To start with, with all the recent boom in Dbayeh area of restaurants, coffee shops, malls and cinema lounges, everyone who's everyone in the hospitality business is grabbing a chunk of the pie... Is there a secret we don't know about? Em, I wonder...
The fact is that many giant operators in the restaurant industry have opened branches of their renowned Beirut spots in Dbayeh. I am assuming that, first, they obviously want to expand their business into other areas and second, as some in the industry have admitted, the situation seems unstable, having branches far from the capital is a safer bet... no one knows why, but the boom is happening.
A recent addition to the various names in the area is Junction 5. It's a huge set up that is definitely attracting pass-byers on their way to ABC or Le Mall ...
Junction 5, why this name... what is it, what's happening there?
Dropping by unannounced, we meet Ziad Rahme - owner of many places in Beirut, including Shah, Goutons Voir, El Paladar and Tinto in Uruguay street. He explains that Junction 5 is a logical name for a place that will be hosting five different Restaurants/Lounges.
The places includes and will include
- Shakespeare&Co which recently opened and I have tried. The place is amazingly designed, but the food was a disappointment. Hope they change.
- Goutons Voir: A nice and cozy french restaurant which I have also tried and still have mixed feelings about. I think I will be going again to it to see if the experience will be different in their new branch.
- Ora: Bar/Lounge
- Beb Beirut: Lebanese cuisine restaurant
And there's one more space that's still empty... so if you're looking to be a part of this mix as well as part of this boom is the restaurant business in the area then get moving.
What I like about the area:
- It's calm
- Sitting outside when the weather is nice is refreshing
- The mix of of restaurant/bar types and cusines
What I don't like:
- To reach there its a headache and a million turns.