Rabih Fakhreddine bringing Lebanon’s “golden age” to Dubai with Café Beirut

14 January 2022

Rabih Fakhreddine bringing Lebanon’s “golden age” to Dubai with Café Beirut

Cafe Beirut joins Dubai’s strong Lebanese food scene

Café Beirut has opened at Al Murooj Complex Downtown, Dubai. Rabih Fakhreddine, founder and CEO, 7 Management spoke to Caterer Middle East about the new opening and how he ensures his venues offer a great atmosphere and a lively experience.

He said: “We have the privilege of being a home-grown brand that was inaugurated within the streets of Beirut, reflecting the authenticity and charm of the city, particularly when it comes to the food and the ambience. We aimed at mirroring this experience in Dubai, with a concept that was very successful back home, and that can reproduce the same genuine feel.”

Fakhreddine wants everything to be perfect before the official launch. He said: “We’ve been soft open for a few days, and it has been going well so far. We will continue to keep it in soft launch mode for a few more weeks in order for us to fine-tune everything, especially since it’s such a big space, with 350 covers.”

The venue is home to a circular indoor area with a traditional ceramic water fountain and an olive tree as the centrepiece. The outlet is designed to evoke 1950s Beirut, and also features a green outdoor garden with views of the Burj Khalifa. Fakhreddine thinks that Café Beirut’s unique look adds something new to Dubai’s already strong Lebanese food scene in Dubai.

He said: “Great Lebanese spots already live in Dubai, and they’ve all contributed to bringing a feeling of home to the Lebanese community living here. However, for us, adding Café Beirut to the list of spots would be to complete the existing scene.

“The venue is spacious, offering both indoor and outdoor seating, with trees having stories to tell as they date back at least 15 years, and the location itself is very strategic, as it is in the centre of Dubai adjacent to DIFC, Downtown Dubai and Sheikh Zayed Road. I believe Café Beirut will be the “it” place, from breakfast to the after-party.

The venue serves classic Lebanese food, available all day. Breakfast features ballila with pine nuts, eggs and soujouk, fattet hummus and grilled halloumi cheese. The lunch menu has a wide choice of cold mezze items including mouttabal, warak enab, shanklish, and labneh with garlic. Hot mezze offers sautéed chicken livers, makanek, falafel tacos, ras asfour with pomegranate molasses and tabbouleh. Daily dishes are also available, as well as a kids menu. The dessert spread feature kunafa, osmalieh cheesecake, um ali, qatayef with Nutella and daaoukyeh.

At Café Beirut, Fakhreddine wants to remember the city of his forefathers as it was in its heyday. He said: “Back then, Lebanon was known as the Switzerland of the Middle East. It is still our home, in our eyes, it is still beautiful, still glorious and still pulls us so gently on our heartstrings. I wanted to build a place that my daughter can feel is her home away from home.”

Expansion plans for Cafe Beirut

Looking ahead, the restaurateur has may plans for Cafe Beirut. He added: “Last year was a phenomenally successful year for us and we look forward to 2022 being the same, with a new project that means a great deal to us. Café Beirut has already launched in Riyadh Boulevard, and we are in talks to opening our second branch in Dubai, as well as negotiating the opening of this brand in Doha, Qatar. This is only the beginning. This brand will become a landmark all over the world, targeting the UK and the US by 2023.”

Located at Al Murooj Complex Downtown, Downtown Dubai, Cafe Beirut is open from 10am to 2am during weekdays and 10am till late on weekends.