Food truck UrbanTaali plans first brick-and-mortar location in Duluth

Co-owner Ali Husain hopes to open in August
UrbanTaali's Gyro meat taali bowl

Photograph courtesy of UrbanTaali

UrbanTaali, a halal food truck that serves wraps, rice bowls, burgers, and sandwiches, is planning to open its first brick-and-mortar at 3099 Breckinridge Boulevard in Duluth. The truck opened in 2013 and immediately developed a loyal following. “We had a huge fanbase on social media that kept telling us they would love it if we had a permanent location,” says co-owner Ali Husain. Six months ago, he decided to take the plunge and started plans to open a restaurant near Gwinnett Place Mall. “We looked around a lot of up-and-coming areas, but a lot of our customers live in the Gwinnett area,” Husain says

Husain hopes the restaurant will open in August, and the food truck will continue to operate as usual. The 1,300-square foot restaurant will be decorated with bright colors and modern furniture, and the kitchen will keep the food truck’s menu of rice bowls with gyro meat, wraps, and sandwiches. They will also offer a few new items, such as sliders, a new burger, and a signature dessert. “We want to have a late night spot where people can come and hang out and use the wi-fi,” Husain says. “We’re still deciding what to do, but we’re going to serve a dessert that’s unique.”

Despite the new challenges of running a restaurant, Husain thinks that the transition from running a food truck has been relatively smooth. “I almost feel like it was easier to open a brick-and-mortar than to open a food truck,” he says. Husain added that his parents owned fast food restaurants when he was growing up, so he knows the ins and outs of the health department. “With the food truck we needed permits for so many different counties and cities.”