Filfila, the falafel shop that opened back in September of 2011 on Ninth Street just west of Fifth Avenue, has closed. Signage has been removed, the space has been cleared out, and the phone line has been disconnected.
The shop, which was previously occupied by Pita Hut, was run by two longtime friends, Salah and Emad, and Salah's mother could be found in the kitchen near-daily preparing her old family recipes, which included falafel, shawarma, kebabs, lentil soup, and baklava. Tahini and hot sauce were also made from scratch, and falafel sandwiches sold for a very reasonable $3.50.
I first tried their falafel right after they opened, and found it fresh, crispy, and (nearly) comparable to what you'd find at Mamoun's in Manhattan (in fact, one of the owners previously worked at the legendary shop).
The listing notes that it closed suddenly "due to family emergency, and partner disagreement," and also mentions that the $2,600/month rent is a "very cheap lease for [the] area," which is certainly reasonable for a storefront, even though the space is only 450 square feet.