Healthy Vegetarian Falafel Pita with Rice and Salad

Max’s Kosher Cafe, a mainstay in Wheaton for 28 years, has announced it is closing at the end of the month. But its owner is hopeful they will be able to relocate.

The kosher establishment has long been popular destination for falafel, shawarma and deli sandwiches among other items. Last week Max, Larry and Justin Dekelbaum, of The Shalom Group that owns the restaurant, posted a message saying that the restaurant on University Boulevard would be closing July 28.

Co-owner Larry Dekelbaum told Bethesda Beat in an interview Monday that they have been trying to move the deli into the Kemp Mill shopping center where their supermarket, Shalom Kosher, is located.

“We’ve been trying to do it for a while. And we just haven’t been successful yet. And it just came to a point where we just couldn’t keep it where it was any longer because of the lease…. ” he said of Max’s.

Dekelbaum said people in the community have been very upset since they announced the closing last week. He hopes to reopen the restaurant at some point.

“We hope that people will voice their opinions and voice their feelings and hopefully we’ll be able to get it into the shopping center here,” he said.

Max’s also operates concession stands at FedEx Field during Washington Commanders games, and at Nationals Park during Washington Nationals games. Dekelbaum said those businesses will stay open and be run through the supermarket and their catering company, Signature Caterers.

In addition to last week’s closing announcement, an employee was injured after being stabbed at the restaurant. Dekelbaum said the employee is expected to recover.

Montgomery County police announced over the weekend that they had arrested a 32-year-old man and charged him with the stabbing. According to police, he was panhandling inside the business and stole a tip jar before the employee went outside to confront the robber, and was stabbed.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com