Founder of Amsterdam Falafelshop Dies of COVID After Month in Hospital

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The popular founder of Amsterdam Falafelshop in Adams Morgan died from COVID-19 after a month of hospitalization. He was 70 years old.

Scott Bennett’s wife says the fact that her husband was fully vaccinated, boosted and enjoyed good health is a reminder to continue to use care and caution around others.

“He bicycled to see his favorite Nationals games,” Arianne Bennett said. “He bicycled everywhere, to go to lunch in Bethesda from Adams Morgan. That was his thing. He was a scuba diver.” 

She says she and her husband both became ill with COVID-19 in December and were both fully vaccinated and boosted.

When his breathing became labored, they grew worried enough to head to the emergency room at George Washington University Hospital. She was given a monoclonal antibody treatment and discharged and has since recovered.

But Scott -- despite his robust good health and fitness level -- never left the hospital. 

“I wasn’t allowed to be with him, and the nurses that stroked his forehead and the nurses who took care of him and the doctors who cared about him like he was their own and who called me and kept me connected, I am so grateful,” Arianne Bennett said.  

Arianne described how much she appreciates doctors and nurses who cared for him, trying experimental therapies. She also described her agony at not being able to comfort him as he was dying.

A handwritten sign outside Amsterdam Falafel on 18th Street NW, which the couple founded in 2004, bears tribute to the larger-than-life restaurateur that seemingly everyone knew.

“My husband was the person who introduced everybody to everybody else at the bar, in the street, at any restaurant, in an airport,” Arianne said. “He’s the guy who just sits down and talks to anybody.”

Through her grief, Arianne Bennett says her husband’s death is a reminder of the importance of caring for the health and safety of others. 

“We’re restaurant people,” she said. “We want the restaurant industry to survive. Just make sure that when your waiter comes to your table you put your mask on your face so that you don’t lose your spouse, so that you don’t lose your favorite person that you’re known all these years.”

Many of the social media tributes to Scott Bennett include the same description: an Adams Morgan legend.

One of his last acts of generosity occurred as he was dying. Some of his blood was drawn for COVID-19 research that will hopefully save lives. 

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