flow of office workers coming by and welcoming us—getting excited for our arrival—during our last days of construction, is further evidence of the demand for the brand.”

Even before the shop has opened, customers have been coming by to take their photos in front of the giant mural of one of Amsterdam’s canals without leaving L’Enfant Plaza.

A staple in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, where the concept originated on 18th Street, and most recently in Arlington’s Clarendon neighborhood, this is the area’s fourth location and sixth total throughout the nation (Annapolis, Maryland, and Boston also are home to shops).

“We love working with Dane as we grow the brand in our home market,” says Arianne Bennett, cofounder and CEO of Amsterdam Falafelshop and the co-owner of the Adams Morgan shop. “In fact, we’re working with Dane to plan for their third area location. He is a wonderful multi-unit Amsterdam Falafelshop franchisee, capable of operating outstanding restaurants with our concept.”

In addition to serving fresh-made falafel sandwiches and Dutch-style fries (“frieten”), shops offer nearly two-dozen toppings for patrons to customize their falafel. These unique differentiators inspired Cherry. “It’s clearly become an infectious brand,” he says. “Our guests can’t get enough. They come in multiple times a week. The freshness leaves them feeling good about what they’ve eaten, and our environment keeps them intrigued.”

In addition to growing in D.C., Virginia, and Suburban Maryland, Amsterdam Falafelshop is moving forward with an aggressive U.S. franchise growth plan calling for expansion into other select urban centers where the brand can maintain its originality among a diverse collection of consumers. The company is still accepting applications from qualified franchisees interested in further developing key U.S. areas throughout the Northeast, Eastern Seaboard, Midwest, and Southeast. Target markets include the Washington D.C. metro area and Baltimore, Atlanta, the Carolinas, Miami, Tampa, the New York metro area, Philadelphia, and Richmond, Virginia. Amsterdam Falafelshop has also pinpointed metropolitan areas across the midsection of the nation such as Chicago, Ohio, and other major metro markets in Texas and California.

In the coming months, two additional Amsterdam Falafelshop locations are slated to open—one in Boston’s Kenmore Square and the other in Dallas’s Deep Ellum neighborhood. Additionally, there are new locations planned for the Salt Lake City market.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Fast Casual, Growth, News, Amsterdam Falafelshop