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GAME CHANGERS

Bram's Burgers & El Birria:

From food truck to restaurant with a prime location

Montathar Al Mousawi and the partners Yousef Jarjes and Ahmed Kamil have been serving fast food in Kista from their respective food trucks for several years. Now they are taking the leap to owning their own restaurants in Kista.

- Montathar and Yousef have created unique concepts that attract customers to Kista who otherwise would not come here. The fact that the guys first tested their ideas on a small scale makes them better prepared for the future," says Lukas Berlin, commercial manager at Castellum.

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Montathar Al Mousawi.

"With queues of up to three hours in the middle of winter, we understood that we had created a hype"

We meet the whole team at Bram's Burgers on Kistagången 20, a couple of weeks after the opening. It is just before lunch on a Tuesday in February and hundreds of guests, both locals and long-distance, have already lined up to secure a smashed burger.

- Finally, we have managed to establish a permanent restaurant in our beloved Kista. My companion Ahmed Kamil and I started this journey as a side job more than 4 years ago, in a worn-out food truck. We tried everything from vegan to pizza before finding the right concept with our smashed burger. With queues of three hours in the middle of winter, we understood that we had created a hype," says Yousef Jarjes.

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He explains that they have expanded slowly but surely. They have outgrown a food truck of barely six square meters, gone through two larger trucks, and ended up in one of the restaurant containers in Kista Innovation Park, where the dream of a permanent restaurant grew stronger.

- We had to search for a long time before Castellum offered us the dream location, right in the heart of Kista. It feels so great to be here in our new kitchen, opposite the place where it all started. The circle is complete," says Yousef, looking out at his newly renovated restaurant, where both the shop windows and the cash desk are decorated with the motto "if one should eat, everyone should eat".

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Yousef Jarjes and Ahmed Kamil.

The idea is that no one should feel left out because they cannot afford to eat. Both Yousef and Ahmed know all too well how that feels.

- That's why we make sure that all visitors get something to eat. We don't do this to become billionaires. For us, it's really important to contribute to a nice community here in Kista. And I think that's something we and Castellum agree on. Don't you think so, Lukas?

- Absolutely! We believe in Kista and we know that the local businesses that have been here for a while are important for the development of the district. We are so impressed by both Yousef and Montathar, who have taken all of Stockholm by storm with their clear concepts. I mean, how many food truck owners manage to sell 1100 tacos in one day," says Lukas, turning to Montathar, who will open a long-awaited restaurant on Isafjordsgatan 30A later this spring, a strategic location near KTH and a variety of companies.

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"The restaurant will be a game changer - both for us and the guests"

The concept will be the same, but still different...

- The restaurant will be a game changer - both for us and the guests. The focus is still on Mexican Birria tacos - tortillas filled with slow-cooked meat, vegetables, and flavorful sauces - served with a spicy broth to dip the bread in. But now we finally have the chance to "fine serve" tacos, which are anything but fast food," says Montathar.

Montathar describes the emerging venue as an exciting mix of Mexican and Nordic. The goal is to create a stunning interior design that no one wants to leave without an Instagram moment. The big challenge will be to maintain the fast pace of the mobile kitchen, because that's what the customers will expect, while tweaking the food towards fine dining.

- Taking this step without previous experience is, of course, scary, but with Lukas and the colleagues at Castellum as advisors, it's easy to make wise decisions throughout the renovation process. I hope that more owners of mobile kitchens in Kista will dare to make this journey in the future. It would create a really exciting restaurant scene in Kista.

More about Montathar Al Mousawi

Hometown:

Tensta.

Background:

Salesperson with a great interest in food.

El Birria's bestseller:

"Loco No. 2" (corn tortilla (gluten-free), cheese, birria beef, chopped cilantro, pickled red onions, and chipotle mayo. Served with birria sauce and lime wedges).

Why Kista:

Kista is a food destination and a place that connects many different destinations. In addition, my wife works nearby and our children go to preschool here.

Number of restaurants:

Opening a restaurant on Isafjordsgatan in Kista this spring and moving the food truck south of the city.

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More about Yousef Jarjes

Hometown:

Huddinge.

Background:

Various positions in the grocery trade.

Bram's bestseller:

"Bram's Fire" (brioche bun, meat, cheddar cheese, chili mayo, salad, red onions, jalapeños, chili cheese).

Why Kista:

Very good and central location in Järva, a destination that attracts people.

Number of restaurants:

One food truck in Kungens Kurva and restaurants in both Huddinge and Kista (Kistagången).

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