Scott and Arianne Bennett, owners of the Amsterdam Falafelshop in Adams Morgan, had already signed the paperwork to close on a Capitol Hill property for their second do-it-yourself falafel outlet. But in February, two days after the couple opened M’Dawg Haute Dogs with Chef Greggory Hill, Scott Bennett slipped on some ice and broke his leg in two places.
The accident also broke off the couple’s immediate plans for their second Falafelshop.
The fall left Scott Bennett in a cast up to his hip, which is not good when you live in a three-story walk-up where the bedroom is on the third floor and the bathroom is on the second. “My poor husband has lived in the window seat of our living room for the last 12 weeks now,” says Arianne Bennett.
“We choose to give the location up because of Scott’s accident,” Bennett says. “I can’t run back and forth to the Hill in addition to these two restaurants….The accident didn’t take just Scott out. It took half of me because half of me has to take care of him now.”
“It was a painful, painful decision for us” to resell the property, she adds. Arianne Bennett grew up on Capitol Hill, just blocks away from the property they had bought.
As it stands, it looks like the next Amsterdam Falafelshop will not be owned by the Bennetts themselves, but by the first franchisees of the budding chain. “We have a couple of people who want to franchise right now,” Arianne Bennett says, “so it’s easier for us to focus on that and let them run their build-out.”
The next Amsterdam Falafelshop will likely be in, of all places, Herndon. The franchisee is scouting locations in that area, Bennett says. There is no date set yet for an opening.
The franchisee route may, in fact, be safer for the Bennetts than opening up another place on their own. “We had to joke about it after [Scott was] getting better because when we first opened the Falafelshop, I got run over by a car,” Arianne Bennett says. “I was in the window seat for 15 weeks.”