Joseph Sawaya has been in the restaurant business for almost 30 years and he’s now brought his expertise to Easton with Not Just Thaboul on the spot of the former Soups on Center location.
Sawaya said that like the Pub (his former restaurant in Brockton), Not Just Thaboul.e specializes in Lebanese food.
“[The Pub] was like that before I bought it in 1983 and it’s been like that since it opened in 1968,” he said.
Sawaya said that the original chef there was named Hegel Hegel, and he also specialized in Lebanese cuisine.
“He was with me there since 2008,” he said. “I learned all the food recipes from him.”
Sawaya said he originally bought The Pub in Brockton when he was 23, starting out as a small business owner. He said that he had many restaurant jobs starting in high school, including the Newport Creamery and The Tackery Stable and Tap.
“I came across the Pub and I was Lebanese and intrigued and we were there up until two years ago,” he said. “This place came along and I was looking to do something similar with the food.”
Sawaya said he works Not Just Thaboule with his wife, Debra. He said The Pub had become more of a bar and less of a restaurant, and with Hegel not working there, he said it just wasn’t the same and he was looking to do something different.
“I bought a restaurant bar when I was 23, and I managed and ran it,” he said. “The last few years of the restaurant, the location in Brockton became undesireable for people to go to. I had to downsize with help. Pretty much, my wife and I took over doing everything. Now we just do take out and catering and this is what we want to do. Now I can just focus on cooking.”
Sawaya said that the response from Easton and Brockton has been amazing since they opened in the Shovel Town less than two months ago. He said that former patrons from Brockton have been coming to Easton and Eastonites have also been flocking to the location.
“The area’s wonderful and the people are great,” he said. “Things are working out here… It’s been an overwhelming response. All our old customers are coming back. They prefer to take the ride here than to downtown [Brockton].”