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KNOW MORE. DO MORE. TIMEOUTBEIRUT.COM February 01-14, 2014 Issue No.68





RY 14th


Issue 68


February 01-14, 2014

The next 14 days in the world’s greatest city

Hello Beirut... On my travels around the world I am often asked one thing: ‘Are Lebanese ladies as beautiful as we hear and your men as smooth-talking and sharp-dressing as we’re told?’ To which I can only smile and say yes. Seeing as Valentine’s is fast approaching it is time for our dating issue so we set out to find the best spots for love to blossom. We also launched this year’s dating survey – which has had an impressive response (if you haven’t filled it in just log on to our website). The results will be online soon. So from all of us at TOB, Happy Valentine’s Day! Nehme Abouzeid, Publisher

Features 08 The best 69 dates in Beirut More ways to date your lover than you could

ever need

Regulars 04 Beirut Beat Writhing dancers and defaced art 20  Food & Drink

TOB hits the ice of Beirut to cut a curve of cool. By which we mean try not to fall over on camera p.35

1 2


A lonely Valentines? Three great drinks to drown your sorrows in style at Epicery p.21

The Unseen photographs with a split personality p.42

Don’t let love bite this Valentines: where to get some fancy grub

29 Shopping & Lifestyle Bzourie Bazaar now open

35 Things to Do Why brave the out-of-doors? TOB does Time in 41 Arts & Culture

44 47 52 58

Side splitting comedy to permanent favourites


Meat-ing a misogynist? TOB talks to Elias Zayek


Flum us to you with an eclectic electronic duo


TOB’s living it large with Gus Naamandi

Love & Dating

Apps of love: Psst to the test

Mar Antonios Str Gemmayzeh, P. O. Box 175-613 Beirut, Lebanon Phone 01 574411 Fax 01 565329


Wud Jey believe this guy? p.47

The six sides of DJ MQube p.52


Editorial Events Listings Advertising Subscriptions Publisher Nehme Abouzeid Managing Director Naomi Sargeant Responsible Director Louis Abouzeid Managing Editors Dan Hilton, James Haines-Young Things to Do, Beirut Beat, Reporter James Haines-Young Food & Drink, Art & Culture Dan Hilton Film, Music, Nightlife Roman St Clair Listing Editor Joanna Aziz Online Ashley El Jor, Sarah Trad Shopping & Lifestyle, Love & Dating Desiree Ketabchi Senior Designer Elyane Youssef Junior Designer Edith Hajjar Intern Christelle Sanane Director of Photography Greg Demarque Advertising Tala Al Jamal Marketing Executive Serge Trad Finance Paula Antoun IT Manager Haydar Mtayrek Production Director Jean Abouzeid Printed by On Time Publishing S.A.R.L The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for errors or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication which is provided for general use. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. © Copyright here and abroad of all editorial content is held by the publishers T.O. Beirut sarl. Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden save with the express permission in writing of the publishers. Published under the authority of and in collaboration with Time Out Group Limited London UK. The name and logo of Time Out are used under licence Time Out Group Limited London UK.

3 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

Edited by James Haines-Young

App-y to be alive A new way to say I’m O.K.


t might be a sad reality when we not only start accepting bombs as a part of our lives but also start automating our response. Now that an app has put the ‘all clear’ at the touch of a button no longer do you have to dial round to tell everyone you’re safe. It might seem somewhat macabre but Lebanese student Sandra


Hassan made the app that sends an automated tweet as a joke – however the response has been huge. With pre-loaded message ‘I am still alive! #Lebanon #LatestBombing’ you can just check your news feed to make sure everyone made it, which makes circumventing busy phone lines easy. Although (thankfully) we

are yet to road test the app for real, plenty of people have been trying it out. Does it detract from the purpose to push the emergency button as a ‘test’? Well no, probably not, it was after all made as a joke. For now, the app is only available on Android – the maker has so far kept tight-lipped about its release on other platforms. As a masters student in public health she might not be trying to make this into a business, although Hassan did let

on that she might have another (related) product in the pipeline, although that one is for a niche audience – Lebanese politicians. Formulaic condemnations of attacks in Lebanon are now the standard form for many of the country’s political elite, which is why Hassan jokingly says she will develop an app for them to tweet some stock responses, just to save them some time – nice, no? Sandra Hassan


Sharing #OneLebanon This gig is massive but also for a good cause, so spread some collaborative cheer and #-tag away. Tweeting @GlobalStudyUK They bring UK Unis to Lebanon to show you what they’re about, and are tweeting about the student fair that’s happening soon in Beirut. Following @TheVoice_TF1 If, like us, you can’t get enough of The Voice then check out the French version to hear Lebanon’s ‘Aline Lahoud’ who blew the judges away singing in Arabic! 4 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to


The face-fearing-fiend of Hamra has struck again! For a fourth time an unknown assailant has targeting the widely loved work of Beirut’s Yazan Halwani and left it faceless. When asked how he felt about the attacks, Halwani says ‘At first I was unhappy with this. But then I realised, some people like to build buildings, and others like to build rockets and bombs.’ The large street murals depict important figures from our past, blending the art of Arabic calligraphy with modern graffiti methods. Sadly there is someone who feels so compelled to silence this work that they have repeatedly covered Halwani’s paintings faces in thick white paint. Thankfully for Beirut, Halwani is committed to restoring the images, and has set about getting plexi-glass to cover the soon to be restored works to protect against future attacks. The artist believes that ‘In history, humans remember who are the greatest architects only and I like to imagine myself as a builder, so I just have to keep on building.’ Facebook: YazanOne

Beirut Beat

Try something new


February sex issue Have you heard of the #sex diet? Not yet? Then check out our Facebook page!


Getting down Ottoman style Some old-school dancing for a dinner with a difference


s it just us, or does Beirut sometimes seem a little too contemporary? We thought so too, so it’s nice when someone goes and does something kind of kitsch. What could be more evocative of the days of the Ottoman Empire than a spot of Belly Dancing? Hosts, Mar Mikhael’s Villa Clara, have managed to avoid the sleazy and the orientalist to put on a show that is genuinely entertaining. Set in their refurbished

villa, tables are pushed back to put dancer and diner at close proximity. The chef scours the markets of Beirut and is constantly supplementing the menu with daily specials, which come highly recommended. For writhing chiffon-clad dancers, classy dining and a classic setting there is no place better on a Wednesday evening. (70 995739) Khenchara Str, Mar Mikhael. Weds

Our dating survey We want to know how you do it. So fill out the survey and see if you’re normal or just a freak.



Where in Beirut is this?

Email answers to to win a Little Black Book of Beirut

A night on the town Eric Hinojosa’s new video that makes Beirut look as good as we make it sound.


For the latest news and happenings in Beirut visit

Interns Get a foot in the door for aspiring hacks, apply now.

For more reviews, listings and bookings go to 5

Reporter TIME OUT The


The inside story

A new leaf? Addiction can be a hard thing to break, and this month will see the opening of Cedar Rehab treatment centre. So TOB sat down with its founder, Ahmed Khattab, to find out more Based on his personal experiences of addiction Khattab has created a multidisciplinary approach to tackle the root causes of addiction. ‘In our region and in the Arab world, there is a lack of awareness of rehab in general and a lack of awareness of preventing addicts’ says Khattab, who was addicted to drugs for several years and says it was destroying his life. He only recovered by getting help at clinics in several countries. ‘I got to the point that I didn’t believe that there was such a thing as recovery but I received strong experiences abroad - in Jordan, Australia, London, I was in Greece for a while – all the places I went I was looking for recovery’ he explains. The idea of Cedar Rehab centre is uniting all the positives that Khattab found around the world into a multidisciplinary and luxurious approach. ‘It’s important that people feel relaxed and comfortable so we create a home environment at the centre’ says Khattab. Cedar also runs something unique in Lebanon, a shortterm program. Most courses here are upwards of a year, which makes it difficult for many people with family or work commitments. ‘Because of this many people go to clinics and detox without working on themselves and then they just relapse’ says Khattab. So the course, between one and three month depending on the level of addiction and speed of recovery, has brought together both Lebanese and international experts to educate users on why they became addicted and help them to stay clean forever. Because the course is so short, after-care is crucial in preventing relapses. Ahmed’s brother Danni will work with patients on diet and healthy lifestyles and the centre will offer a whole range of activities for ex-patients to give them new hobbies. Khattab says that whole package they offer is the key to preventing relapses, the care and after-care, ‘we approach the addictive behavior, not what people are addicted to’ he says. (05 950774) Damascus Hwy, Hazmiye

A rubbish issue?

What a localised strike says about national waste policy If you’ve been anywhere in Beirut over the last few weeks then you’ll have noticed the ever growing piles of rubbish strewn haphazardly around every dumpster in the city. The blockade of the overflowing landfill in Naameh caused the pile-ups back in January which led to rubbish in the streets of Beirut and shone the light on a overlooked issue - that of our waste management. If you’re anything like us at TOB you have a guy who takes your bins away and that’s the end of it, right? But, as we covered in the last issue on page 36, Lebanon used

to do at least some recycling. Glass bottles were crushed and re-made saving tons of trash from the dumps. Now, however, like nearly all other potential recycling, they head to the tip. We want to see more outlets for recycling and a more robust waste management process – one closed road shouldn’t spell waste misery to the whole of Beirut! The people of Naameh are calling for more separating of waste before it reaches landfill, and they’re right. We can’t keep burying the issue and hoping it goes away.

6 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to



DATES E With Valentine’s on the way we thought we would come up with some ideas to branch out of the normal ‘dinner and a movie’ dates and make a list of exciting, innovative and lovely ways to impress your significant other this February.

CRU A truly extensive wine list in this tiny, Hamra classic. Excellent food geared to the wines. (01 344565) Makdessi Str, Hamra

CAFÉ SHO Asian fusion cuisine at its best in a small stylish café. (01 424051) Monot Str, Monot 8 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

BAGATELLE Mediterranean menu of fresh ingredients and organic veg. (01 342842) Jabre Doumit Str, Hamra

JOE PEÑAS Be transported to old Havana in this atmospheric Latin restaurant. Generous in both portions and flavour. (01 449906) Boutros Dagher Str, Gemmayzeh

BURGUNDY Specialising in the grand vins, their wines and menu are of exceptional quality. (01 999820) Gouraud Str, Saifi Village

FROSTY PALACE Kitsch ‘50s style diner with brilliant burgers, a hit with the young. (01 449595) Pharaoh Str, Mar Mikhael

SEZA Pretty and intimate Armenian with gorgeous outdoor terrace. (01 570711) Patriarch Aarida Str, Mar Mikhael

SOCIETY Upscale Italian in relaxed luxury. A seasonal menu means it’s as fresh as can be. (01 571572) Georges Haddad Str, Saifi Village

LE PETIT GRIS Warm, both in décor and service, Le Petit Gris can be relied upon for intimate atmosphere and quality French cuisine. (01 443737) Nahr Ibrahim Str, Saifi

PRUNE Bustling bistro full of wrought iron and classic French food. (01 569939) Madrid Str, Mar Mikhael

KAMPAÏ Asian fusion in a fiery kitchen. (01 999093) Palladium Bldg, Rafic Salloum Str, Minet El Hosn

LUX Simple, local and organic ingredients are the byword here. (01 444311) Al Jamarik Str, Port of Beirut

L’OCA MATTA A culinary journey across the many regions of Italy (01 442444) Al Nahr Str, Mar Mikhael

For more reviews, listings and bookings go to 9

EDL (UNDER 24) As electric as the name. A lively spot for the young. (03 863680) Nicholas Turk Str, Mar Mikhael

DANY’S (UNDER 24) With live music Thursday-Friday suited for a young and liberal crowd. (01 740231) 78th Str, Hamra

DICTATEUR (25+) Low lit and cavernous this former mini industrial factory with many rooms of different atmospheres. (03 251512) Badawi Str, Mar Mikhael

BODØ URUGUAY STR (UNDER 24) The latest arrow in Bodø’s quiver, premium quality at a reasonable price. (03 219269) Uruguay Str, Downtown

MYU (30+) A refurbished dark, modern interior makes MYU a fantastic location for a romantic meal. (03 334476) Mar Antonios Street, Gemmayzeh

GARCIA’S (35+) Situated in a Hamra alleyway and hosting themed nights each evening, including Latin, jazz, funk, ‘80s, and more (01 738538) Makdessi Str, Hamra

CLE (25+) A warm and cosy atmosphere both inside by the fire or out in the garden. (71 200712) Abdel Baki Street, Hamra

MOMO’S AT THE SOUK (25+) A paradise of curiosity, the wonderful shell of a hanging garden. (01 999767) Beirut Souks, Downtown

PACIFICO (30+) A great Cuban themed bar with an extensive Latin-influenced menu. (01 204446) Monot Str, Monot

PURPLE MOON (35+) High end in its décor, menu and prices and welcoming to an older, well-to-do crowd. (01 444009) Moudawar Bldg, Pasteur Str, Gemmayzeh

CENTRAL STATION (30+) A long, elegant cocktail bar with a classy atmosphere and drinks from around the world. (71 736737) Armenia Str, Mar Mikhael

10 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

CENTRALE (35+) Ultra-cool high end bar with a retractable roof. (01 575858) Mar Maroun Str, Saifi

WINDING STREETS Wander the streets of Geitawi and enjoy the historic buildings.

FISHING OFF THE CORNICHE Shabab don’t have to be the only rod-wielding seafood-snatchers. Reel them in as the sun sets into the sea.

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE Drive out to Chouwen and enjoy some rural wandering upon hill and dale. Mount Kafka above Jounieh.

ROMANTIC SELFIES With the Mar Mikhael steps as a backdrop, a couples profile pic is born.

STREET DRINKER Keep it cheap when money’s tight and take your own beers to Mar Mikhael and join the throng outside the many bars.

MOUNTAIN WITH A VIEW Drive up to the top of Ghineh for panoramic views round from Beirut to Tripoli. For more reviews, listings and bookings go to 11

PAPERCUP Perfect if you’re date’s an art book-loving culture vulture. (01 443083) Pharaoh Str, Mar Mikhael

AFTERATALAS See these blown-up pics, then chat in the lovely café. Beirut Art Center (01 397018) Jisr El Wati

MIM MUSEUM The museum with gems are as beautiful as your date . (01 421672) Damascus Str, Achrafieh

TRASH Show an Earth-conscious side to your cultured nature at this recycling-centric dance performance. Sunflower Theater (01 381290) Sami Solh Ave, Tayouneh

THIS DAY @ TEN The Karantina industrial space is archly cool. Sfeir-Smeler Gallery (01 566550) Tannous Bldg

THE WONDERS OF THE SEA MUSEUM Fawn over baby turtles and playful seahorses. (01 891548) Main Str, Jdeidé

BYBLOS WAX MUSEUM Get lost in the dimly lit corridors of power with Alexander the Great and Khalil Gibran. (09 540463) Jbeil LENA AND HILDA KELEKIAN SACRED ART STUDIO Nod at your spiritual side with a visit to two artist’s religioninspired works. (01 264002) DRAWING CLASS Study each other sensually at this intro to drawing. L’Atelier Art Lounge (01 370181) Zaitunay Bay ROBERT MOUAWAD PRIVATE MUSEUM A heady mix of jewellery, antiques, pottery and books in an old European mansion. (01 980970) Achrafieh Str, Achrafieh

MOVEMENT WORKSHOP BY MEMORY WAX COMPANY Learn to move together in an expressive, graceful way – taught by Swedes! Sunflower Theatre (01 381290) Sami Solh Ave, Tayouneh 12 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

RIMA Nothing gets a date rolling like laughter, and this comedy should do the trick. Gemmayzeh Theatre (76 409109) College Sacre Coeur, Gemmayzeh

YOGA AT HOME Chakras all blocked? This delightful yogi can come and teach you and your date in the comfort of your own home. Pip Usher (76 451554)

WATCH A SCARY FILM A perfect excuse to snuggle up and hold each other closely without it being too awkward.

CANDLE LIT DINNER Put the lights down low and get busy in the kitchen. Everybody admires a good cook and candles spell romance.

TWISTER See how supple your date is, at the same time as getting close to them, while playing a brilliant game. Win, win, win.

MAKE COCKTAILS This activity is fun and as the drinks begin to flow, who knows, you might stir up something beautiful.

HOME MADE SUSHI Both of you can get stuck in with the making of this particular raw dish and eating it wont give you salmon-ella.

HEAD STRAIGHT FOR THE BEDROOM If having dinner or watching a film seems like prolonging the inevitable, then why not just get straight down to business. For more reviews, listings and bookings go to 13

PET SHOPPING Cute animals are guaranteed to make any date go well. Bird House (03 186570) Leon Str, Hamra

HIPS DON’T LIE Get swaying to the rhythm and love will show itself in the moves. Kudeta Café (01 389789) Badaro Str, Badaro. Wed 9.30

OLD-FASHIONED CHARM Rummage the rails of vintage shirts and dresses to pick out a wacky (cool) wardrobe. Depot-Vente (03 200620) Badawi Str, Beirut

STRIKE LUCKY There’s a reason it’s a classic. Just don’t go getting too competitive. Score Bowling (01 751127) Crowne Plaza Bldg, Hamra

IN THE SADDLE A lazy ride up the Corniche at sunset will be a definite hit. Beirut By Bike (03 435524) Abdel Nasser Str, Ain El Mreisseh

WET AND WILD Get on the open seas and tear up some waves. Water Nation Sports Center (03 204455) Zaitunay Bay

MARKET FARE Why not buy some fresh produce and whip up some love in the kitchen? Cooking is sexy – fact. Souk el Tayeb (01 442664)

SNUGGLE UP Blanket, pillows, ludicrously soft seating and dinner... but at a cinema? Yeah, why not? Empire (01616707) Sodeco sq, Sodeco

14 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

BARGAIN HUNT Rifle through the endless collections of DVD’s in the shops of Borj Hammoud to ensure a second date (you’ll need to watch it, no?)

CREATIVE JUICES The Private Art Studio. (70 868837) Karm Al Zaytoun, Achrafieh

HIT THE OFFROAD High octane dates are good. Pro X Riding (70 015025) Faraya

SOUR PUBLIC BEACH A beautifully sandy and unspoilt beach lies on the coast by Sour and though perhaps not at its best in February should be explored from May onwards. Many beach huts serve wonderful food and alcohol, while you might catch a hatching turtle.

MASSAYA WINERY A day well spent amidst the vines in this stunning vineyard overlooking the mountains. Open food, wine and arak is sure to get the chit-chat flowing. (08 510135)

TELEFERIQUE Hold onto each other tight as you ascend the mountain in a suspended gondola, before soaking up the spectacular panorama up in Harissa. (09 936075) Haret Sakher, Jounieh

RUINS OF AANJAR In a land awash with Roman ruins, the town of Aanjar is unique with ones belonging to Islam’s first caliphate, the Umayyads. Palaces, shops and a mountain backdrop make the journey worthwhile. CONQUERER’S GALLERY An Ottoman bridge crosses a the gorge of the Nahr El-Kaleb where invading armies have been writing the equivalent of ‘we woz ‘ere’ for millennia. Plaques and stele erected by everyone from Ramses the Great to Napoleon III.

JEITA GROTTO Spending a date in a cave might sound ludicrous, but when they’re this breathtaking, who’s complaining? While away the hours on a peaceful boat trip through the endless caverns. (09 220840) Keserwan

MONASTERYHOPPING IN THE QUADISHA VALLEY One for the most active of you – if not staying overnight you’ll have an early start. The breathtaking scenery is matched by fascinating monasteries, some dating from the Byzantine era and playing host to the occasional hermit.

EL RANCHO Saddle up and hit El Rancho for everything from horse-riding to campfire singing. More activities than you can shake a stick at in this TexMex themed ranch just outside Jounieh. (03 777086) Adma Hwy, Ghodras For more reviews, listings and bookings go to 15

THE NINE BEST SKI SLOPES IN THE WORLD With snow in Lebanon still a little scarce on the ground we looked elsewhere for places to cut up some powder and compiled you a list of the world’s best slopes RIKSGRÄNSEN, SWEDEN The world’s most northerly ski resort is open from February to June and has been a winter sports hot spot going all the way back to 1903. Fans of great backcountry and heliboarding should head here. If you want a more relaxed, serine vacation, there’s another 199km of groomed pistes to ski as well. As it’s 250km within the Arctic Circle, you can also ride in daylight – at midnight. It’s become something of a popular spot for snowboarders – Swede Ingemar Backman made his record-breaking ‘Ingemar’s Air’ jump out of the quarterpipe (8.5m) here in 1996. One thing worth noting though: the isolated location means there’s not much in the way of facilities here.

TIGNES, FRANCE There are plenty of resorts to choose from in France, but we can’t help but recommend Tignes, which along with neighbouring resort Val d’Isère, makes up a huge ski area known as Espace Killy. Tignes is snowsure even in mid-May, thanks to its glacier and has several world-class parks for the more adventurous. It has also hosted numerous events, including previous Winter X Games (sadly, it won’t host it in 2014) and parts of the 1992 Winter Olympics.

GULMARG, INDIA At 4,000 metres, it’s one of the highest ski areas in the world, is part of the Himalayas and home to some of the deepest and steepest powder on Earth. Its gondola was bought from the French more than ten years ago and is also the highest in the world – you get a breathtaking view of K2 Mountain on your way up. What’s more, it’s crazy cheap – what you’d pay for a single day’s lift pass in Europe, you’d could spend on a lift pass, lessons, hotel and even all your rental kit for a few days in Gulmarg.

KAPAONIK, SERBIA One of the largest mountain ranges in Serbia, Kapaonik, might not have the vast terrain of its counterparts in France, Switzerland and Austria, but go at the right time of year (we recommend late February) and you’ll experience some of the best powder days in Europe. It’s an eventful five-hour drive from Belgrade, up bumpy mountain roads with the odd police road checkpoint thrown in for good measure, but the facilities, such as its chairlifts and hotels, are extremely modern and comfortable. Serbs may be the one nationality who seem to smoke as much, if not more, than people here in the UAE, so get ready for your winter togs to smell of tobacco of an evening. A small part of the mountain ranges even extend into Northern Kosovo. Be warned, though, it can get cold here, with temperatures reaching -23C. 16 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

JASNA, SLOVAKIA Fed up standing in lift queues in France and Austria? You could do a lot worse than check out Jasna. A pint of hops cost less than Dhs5, it has a good snow record, a boardpark and five specific off-piste areas. Along with Serbia, it’s part of a place that is becoming increasingly popular with Europeans looking for cheap but good riding in these recession-hit times.

LAAX, SWITZERLAND One of the bigger areas in Switzerland, Laax has 235km of terrain to explore and four snowparks, one of which is also home to Europe’s largest halfpipe. The biggest snowboard brand on the planet, Burton Snowboards, holds the Burton European Open here every year, which attracts some of the very biggest names in the sport. It ran from January 13-19 in 2014.

MAYRHOFEN, AUSTRIA This small town situated in the Tyrol region of Austria is famous for holding one of the biggest winter music parties on Earth. Snowbombing takes place here every April and 2014’s event, which runs from April 7-14, has an incredible music line-up, including The Prodigy, UK dubstep artists Chase and Status, plus a DJ set from UK dance legends The Chemical Brothers. The pistes tend to be pretty decent as well here while the festival is taking place, and Mayrhofen is home to Austria’s steepest slope, called the Harakiri.

JACKSON HOLE, USA One of the resorts that winter sports fans talk about in hushed, whispered, revered tones, Jackson Hole is famous for its massive levels of snowfall and dry, soft powder. The past ten years it’s had an average snowfall of more than 9m a year. Jackson Hole has spent a lot of money on its infrastructure. It is currently building a new high-tech chairlift for its 50th anniversary in 2015 and recently opened a new high-speed Dhs22m chairlift which has opened up the resort even more for intermediate skiers and snowboarders.

KICKING HORSE, CANADA A resort popular with snowboarders again for its incredible, dry powder, Kicking Horse is situated a three-and- a-half-hour drive from Calgary. Home to 2,800 acres of skiable terrain, the resort has several huge bowls that are guaranteed to challenge even the most experienced of riders and skiers and leave thighs burning by the end of the day. There is plenty of off-piste and backcountry to explore as well, although an avalanche safety kit is essential, due to the steep, extreme mountains that make up this fantastic region. www For more reviews, listings and bookings go to 17


Epicery Food & Drink

Variety is the spice of life at this new restaurant Where? This spicy little number is nestled behind the main drag down the bottom end of Mar Mikhael. Perfect for dinner and a drink before heading over to Cargo or Dictateur when things wind down later on. What’s it like? With two unflashy, yet not unstylish terraces on either side of an elderly pebble-dashed building, Epicery will really start heating up in the summer. For now smokers and open-air lovers are protected from the chill by heaters (and our unseasonably fine weather!). Inside a simple, light, white décor is modernised by a medley of angular, urbane lighting. The restaurant is dissected by a bar of splendid length, much needed to house the various barrel aged beverages and the countless bar staff needed to whip up the various and varied crafted cocktails. The food? Good lord, we didn’t know what hit us. The cuisine is

HOUSE-SMOKED SALMON TATAKI We’re not sure what we love more, the taste or the presentation. Brought out as if some kind of scientific experiment, with a glass bowl covering the salmon shrouded in smoke.

multinational and cross cultural, wonderfully inventive and at times quite different to anything we’ve tried in Beirut. The house-smoked tataki, brought under a glass bowl filled with heavy, lurking smoke that momentarily fill you with the aromas of a jumper after sitting round a log fire, is the pick of the bunch. Similarly aromatic was the manchego salad with beautiful glimpses of green apple as the salad is opened up. For a main, try the sea bass ‘siyadiyeh’ risotto, combining classics from Lebanon and Italy. The drink? Just as good as the food. The bar list is unconventionally split into sections according to spicings and flavourings, not the alcoholic base. This means navigating your way to something of your taste is made infinitely easier and you might just unearth a few surprises, such as the sage mojito or the basil and honey daiquiri. (76 046556) Father Arida Str, Mar Mikhael

MANCHEGO SALAD The simplest of salads opens up to reveal light and scintillating flavours and aromas. Thin but meaty slices of 6 month-ages manchego are accompanied by slices of green apple and champagne dressing.

20 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

SEA BASS ‘SIYADIEH’ RISOTTO This Lebanese/Italian marriage of cultures works nicely. The risotto is creamy with cumin and caramlised onions, while the sea bass’s beautifully crispy skin can be peeled off to reveal tender flesh below.

Edited by Dan Hilton

T H R E E D R I N K S T O T R Y A T. . . Epicery

ROSEMARY INFUSED COSMO Even if you like cosmos you have to admit they’re rather naff. Luckily this rosemary infused number injects a certain class to this classic. We especially liked the sprig on top for presentation.

Take to impress

MEDITERRANÉE Mövenpick’s restaurant is primarily famous for one thing – blow-out breakfasts. Endless and sumptuous, the Sunday brunch in the luxuriously decorated Mediterranée is ever-popular. (01 869666) Mövenpick Hotel, Général de Gaulle Ave, Raouché

AL DENTE Archly stylish and lavish Achrafieh Italian. Chef Nicola Offredi has been offering some of Beirut’s absolute best Italian cuisine since 1998 and remains a firm favourite. (01 202440) Abdel Wahab El Inglizi Str, Monot

MOMO A magical mish-mash of the modern and traditional, Momo brings fine Moroccan cuisine to the heart of Beirut. (01 999767) Beirut Souks Downtown

THE ONE WITH THE CUCUMBER Weird name, not such a weird drink. A heady mix of prosecco, celery bitter, cucumber (obviously) and gin. Tastes rather like you’re boozing in an English country garden.


L’HUMEUR DU CHEF More dining experience than a restaurant, sit at a communal table in front of an open kitchen. There’s a daily menu based around fresh and organic ingredients. (01 565495) Ibn Al Rabih Str, Mar Mikhael

(01 566585) La Coeur Saint Michelle, Armenia Str, Mar Mikhael Whatever happened to lunch? When did you last find a restaurant that was just perfect for a midday meal? Well, we think we’ve found one here. Studio 43’s concept is ‘Lebanese casual,’ which, unsurprisingly, means Lebanese food in a casual setting. They’re fiercely proud of their 21-piece unlimited mezze bar, so we thought it best to try it out (especially when priced at a rather reasonable LL23,000). The bright, modern and unobtrusive décor, a simple conversion of an antique house up

the top of La Coeur Saint Michelle, lends itself well to classic mezze done to a respectable standard. The halved kebbe topped with walnuts were delicious, despite bearing the appearance of battered old leather shoes, and the fried cauliflower, bunched and singed resembling a petrified forest, were soft and moreish. It’s the various stuffed zucchini, aubergines and vine leaves that you should concentrate on however, pungent parcels of spiced rice that keep you coming back for more. Meal for two with drinks: LL72,000 THE BOTTOM LINE Simple, good quality mezze.


BALTHUS As grand as the area it inhabits, Balthus nods sagely to Beirut’s flirtation with art deco. A French brasserie menu boasts everything from frog’s legs a la Provençal and bouillabaisse. (01 371077) Ghandour Bldg, Minet El Hosn For more reviews, listings and bookings go to 21

Food & Drink

JAMAICAN MULE We’ve all heard of the Moscow mule, but what’s a Jamaican mule we hear you ask. It’s with spiced rum of course! A treat for those of you looking for a full bodied drink.

Food & Drink

Food & Drink

Love bites

Boyfriends beware, it’s Valentine’s Day this month and expectant girls everywhere will be looking for you to take them somewhere where the lights are low, the candles are bright and love’s eternal flame can burn within you (or something). Luckily Beirut is a city of lovers, and some restaurants have taken the initiative in organising special Valentine’s evenings, so all you need to do is book well ahead and cough up the money at the end. A kir royaleaccompanied strut down the red carpet kicks off dinner at the Olive Garden Restaurant and Terrace, followed by a lavish four-course dinner that is sure to impress. Live music and a rose for the lady are sure to get things going, as is the open bar (01 360747) Clemenceau Str, Hamra. $130 for two. Alternatively if you want to prove your love is all consuming you can try the grilled heart at Murjan Restaurant and Terrace, sandwiched between canapés and a chocolate cake specially catered by their chef (01 781111) Raouché Arjaan, Raouché. $90 for two.

T R Y S O M E T H I N G N E W . . . Pisco We’ve been aching to write a ‘Try something new’ article for ages, but quite frankly new culinary experiences have rather dried up. But here’s a drink that we’re pretty sure 90% of you have never tried (we certainly hadn’t!) – pisco. The national drink of Peru can be found in trendy hotspots around cities such as New York and London, and now thanks to brand new bar Cinco Lounge, has been introduced here as well. Drunk mostly in a pisco sour, a nation-loving combination of pisco, syrup, lime juice and egg white, the liqueur is a made from the skin of grapes, much like grappa, and comes at a rather robust 42.5%. Despite its strength when combined in a cocktail it

22 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

only complements other spirits, wines, juices and even beer. Cinco Lounge is, as yet, the only seller of pisco in the whole country, though with a drink so versatile, and quite frankly delicious, it cannot be long until the craze catches on. If this introduction to Peruvian cuisine piques your interest, then perhaps stay for dinner, Cinco also boasting the title of Beirut’s only Peruvian restaurant. Steak brought sizzling upon a scalding slab of salt rock and soft salads of fresh fish cocooned in a coconut are just two highlights of a new and intriguing cuisine. Cinco Lounge (70 663300) Sofil Center, Achrafieh

Food & Drink D R I N K H E R E N O W. . . behind the bar. As night draws in, Central Station’s in-house DJ provides a soundtrack to let off steam to, with music until 1am during the week and 2am at weekends. A cosmopolitan food menu includes a wide range of starters, mains and desserts mini quesadillas proved to be a deliciously innovative choice of appetiser. But Central Station’s real selling point is cocktails, marking a real departure from the standard bar menus of its neighbours. Beverages from around the world are offered up alongside the name and location of the exact bar from which it is sourced, from New York to Tokyo and everywhere in between. TOB particularly

Food & Drink

Beirut’s liveliest neighbourhood has a new arrival. Mar Mikhael is the home of Central Station; a cocktail bar with an international twist that steamed onto the scene earlier this month. Central Station caters to an older, sophisticated crowd, and in early evening can be found full of Beiruti professionals losing track of time in refined surroundings. Reminiscent of a traditional steam train carriage, a long bar runs the length of the back wall. Space may be at a premium in Grand Central’s narrow interior, but an intimate setting makes for a first class atmosphere. Wroughtiron carriage wheels adorn the ceiling and soft lights illuminate a backdrop of old stone archways

enjoyed the ‘Smoky Reflection’ - a delectable blend of Black Bushmite Irish whiskey, plum wine, Lillet rouge and hazelnut liqueur, smoked over cherry wood and served on an ornate, mirrored plate with complimentary nuts. Happy hour runs from 6pm until 8pm, with 50% off all nonpremium cocktails. We also spied a familiar-looking award nestled amongst the bottles behind the bar - Central Station is officially home to one of the city’s Best Bartenders as decreed by Time Out Beirut in 2012! (71 736737) Armenia Str, Mar Mikhael By Roberta Duffield

GATSBY Perhaps the most stylish bar on Uruguay Street. 1920s themed with a classy, wallpapered interior serves the classic cocktails excellently. Stay for dinner and treat yourself to a devourable burger. (70 807575) Uruguay Str, Downtown

TREESOME Adorned with a tree-mendous (geddit??) name for a reason, there’s a bloody great tree growing in the middle of it. Get’s pretty busy, the punters queuing endlessly for dou dou shots. (03 753297) Youssef Hayek Str, Gemmayzeh

BIG SHOT A mainstay of Hamra’s Alleyway scene, Big Shot boasts a strictly RnB centered theme. Turn up on Tuesday for their Strictly Old School night if you think Flash is fast, Flash is cool. (01 342140) The Alleyway, Hamra

MYU As slick a bar as you’ll find in Gemmayzeh, with a dark, modern interior. Recently refurbished, they have kept the popular Mediterranean food and the longest bar on Gouraud Street. (03 334476) Mar Antonios Str, Gemmayzeh

BARDO A relaxed (perhaps thanks to Frankie) and fun-loving crowd really come to life on the weekends at this stylish bar/restaurant. Try the Bloody Mary, darling. (01 340060) Mexico Str, Hamra 24 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

Food & Drink Restaurants This section lists the best of Beirut’s restaurants alphabetically. NEW Denotes a new entry+ How to be listed Email details of your restaurant by 5pm on the 15th of the month before publication. Listings are free, but inclusion is not guaranteed due to limited space.


Food & Drink

Brgr co. (01 333511) Abdel Wahab El Inglizi Str, Monot, Achrafieh. (01 999836 ) Beirut Souks. Sun-Wed 12noon-12mid; Thur-Sat 12noon-2am. Meal for two with drinks LL80,000. Raising the burger bar with its outstanding ingredients, Brgr co.’s menu chiefly offers 4oz and 6oz burgers. Their iron chef also prepares daily burger specials and homemade desserts. Chili’s (01 337171, 01 337474) Independence Ave, Achrafieh. Sun-Thur 12noon12mid; Fri-Sat 12noon-1am. Branches: Gemmayzeh. Meal for two with drinks LL50,000. Influenced by the Tex-Mex cuisine, this casual restaurant chain is famous for its huge 240-seater capacity and popular menu of artery-busting wings, burgers, quesadillas, nachos and the like. Deek Duke (01 210310) Sole Center, Charles Malek Ave, Achrafieh. Other branches: (01 344744) Crown Plaza Bldg, Hamra Main Str, Hamra. Daily 11am-1am. Meal for two with drinks LL35,000. In the mood for chicken and hummus, Deek Duke offers everything fried, roasted or grilled and you can get your fatouch on the side as well. Lord of the Wings (01 567666) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Sun-Thur 12noon-12mid; Fri-Sat 12noon1am. Branches: Dora. Meal for two with drinks LL60,000. Starve yourself for a day and feast on the 14 savoring flavours of chicken wings at this local favourite.. Design your own burger or go for the full rack of ribs , a delicious challenge for one and a messy meal to share. Roadster Diner (01 577575) Charles Malek Ave, Achrafieh. Branches: Hamra, Dora. Meal for two

with drinks LL50,000. Chow at this 60s authentic- American diner. You can’t go wrong with their delicious Cuban burger, spicy Buffalo wings and tempting desserts. For lighter options, aim for the slim sandwiches and salads.

Armenian Adiss Signature (01 570442, 79 176011) Pasteur Str, Gemmayzeh. Thur-Sat 8pm-2am. The rich mixtures of sweet and spicy flavours of traditional Lebanese and Armenian mezze are served up to languishing family clans. For your taste of the fusion, order the ‘Kabab bi Karaz’ or the ‘Soujouk and Basterma Pie’. Mayrig (01 572121, 03 228227) Mansour Bldg, 282 Pasteur Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 12noon12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL80,000. The atmosphere of this wildly popular restaurant is electric, and so is the food, which draws the real Armenian crowd. Order a selection of spicy mezze, and try the sou berag – Armenian lasagna. Garo (01 347603, 71 195850) Nehme Yafet Str, Hamra. Daily 10am-late. Meal for two with drinks LL12,000. Boisterous flavours and beaming service at this jolly sandwich joint does its customers proud with home-made soujouk and an all-round excellent fare. In the heart of Hamra, Garo dishes up some of the finest slap-up Armenian meat. Razz’zz (01 366246, 70 530007) Weaver’s Centre, Clemenceau Str, Clemenceau. Mon-Sat 12noon-1am. Meal for two with drinks LL100,000. Get your hands on some real tigan and varti beurek in a smashing ambience, a delightful bar and a leafy garden. Adds an Aleppo twist to some authentically Armenian dishes, to enjoy with the regular musical entertainment. Varouj (03 882933) Maracha Royal Str, Bourj Hammoud. Mon-Sat 12.30pm-4.30pm, 7.30pm-11.30pm. Meal for two with drinks LL75,000. Tucked away in the busy back streets of Bourj Hammoud, Varouj offers a large selection of cookery in his small family restaurant which oozes offbeat allure matching with the stuffed hunting trophies on the wall.

Asian Dou Dou (01 201841, 03 951127) Sioufi Str,

26 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

Achrafieh. Daily 12noon-11.30pm. Meal for two with drinks LL50,000. Offers affordable luxury cuisine in a clean friendlyvenue. Comforting and generous portions of roast duck and noodle dishes will leave you satisfied, not to mention the value for money. China Mey (01 333191) Nasr Bldg, Georges Naccache Str, Achrafieh. Daily 11am-11.30pm. Two main dishes LL32,000. China has come to Achrafieh, offering authentic and affordable dishes. The menu will please you with Chinese starters, mains, rice, noodles and desserts. They also have eight different sauces to choose from. Le Hanoï (01 444204, 76 104006) Accawi Str, Achrafieh. Daily 12noon-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL105,000. This Vietnamese restaurant is a welcome addition to Beirut’s restaurant scene. The menu presents new dishes such as chicken, seafood, dumplings, curry and more. Go for the ‘nem spring rolls’ that come with vegetables, chicken, shrimps or beef. Also serves vegetarian platters. P.F Chang’s China Bistro (01 332132) L3 ABC, Achrafieh Str, Achrafieh. Daily 12noon-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL75 000. The distinguished Chinese restaurant is one of many across the globe boasting an American Chinese cuisine. With high flavoured meals and culinary creations made from imported herbs and spices from China, chances are you won’t leave before scoffing down a mouthful of exotic delights. WOK W.O.K. (01 357357) Phoenicia Hotel, Ibn Sina Str, Minet El Hosn. Daily 12noon-3.30pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Meal for two with drinks LL105,000. At WOK W.O.K, the delicious Asian specialties are served in a warm and delightful setting. Chinese, Thai and Japanese dishes are all on the menu to meet your taste. The sushi bar offers the largest variety of sushi and sashimi found in Beirut.

French Albergo Rooftop (01 339797) Albergo Hotel, 137 Abdel Wahab El Inglizi Str, Monot, Achrafieh. Daily 12noon-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL150,000. Exquisite French and Italian cuisine in a super chic and romantic setting, topped off with a pretty view of the city. The risotto with Parma ham is a particular delight.

Au Premier (01 369280) 1st Floor, Le Vendome Intercontinental, Ain El Mreisseh. Mon-Fri 12noon-3pm, 8pm-11pm; Sat 8pm-11pm. Meal for two with wine LL180,000. Swanky French gastronomy restaurant located on the first floor of Le Vendome divided into various dining area concepts to suit your mood. Couqley (01 442678) The Alleyway, Gemmayzeh. Daily 12noon-4pm; 8pm-12mid. Brunch Sat-Sun 11am-5pm. Meal for two with drinks LL105,000. Transporting you to directly to Paris, chef Alexis Couquelet offers a delicious array of croque monsieur, duck and a fine wine selection. Have your choice bacon brunch and eggs (LL25,000) eggs benedict, steak tartare and pancakes. Rare The Restaurant (01 211122, 01 211133) Salim Boustros Str, Achrafieh. Daily 12noon-3.30pm, 8pm-12mid .Meal for two with wine LL130,000. Known for its comforting homelike setting and top notch meals by Paul Bocuse graduate chef Cynthia Bitar. Don’t leave without trying their special onion soup, goat cheese tatin and kama salad. Le Relais Foch (01999787 ext 2) 147 Saad Zaghloul Str, Downtown. Daily 8.30am-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL75,000. In the heart of Downtown Beirut lies this French cuisine with Lebanese flair. Courteous staff serve a delicious array of salads, sandwiches and exquisite main courses. Treat your sweet tooth with their silky desserts.

Fusion Café Sho (01 424051) 304 Monot Str, Monot, Achrafieh. Daily restaurant 12noon10pm; café 10am-12mid. Meal for two with wine LL120,000. A versatile Asian menu offering an exceptional sweet chili fish with ratatouille as well as the much recommended ginger chicken, but leave some room for your sweet tooth with piquant crème brulée. Crave (01 333970, 03 555970) 10 Faculty of Law Str, Monot, Achrafieh. Mon-Thur 12noon-12mid; Fri-Sat 12noon-2am; Sun 11am-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL90,000.Merging culinary influences from all over the world, the innovative “Crave” guarantees a satisfied appetite of delicious portions fit for one or two. The Asmalyieh Grand Marnier Crème Brulee is Time Outs pick.

Food & Drink Gruen Eatery (01 737344, 01 755322) Gefinor Center, Clemenceau Str, Clemenceau. MonSat 8am-8pm; Sun 10am-6pm. Meal for two with wine LL75,000. Discover breakfast, brunch, lunch and teatime in this Californian-styled restaurant with a beautiful marble courtyard. The menu covers a range of Lebanese, Asian and European cuisine with plats du jour, and sumptuous desserts. Thur: live jazz starting 8.30pm. Momo at the Souks (01 999767, 76 700407) Beirut Souks, Downtown. Café daily 12.30pm-11.30pm. Restaurant Mon-Sat 12.30pm-3.30pm, 8pm-2am; Sun 12pm-2am; kitchen closes at 11.30pm. Meal for two with drinks LL150,000. A glass elevator transports you to the colourful terrace of this treasure. The fusion delight of Moroccan and French cookery is a joy for taste buds and the unmistakable gourmet ice cream is the cherry on top.

delicious with low-calorie and organic ingredients making their dishes healthy and nutritious. Ask for their pancakes which can also be delivered. The Gathering (01 566196) Pasteur Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 12noon-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL110,000. First come, first serve. The Gathering is a combination of three different experiences shared by a courtyard. One serves Americanised meat dishes; the second is a wine bar with cheese platters and over 500 bottles of local and foreign wine while the third offers Italian cuisine.

New Indo-Lanka (01 257410) 2nd Floor, CIT Bldg, Dora roundabout, Dora. Daily 7am-10pm. Meal for two with beer LL13,000. In mood for some wonder, sit back and experience New Indo-Lanka where there’s no menu. Enjoy what your waiter brings: golden roti, curried lentils, the hot tomato mix with a handful of chillis, and refreshing coconut, all served with buttery chapati bread.

Sud (70 790001) Al Nahr Str, Mar Mikhael. Daily 8pm-2am. This Mediterranean rooftop lounge encompasses three cuisines: French, Italian and Spanish (vegetarian options available). Try fried olives stuffed with goats cheese or go for caramelised mushrooms with garlic. Enjoy some tartar fish, or the foie gras crème brule before moving on to mains.

Moti Mahal Deluxe (01 371002) Zaitunay Bay, Beirut Marina, Minet El Hosn. Daily 12noon-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL180,000. A view for a sultan, this Indian restaurant overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and has the offerings to go along with it . We recommend their specialty tandoori dishes.

St Elmo’s Seaside Brasserie (01 368276) Zaitunay Bay, Beirut Marina. Mon-Sat 10am-12mid; Sun 10am-11pm. Adorned with vintage nautical wallaccessories, this brasserie asserts a comfortably cultured amtosphere. Choose from their signature selection of specialty drinks like the ‘Dark and Stormy’, the ‘Captain’s Daughter’, or the ‘Free Willy’ – or fill up on a dish of their mac-and-cheese.

Yasmina (01 206406, 70 407406) Cyprus Embassy Str, Akkawi, Achrafieh. Daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 8.30pm-11.30pm. Meal for two with drinks LL150,000. Set up in an old Lebanese-style ground level apartment and themed like the interior of Princess Jasmine’s residence, the colours gold and turquoise prevail, glamorising Indian cuisine with a unique touch of French fusion.

International Balthazar (01 999223) Weygand Str, Beirut Souks, Downtown. Sun-Thur 10am-11pm; Fri-Sat 10am-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL100,000. Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, this extravagant restaurant is always busy with people. In the morning, try some of their delicious pastries. Their menu is loaded with gourmet selections, with some extremely tasty French specialties. Bedivere (01 748909, 03 902909) Makdessi Bldg, Jeanne D’arc Str, Hamra. Daily 11am-1am. Named after one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. This medieval -like bistro bar offers a wide range of appetisers, pastas and a good-round of drinks. We suggest you try the steak on lava then finish off with the fondue au chocolat for dessert. Fiber (01 735935, 71 955511) Sidani Str, Hamra. Daily 8am-11pm. Meal for two with drinks LL45,000. Indulge in guilt-free burgers, wraps, paninis and steak. The kitchen at Fiber prepares everything

Food & Drink


The Hangout (01 566234) Bldg 553, Nahr Ibrahim Str, Saifi. Tue-Sat 9am-12mid, Sun 12.30pm-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL97,500. The eatery is snugged in a gorgeous old house built in the 18th century with soaring ceilings. It serves an international cuisine and gourmet burger offerings and a festive wine bar. The charcoal grill cooks steaks, Lebanese grills and low-calorie cuts for carnivores.

Italian Aliacci (01 566199) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 12.30pm-12.30am. Meal for two with drinks LL80,000. A charmingly romantic little Italian restaurant that spills out on to the street during summer. Their pizzas, pastas, salads and mains are reasonably priced and well-thought-out, with some interesting variations. Cavalli Caffè (01 999334, 01 999344) Karagulla Bldg, 24 Avenue du Parc, Minet El Hosn. Daily 8am-1am. A glamorous location with bold zebra and giraffe prints covering the interior and a terrace for outdoor dining. The Italian restaurant sells imported wine, gourmet chocolate and other delicacies. Italian Chef Francesco Brocca is the main man behind the creative menu. Margherita (01 560480) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 12.30pm-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL80,000. Casual and popular pizzeria with a colourful cuisine. Tasty calamari alla griglia, Carpaccio and pizza margarita. Try something special from the chalk board, you won’t be disappointed. Marinella (01 442342) Madrid Str, Mar Mikhael. TueSun 12noon-5pm. Meal for two with drinks LL90,000. AnItalian Trattoria by learned local foodie Sophie Schoucair. Serves lunch to a well heeled crowd in a well-lit space in Mar Mikhael. Unlike most Italian joints, Marinella doesn’t serve pizza.

For more reviews, listings and bookings go to 27

Food & Drink Olio (01 345703) Nahhas Bldg, Ibrahim Abdel Aal Str, Hamra. (01 563939) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 12noon-12mid. Meal for two with wine LL75,000. Always recommended by those in the know, Olio has a well-deserved local reputation of delicious food. Their bruschetta and salmon gnocchi are particularly fulfilling, and their pizzas with its sauce is cooked to an authentic delight.


Food & Drink

Kobe (01 561016, 71 396444) Pasteur Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 12.30pm-12.30am. The graceful art of teppanyaki is delivered in this impressive kitchen serving a fine blend of New York and Japanese cuisine. Sample their delicious peppers, carefully sourced from 13 different countries. You can also sip cocktails at the hibachi bar while enjoying a range of Spanish and Cuban tunes. Shogun (01 796796, 03 725845) Dunes Center, Verdun Str, Verdun. Daily 12noon-3.30pm, 8pm-11.30pm. Meal for two with sake LL160,000. Branches: Downtown. There is excellence in taste and design at Shogun, a fine lounge offering both Chinese and Japanese cooking. TheTeppan Yaki, Terriyaki and Tampoura are gingered to perfection while the cold sake ensures a quick fire down the belly. Soto (01 701771, 01 573035) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 12noon-4pm, 7.30pm-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL70,000. Branches: Hamra. A colourblocked entrance awaits you at Soto, a trendy Japanese restaurant with a modern twist-try the Latin American-inspired ceviche and makis. The green tea ice cream is a surprisingly refreshing dessert. Sushi Ko (01 860999, 70 211199) 1st Floor, Verdun 732, Verdun. Mon-Fri 12.30pm-11.30pm; Sat-Sun 12.30pm-12mid. Branches: Achrafieh, Zalka, Zouk Mikael. Meal for two with drinks LL80,000. sushi restaurant with some Chinese staples (vegetable noodles etc.) and a good selection of pieces, including a reasonably-priced range of sushi boats. Starters include miso and corn soups. Tamashii (01 444994) Al Nahr Str, Mar Mikhael. Daily 12noon-4pm, 7pm-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL100,000. Another yummy Japanese hot spot for date nights

and friendly gatherings. Tamashii offers a laundry list of specials, including their tuna pesto with parmesan or uramaki special, and 25 different kinds of saki. Delivery available.

Lebanese experience which won’t break the bank. Take your pick from the long, mouthwatering menu of mezze, and the grills are top quality. Make sure you book.

Latin & Spanish

Abou Hassan (01 741725) Caracas Str, Hamra. Daily 8am-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL60,000. Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and the traditional mezze at very fair prices. Go for a traditional breakfast in the morning and enjoy the well mixed homemade Arak in the evening.

Copla (03 023400) Berytus Bldg, Park Ave, Minet El Hosn. Daily 12noon-4pm, 8pm-12.30am. Meal for two with drinks LL210,000. Sophisticated designs by architect Bernard Khoury and exotic tastes catered by Chef Dani Garcia awaits the diner at Copla, open for both lunch and dinner. The ‘‘salmon paella’ is a tasty dish to be experienced . Joe Pena’s (01 449906, 03 053093) Hnneine Bldg, Boutros Dagher Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 7pm-2am. Meal for two with drinks LL120,000. Experience the wonders of South American culinary expertise. Good weather calls for a nice dinner out on the terrace with a pitcher of margarita. Le Latino (01 211332, 70 240140) Damascus Rd, Sodeco, Achrafieh. Daily 12noon-1.30am. Meal for two with drinks LL135,000. The in-house bar, cigar humidor and summer terrace entrance a Cuban atmosphere at Le Latino. The Bodeguita Filete offers a hearty serving of beef, marinated in coriander and lemon oil. Extra treats include a live band and the Ladies’ Cigar Night every Monday. Pacífico (01 204446) Monot Str, Monot, Achrafieh. Daily 7pm-1.30am. Happy hour 7pm-8pm. Meal for two with drinks LL150,000. Drink and dine in one of Monot’s cornerstones. Great Latin cuisine with a menu that darts around the Caribbean rim, taking in Cuban, Mexican and Haitian influences. Palmilla (01 999798) Uruguay Str, Downtown. Palmilla is a new addition to the Mexican roster. It offers an adapted variation on cantina cuisine (quesadillas, nachos and fajitas) and delectable fresh fruit cocktails and sangria. This also makes an ideal location for night owls as the kitchen doesn’t shut until 12.30am.

Lebanese Abdel Wahab (01 200550/1) 51 Abdel Wahab El Inglizi Str, Monot, Achrafieh. Daily 12noon-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL75,000. One of TimeOuts picks. Abdel Wahab is a gourmet

28 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

Assaha Lebanese Traditional Village (01 451239) Airport Rd, Al Atyam. Daily 7am-12mid. Meal for two with drinks (no alcohol) LL60, 000.Experience traditional delights of home cooked cuisine with topclass mezze, salads and grills. Sit out in the sunshine and enjoy a hand carved wooden narguileh. Aunty Salwa (01 749746) Baalbaki Bldg, Abdel Aziz Str, Hamra. Mon-Sat 8am-5pm. Meal for two with drinks LL35,000. Aunty Salwa rewards those who find her with a huge smile and full stomachs. This cubbyhole canteen has just a few tables and a range of salads and healthy veggie dishes, as well as cooked dishes of the day (vegetation options available). Bab Sursock (01 566889, 03 882596) Samaha Bldg, Akawi Str, Achrafieh. Daily 10am-5pm. Meal for two with drinks LL80,000. Lebanese restaurant and café offering mezze, daily specials and a soup bar. An open buffet is set up every Sunday for lunch. Internet and narguileh available. Live entertainment every Friday and Saturday nights. Babel Bay (01 370846) Zaitunay Bay, Beirut Marina, Minet El Hosn. Daily 12noon-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL225,000. A great getaway on the marina, offering first-rate Lebanese dishes. Have a feel of Lebanese tradition and culture in the fine ambience. A marvelous view of the sea is available. Al Balad (01 985375, 03 137333) Ground Floor, Crystal Bldg, Nejmeh Sq, Downtown. Daily 12noon-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL65,000. Enjoy traditional Lebanese delicacies in an old French building at Al Balad. The menu spans all the Lebanese classics from kebabs to fatteh, and topnotch mezze are a particular draw, scooped up with pillow-like fresh baked bread and a narguileh afterwards.

Café Hamra (01 348999) Hamra Str, Hamra. SunThur 9am-12.30am; Fri-Sat 9am-1am. Meal for two with drinks LL40,000. Café Hamra is an exciting fusion of American ‘50s diner and Lebanese hookah lounge, where you can enjoy snacking on humus or puffing nargilleh in between pin-ball games. It offers a delightful terrace and for and diverse options at the salad bar. Le Chef (01 445373) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Mon-Sat 7am-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL30,000. You’ll know you’ve found Le Chef when he bellows ‘welcome!’ at you from across the street. This is a perennial local and tourist favourite which a heart-warming interior. Hint- they offer half-price half-portions. Al Falamanki (01 323456) Damascus Rd, Sodeco, Achrafieh. Daily 24hours. Meal for two with drinks LL75,000. Enjoy one of the best fattouches alongside a lavish mezze and saj for starters. Try the refreshing juices,mint lemonade, strawberry and mango. It has a spacious narguileh garden, replete with the buzz from backgammon and card players heard from every corner. Kabab-ji Grill (01 741555) Hamra Str, Hamra. Daily 8am-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL30,000. Branches: Achrafieh, Kaslik. Filling our hungry bellies since 1993, Kabab-ji Grill is here to stay with a delicious selection of grilled kebabs with juicy meats, fragrant spices and fresh veggies . Equipped with an open-kitchen, you can watch the chef prepare your meal before the feast. Orfali (76 505072) Petro Trad Str, Achrafieh. Daily 10am-12mid. Meal for two with drinks LL10,000. Well-known for its hospitality and clean presentation, Orfali offers the best of traditional Lebanese cooking starting with the bread.Their kibbeh is served in five different ways but we suggest the one served with cherries. Also delivers. Rawda Café (01 743348) Shouran Str, Manara. Daily 7am-1am. Meal for two LL40,000. Spend hours puffing narguileh and watching the waves, playing cards and backgammon, or hooked up to the good free WiFi. The comprehensive menu of Lebanese mezze, pastas, salads and grill is good quality – try the half roasted chicken with chips and aioli.

Shopping & Lifestyle Shop here now... Deco Rage Fabulous furniture and hot homeware is all the rage


Shopping & Lifestyle

nter a world where practical innovation meets vintage appeal and is infused with modern architecture. Deco Rage is a home accessories store with hand-picked furniture from all over the globe. Their new name and location, on the corner of Saifi Street, means you can’t miss it. Bright red doors welcome you to a spacious showroom that feels like the home TOB wished we lived in – a room that’s charmingly charismatic with a hint of eccentricity. The store branches out from the centre with sections to accommodate your every need. Off on the right there’s a part to hit every man’s sweet spot, with hightech gadgets and minimal furnishings (and even some sleek office furniture if you’re in the need). While elsewhere is a room full of red, blue, polka dots and stripes which grace all kitchen-ware and dining utensils, giving a fun yet nostalgic summery feel. This place is ideal for reviving any hum-drum drab room. Imagine sleek teak-wood carved with artistic accuracy, oversized bronze jars and a very trendy big clock tarting up your living room? Deco Rage also comes highly recommended for gifts, some his and her champagne glasses or some friendly framed quotes would make a decent pressie. And here’s the kick, the prices are more than reasonable. In fact some are a bargain. If you have a few dineros saved up, our nod would be for the grand marble chessboard or the massive wooden birdcage. A recent affordable addition to the Deco Rage collection is an old boat that’s been smoothed and shaped in to a decorative cabinet. It’s a great place to pick up feature items or designer acutramonts to your living space and spot on to browse for some interior inspiration. (01 444106) Saifi Str, Saifi For more reviews, listings and bookings go to 29

Shopping & Lifestyle

Edited by Desirée Ketabchi

High calorie foods to watch out for

Shopping & Lifestyle

When you are trying to shift weight you’re faced with a minefield of diets and fads mixed in with good information and facts. It’s hard to know what’s good and what’s bad all the time. We spoke to holistic health coach and nutritionist, Kaya Peters to root out some of the foods people just don’t know are bad for them

NUTS Is any snack safe? Well apparently not nuts. They are a great source of healthy fats and protein but go easy on them (everything in moderation remember), because a cup of dry roasted, unsalted cashews is a whopping 786 calories. Opt for the lower calorie raw nuts and stick with a small portion – not more than half a cup. Kaya says: ‘Another great option if you’re craving a mid afternoon salty bite is having a handful or toasted pumpkin seeds with soy sauce or sea salt. Full of zinc and anti-oxidants and super satisfying, but less calories.’ COFFEE Need your morning pick-me-up? Be mindful, café bought coffees can carry huge calorie implications, with additions like syrups, milk and sugar. A Gloria Jeans’ regular vanilla latte is about 221 calories. Instead grab an Americano or long black with a dash of low fat or skimmed milk. Kaya says: ‘Excessive caffeine intake can drain the kidneys and adrenals and cause hormonal imbalances, which add to weight gain, so having more than two cups of coffee a day is not recommended. Green tea is a great alternative, with zero calories and much lower caffeine content.’

ingredients. Take French dressing for example; 80 calories for just a teaspoon of the stuff! Try balsamic vinegar instead. Kaya says: ‘Make your own dressing by mixing some organic yoghurt, Italian herbs, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Another great option is ginger juice, stevia drops, apple cider vinegar and lime. Experiment with flavours and stay away from store bought dressings all together.’ MUFFINS A common misconception is that muffins are a healthy alternative. Store-bought muffins are full of sugar, fats and preservatives. A Starbucks muffin is around 415 calories. Kaya says: ‘Muffins, cakes, cookies and other flour based products are guaranteed to make you puffy and fluffy. Instead, bake your own cakes from almond flour and fruits, or have some figs and nuts if you crave something sweet.’ DATES AND DRIED FRUIT At a whopping 282 calories per 100g, these

JUICES A glass of fruit juice is often a daily part of breakfast, but with around 112 calories in one glass of orange juice, and none of the fibre of the fruit itself, you could be racking up the calories without knowing it. Kaya says: ‘Fruit juices really are a big no-no due to their high sugar content, and pre-packed ones often have all sorts of syrups and artificial ingredients added. Instead opt for veggie juice with green apple or berries. Juices work great for some, but are definitely not suitable for all body-types, so be mindful of how you feel when consuming raw juice and don’t just take health hypes as the ultimate truth.’ DRESSING Not the act of getting dressed, but the salad toppers. Some are good and some are bad – very bad. It’s always best to opt for basic 30 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

little morsels can be a hidden calorie bomb. Kaya says: ‘In small amounts they can be very healthy, especially before workouts, but eating too much dried fruit can affect stable blood sugar levels, so is not recommended. Dried cranberries and Goji berries are a safer option due to their sour properties.’ WHITE BREAD It’s like cake, with no sugar. Really. One measley 100g piece of bread takes up around 350 calories of your daily intake. Add to that, white bread has no real nutrients. Kaya says: ‘If you’re really serious about fitness, try to cut out bread as much as possible, except for the occasional gluten free or wheat free slice. However, be careful with gluten free products and read labels, as they’re often full of sugar and additives again. Whole rye bread is slightly sour and great for heart and artery health. Wheat is an allergen for many people nowadays and cutting it out might have amazing benefits for your digestive health and energy levels.’

Shopping & Lifestyle



H&M launches its Sportswear Collection! We heart it !








RUNNING TOP LL59,000 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to 31

Shopping & Lifestyle


Shopping & Lifestyle Just opened… Bzourie

Shopping & Lifestyle

Opening its doors to the public two months ago, Bzourie is spicing up TOB’s life this week Crossing into the dimly lit interior of Bzourie, exotic aromas entice the visitor inside. Located at the end of Gouraud Street in Gemmayzeh (and a sister branch in Achrafieh), this small boutique offers a range of herbs, spices, sweets and dried fruit straight from the souqs of Damascus. Bzourie’s namesake is the ancient marketplace of the Syrian capital famed for its spice vendors (and also curiously, its padlocks). All of Bzourie’s wares are sourced and produced over the border before transportation into Lebanon. Reminiscent of Old Damascus’ tiny khans, Bzourie’s shop floor may only be small but manages to squeeze in a table laid with the shop’s wares. Visitors wishing to try before they buy are welcome to take a seat and partake in the goods. If you’re in need of za’atar for your zeit, look no further. Bzourie stocks four different varieties of thyme, priced at 4,500LL for 200 grams. Sample with olive oil to find

your favourite flavour. Alongside this tasty treat, sage advice from Bzourie’s staff is also on offer. Not only do Bzourie’s products smell amazing but their herbs also contain myriad beneficial health properties. Using natural remedies to treat ailments is a practice that extends back thousands of years, so maybe it’s time we added a splash of flavour next time we’ve got a cold? Brewing a fragrant, healthy tea is simple as our assistant explained; ‘Just one spoonful in boiling water, leave for five minutes, and it’s ready to drink.’ Try fennel for a sore throat, or ginger to aid digestion and treat coughs. If spices don’t fire up your tastebuds, Bzourie also offers up non-edible treats. Check out their range of perfume (TOB recommends the jasmine), traditional decorations to ward off the Evil Eye, and of course padlocks, keeping old traditions alive. (78 990171) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh

T R Y T H I S N O W . . . La Alternativa Naomi Sargeant tries botox without needles at Le Gray PureGray Spa THE PROMISE:
The La Alternativa is a non-invasive wrinkle-relaxing solution using Natura Bissé’s exclusive Inhibit collection. Dramatically reduces expression lines and wrinkles, leaving the face smooth and rejuvenated.

Well, it felt good enough, even though slightly gimmicky. Lastly a mask was spread across my face, including my eyes and lips, which felt slightly claustrophobic, it sets and then is peeled off.

First up, as with virtually all facials, there came the deep cleansing process, which was gentle and soothing. Next came the glycol peel, a mildly acidic solution which gave a slightly stinging, tingly sensation, on my face. This however is perfectly normal, if a somewhat slightly unpleasant. That bit removes dead cells and softens the skin. Next came a gentle massage with a tuning fork. The therapist hits the fork to get it vibrating, and then presses its tip against various points on the meridian lines of the face to get the energy circulating correctly. Secondly, it works on muscle reflexes to tone and tighten the facial muscles.

Well I certainly felt all glowy and dewy afterwards, however I’m not entirely sure about the claim that this is like botox. THE PROS:
My skin really did feel heaps better after this treatment. And, on an unrelated but equally lush note, I love the relaxation room and tea they serve, you feel as if you never want to leave. THE CONS:
At an hour and a half this is not a lunchtime facial, and it’s certainly not cheap but it is worth a splurge if you want to keep away from needles. Le Gray PureGray Spa (01 962885) Le Grey, Martyrs Sq, Downtown. $300

32 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

Shopping & Lifestyle Clothing This section lists the best of Beirut’s shops and beauty centres alphabetically. NEW Denotes a new entry+ Email details of your outlet by 5pm on the 15th of the month before publication. Listings are free, but inclusion is not guaranteed due to limited space.

Boutiques Ashekman (01 739598, 03 696941, 03 802053) Ground Floor, Strand Bldg, Hamra Str, Hamra. Mon-Sat 10am-8pm. Named after the rap crew of Lebanese twin brothers who also happen to be graffiti artists, Ashekman combines their love of hip hop and graphic design to create edgy tees decorated with urban graphics and Arabic calligraphy and graffiti.

Babylon Boutique (01 991995) Chlelala Bldg, Said El Akl Str, Saifi Village. Mon-Sat 10am-7pm. Many of us have a particular weakness for Italian fashion and the Italians’ exquisite taste. Babylon Boutique is no less tempting with its range of handmade designer collections from one of the world’s fashion capitals, Milan. Cream (01 987787, 03 331881) Lot 741, Saifi Village. Mon-Sat 10.30am-7pm. Enter a handcrafted jewelry sitting by the window where Cream invites you to try on designs by Lebanese and international artists with chic evening gowns and designer stilettos to chose from. Don’t forget to check out the Mini Monstas key fob. Depot-Vente (03 200620) Badawi Str, Mar Mikhael. Wed 2pm-8pm and every last weekend of the month, Fri-Sun 2pm-8pm. Crammed with all things vintage, you’ll get lost in collections of second-hand clothes, shoes, dresses and jewellery for as little as LL3,000. Every Wednesday, champagne and caviar is served. We reckon this is one place you’ll find yourself addicted to.

Moon (01 985984) Bldg 59, Mkhallissiye Str, Saifi Village. Mon-Sat 10.30am-7pm. Browse original urban wear for men and women with a large collection of clothing, t-shirts, shoes and accessories. Coming from all over the world, their brands speak like a true badass with their awesomely studded combat boots and distressed jeans.

Diva (01 750432) Marina Bldg, Concorde Str, Verdun. Mon-Sat 10.30am-7pm. This trendy boutique is packed with womenswear labels that hail from Columbia and the United States. Their shoes, bags, dresses and casualwear exude class, without sky-high price tags. Discover brands such as Michael Kors, Studio FX and Touche.

New Ounsa (01 993995) 1330 Park Ave, Downtown. Mon-Sat 10am-7pm. In the latest addition to the Ounsa family, you have the chance to add some foreign flare to your closet with their exclusive brands imported from Germany. You’ll also be sorted for feminine outfits to be worn on fancy occasions.

Elissar & Other Stories (01 741919) Citi-1 Bldg, Abdel Aziz Str, Hamra. Mon-Fri 10am-7pm; Sat 10am-2pm. When it comes to creating her stunning pieces, indie designer and writer Elissar W. Haikal finds her inspiration in Istanbul and in Sufi costumes and literature. Crafting garments and jeweller y herself, Elissar uses raw silk, brass, silver, tribal metals and vintage fabrics. Flore (01 215475) Chehade Str, Achrafieh. Mon-Sat 10.30am-7pm. This small Achrafieh boutique features European (especially Italian) brands. While the collections are usually classical but with feminine ruffles and colours, Flore also has the clothing line Caractere, which consists of more simple silhouettes, muted patterns and constructive basics. Green and Glam (01 217604, 76 675767) 65 Zahret El Ehsan Str, Achrafieh. Mon-Sat 10am-7pm. This eco-chic boutique is all about fair trade, showcasing a selection from ethical designers who use organic materials. Brands include EDUN, Valentine Gauthier, Les Fées de Bengale and Occidente, among others. Don’t leave without checking out their delicate fair trade lingerie. House on Mars (01 749746) Abdel Aziz Str, Hamra. MonSat 11am-7pm. Grown to some sort of an institution in Hamra, House on Mars is a cornucopia of global delights. It’s great for picking up everything from Thai silk lamps to rocktastic t-shirts, bags and amber jewellery.

Nothing Like the Queen (01 377166) Ground Floor, Minkara Bldg, Clemenceau Str, Clemenceau. Mon-Sat 9.30am-7.30pm. Try as you might, once you catch a glimpse of this boutique you won’t have a choice but to check out what they have: funky clothes and shoes from such international brands as Kaviar Gauche, Dondup and Philipp Plein. Oddfish (01 566302) Bohsali Bldg, Port Str, Saifi. Mon-Sat 11am-8pm. Shopping becomes a visual delight at Oddfish. Urban art, street culture and contemporary designs gather for a day of eclecticism. This multi-brand boutique carries the likes of Sentou, Veja, Vleiger & Vandam and other top international designers. Outdoors (01 993108) L 1, Al Arwam Str, Beirut Souks, Downtown. Daily 10am-10pm. Find gear and accessories for outdoorsy activities and fitness and sports clothing for men and women. Seven great-quality brands of classical and casual wear such as Mephisto and Oxbrow are enough to find what you need. Randa Salamoun (01 971271) Foch Str, Downtown. Mon-Sat 11am-8pm. Try on a beautiful dress for that special evening and if it’s not your size, renowned local designer Randa Salamoun will customise it to suit your desire. Nightgowns for brides and a range of luxury bed sheets can also be found here. Room One (01 999973) Arwam Str, Beirut Souks, Downtown. Daily 10am-10pm. Room One’s high-end Italian brands will take the oohs and ahhs right out of your mouth. Make a fashion statement with their metal-embellished tops, great knitwear and modern silhouettes, as well as their everyday accessories and shoes.

Rue 181 (03 280404, 03 722016) Abdel Wahab El Englizi Str, Monot. Mon-Sat 11.30am-7pm. This colourful delight is brought to you by Local designers Patricia Abou Mansour and Maria Barakat. Casual designs, eveningwear pieces, jackets, shoes, accessories and much more to chose from. Sandra Mansour (01 444155) 275 Gouraud Str, Sector 29, Gemmayzeh. Daily 9am-6pm or by appointment. With extensive experience, the designer has worked alongside Elie Saab and attended numerous prêt-àporter workshops. She regularly keeps up to date with international fashion and attends Paris Fashion Week, showcasing 30 dresses every season and customises pieces from style to colour. Scoop Outlet (01 814789, 03 778487) Edisson Str, Ramlet El Baida. Mon-Sat 10am-7.30pm. You’re bound to be pleased with the offerings in this multi-brand boutique with labels such as Dranella, Ichi, Sisters Point and Catwalk. The shop carries chic eveningwear and casual pieces for women, also includes a small selection of clothing for children. Shabby Chic (01 347707) Hamada Bldg, Hamra Str, Hamra. Mon-Sat 10am-8pm. The name says it all – browse European clothing labels and accessories including signature jean brand Chipie. There’s no doubt that any shabby outfit can instantly turn chic with a few tweaks after a visit to this shop. Sophie’s Choice (01 993131, 01 988987) Sabbagh Bldg, Patriarch Hayek Str, Beirut Souks, Downtown. Mon-Sat 9am-9pm. Whip yourself into a state of fashion frenzy with their great selection of international designers including Matthew Williamson, Sass & Bide, and Jason Wu. Take a break from the dressing rooms and enjoy some goodies their café has to offer. SUANA (04-718085) Jal El Dib,Mar Takla st. MonSat 11:00am-7:00 p.m. Get a fix of glitter embodied gold studded fashion pieces at SUANA. For a classy night out or causal evenings, this boutique will cater to any fashionista from head to accessorises to toes. La T-Shirterie (01 203952) Cosma Bldg, Chehade Str, Tabaris, Achrafieh. Mon-Sat 10am-8pm. Take your pick here from international labels, including A Fault from Italy,

For more reviews, listings and bookings go to 33

Shopping & Lifestyle

Aspuces (01 973885) Beirut Souks, Downtown. Daily 10am-10pm. Branches: Achrafieh, Dbayeh, Sodeco. If you’re looking for an outfit that can be dressed up or down, head to Aspuces, which specializes in designer duds for women but also carries a refreshing collection of eveningwear and sportswear.

Deviations (01 577668) Ground Floor, Samaha Bldg, Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Mon-Sat 11am-7pm. Designer Amer Jabali specialises in eveningwear and dresses and gowns for more formal occasions. He has also branched out of Beirut, featuring his line in the busy cities of Los Angeles, New York, London and Tokyo.

Shopping & Lifestyle where each t-shirt is printed by hand. La T-Shirterie also stocks American brand Young Rivers, Sunday 21, limited editions of Havaiana flip flops and French brand TH Gallery.

Menswear boutiques The Good Life (01 333955) 151 Abdel Wahab El Inglizi Str, Achrafieh. Mon-Fr 12noon-8pm. Designer George Salhab from the UK offers an entire collection of urban menswear from his fashion brand, Royal Tea. This one-of-a-kind boutique is perfect for funny gifts as it offers comical toilet seats, as well as limited edition shoes, toys and art books. GS Grand Store (01 218318) ABC Mall, Achrafieh Str, Achrafieh. Daily 10am-10pm. Branches: Hamra, Dbayeh. GS has now flourished into one of the leading quality stockists in the country catering to men, women and children. Find daywear and eveningwear – they have Geox, Timberland, Springfield, Hugo Boss, Mavi Jeans, Munich, Rockport and many more.

Shopping & Lifestyle

Lafuma (01 993110) Beirut Souks, Downtown. Daily 10am-10pm. Branches: Clemenceau. The attire in this boutique is perfect for your fitness-chic occasions. Its tiny walls are neatly hung with men and women’s leisurewear, and it’s one of the few places you can find eco-friendly sports shoes too. Lufian (01 990131) Jamil Str, Beirut Souks. Daily 9.30am-10pm. Lufian offers the latest fashion pieces for everyday wear. Browse through a collection of casual items including shirts, jackets, belts, jeans, socks and shoes. All items are made in Turkey and come from a range of different designers; also includes small Ladies section. Officina Slowear Beirut (01 999230) Patriarch Howayek Str, Bab Idriss, Downtown. Mon-Sat 10.30am-8pm, Sun 3pm-8pm. This menswear boutique is the epitome of Italian chic. Originally founded in 1951 in Venice, it now graces the streets of Downtown. You’ll find four luxury brands: Incotex, Glanshirt, Montedoro and Zanone, specialising in trousers, knitwear, jackets and shirts. Pellini (03 404933)Fawzi Khoury Bldg, Al Midane Str, Dekwaneh. Mon-Sat 9am-7pm. Leaf through their stock of men’s suits, shirts, pants, shoes, belts, ties and so on. With all this on offer, chaps will be able to buy complete outfits for every occasion. All items are affordable and made by local designers. Prestige (01 344183) Ground Floor, Assaf Bldg, Hamra Str, Hamra. Mon-Sat 10.30am-7.30pm. Now a landmark, this charming and classy men’s boutique has been a local Hamra favourite for decades. You’ll find a wide selection of dress shirts, suits, ties, pants and belts that are all essential to looking fresh and sophisticated. Renzo (01 748886) Yared Bldg, Abdul Aziz Str, Hamra. Mon-Sat 10am-8pm. This quaint, neighbourhood shop specialises in classic menswear for you sophisticated ones. If you have a big function, meeting or interview coming up you’re probably in need of a suit or an entire outfit, and you will surely find it here.

34 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

Sarar (01 355663) Hamra Main Str, Hamra. Mon-Sat 10am-8pm. This international label with clothing and accessories for men embodies well-groomed masculinity and style with a twist.The emporium was first founded in Turkey during 1930 by Abdurrahman Sarar and now has branches in New York, Japan, Europe and the Middle East. Spada Fashion (71 798881, 03 221888) Kuwaiti Embassy Bldg, Jnah Roundabout, Jnah. Mon-Sat 9.30am-10pm, Sun 1pm-6pm. This men’s boutique is an avant-garde shopper’s dream, packed with suits, casualwear, shoes and accessories from Europe’s finest designers. Some of the brand names include Carlo Canelli, Verruca and Valor Wolf. Their knowledgeable staff offer great customer service.

Haute couture & prêt-à-porter Ahmad Sabra (01 742626) 1st Floor, Zmourod Bldg, Tanoukhine Str, Hamra. Mon-Fri 8.30am-6pm; Sat 8.30am-2pm. The talented tailor will cut a suit to satisfy the gentleman who has a penchant for the look of Savile Row, and the pocket book to match. For 41 years, they have followed the classic procedure of up to four fittings. Elie Saab (01 981982) Elie Saab Bldg, Downtown. Mon-Sat 10am-7pm. This ultra-modern building is a veritable world of Elie Saab, the Beirut-born designer who has stores across the world and whose gowns are a favourite among celebrities. There are four departments spread over five floors: Atelier, Accessories, Prêt-à-porter and of course, Couture. Krikor Jabotian (01 204793) 4th Floor, Dakdouk Bldg, Tabaris Sq, Achrafieh. Mon-Fri 8am-6pm and by appointment. Armenian/Lebanese fashion designer Krikor Jabotian, who has worked with the likes of Elie Saab and Rabih Kayrouz, runs this dreamy boutique. You’re sure to have a ball browsing Jabotian’s collection of formal wear that clearly exudes an ethereal flair. Lara Khoury (01 443426) 406 Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Mon-Fri 10am-6pm. Known for her love of irregular shapes and distorting them, Lara Khoury both works on and exhibits her creations in her atelier – the space was designed by Cynthia Zahar. You can also find LKjuelerie by Rania Odaymat. Maison Rabih Kayrouz (01 566079, 01 567455) 81 Lebanon Str, Achrafieh. Mon-Fri 9am-6pm. This is the Beirut atelier of international fashion designer and creator of Starch boutique, Rabih Kayrouz. Known for his ultra-feminine designs, collections ‘Ma remmene a moi’ and ‘Beiruty’ are the particularly perfect depictions of Kayrouz’s roots and influences. Nada Talhame (01 202701) Bank Audi Saradar Bldg, Selim Bustros Str, Achrafieh. Mon-Sat 10am-7pm. The designer has a wealth of experience, studying in Paris and working with mega-fashion houses such as Chanel and Christian Dior. Nada Talhame is one of the few designers to specialise in knitwear; also offering haute couture and customised uniform design.

Things to Do

Edited by James Haines-Young

Things to Do

Ice, ice, baby Hit the ice for fun dates or family days out


m not going to lie to you, graceful, gliding and even stable are not words that describe me that well. It’s not that I’m ungraceful per se; it’s just that I haven’t ever been called upon to BE that graceful in my daily life. With boots on and gate helpfully held open I took my first tentative steps onto the ice, and it went about as well as expected. Slipping around and clinging to the side it took some time to get the hang of it, but before long I was off and taking (what felt like but probably wasn’t) gliding swoops to hurtle around the pristine, untouched empty

ice. Helpfully our instructor, Ahmed, began licking me into shape. ‘Keep your knees bent and your feet together’ he tells me calmly as he sweeps by in a blur. But with his prompts I’m soon a lot more confident and start to speed it up a little and this is when things start to go wrong. Mistake number one, Ahmed thinks I’ve done this before so is getting me to try skid stops and then the footwork for skating backwards – I’ve only just got the forwards thing down and there is no way I’m turning this all around! Again I’m reduced to an uncontrolled sliding sack of potatoes clinging to the edge. Going backwards it seems is a no-go, for now at least. Luckily, Beirut on Ice also

organises lessons to give you some practice, which means that there is no reason to be afraid, and they have happy hour for some cheap ice time too. Skating done we headed downstairs for some nourishment after all that adrenalin, and grabbed a towering chocolate and honeycomb covered ice cream (see left) from the outlet of the Hamra staple - Bliss House. Skating and ice cream is a great afternoon for the family or, believe it or not, for a date. Beirut on Ice (70 348333) City Mall, Dora. Happy hour - LL15,000, peak times from LL25,000 Bliss House (01 392224)City Mall, Dora. Top cream LL3,500 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to 35

Things to Do Time In

Things to Do

HOUSE OF CARDS It takes a lot for Brits to admit they’re not the best, but we’ve got to say it: the American version of the originally English series has captivated us. The long-awaited second season hits Netflix on Valentine’s Day, so grab a laptop (and maybe a date) to get your fill of political genius. Netflix. Feb 14

Time In: TOB’s verdict on the PS4 It’s going to be lean, mean and sadly, as always in Lebanon, expensive. Is the new PS4 really worth it? There’s always a buzz when they announce the release of the next ‘next generation console’, but we think (for once) it’s probably justified. Nothing will be the same again. The old PS3 came out back in 2006 and might have been a powerful piece of kit for the day, but times change and it’s definitely reached the end of its life. If you look at the recent big games, take GTA V for example, it’s not astonishing what they can do with graphics, it’s astonishing they can do with the graphics capacity their working with! So, with the new consoles released (Xbox One is also out) this is an

opportunity for game makers to just go nuts. And we for one are excited to see what people are going to do with this new freedom. The PS4 boasts 32x more memory than the PS3 and is a more powerful engine than the Xbox One. This means that we should see some massive advances in game visuals in the next few months. Sadly, fresh titles made for the devices are still thin on the ground, but developers will correct this dearth shortly. As with everything in Lebanon, getting hold of one isn’t straightforward. If you are buying one legitimately you have to head

somewhat questionable moral Flight of the ideal to instill in your little ones – girls only preoccupation should Fairy: a children’s that be to find themselves a husband book with a – quickly turns into a story of female empowerment and self-reflection modern moral in a charmingly child-like coming-ofWhen the magical white horse that signifies marriage mysteriously disappears from a sunny Lebanese village, a tale of travel, adventure and self-discovery ensues. What, at first, appears to be a

age tale (sort of like The Breakfast Club for the under 10s). It’s also nice to see a book that requires participation – from rotating the pages to see the upside down land, to grabbing a mirror to learn the

36 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

to the Sony store and pre-order, stumping up the money now. When will the thing arrive? ‘Sometime in February’ was the answer the local distributors gave TOB. Oh, and one last thing, it’ll set you back a whopping $729 (that’s nearly twice the US price of $399!) TOB’s verdict: Yeah it’s great but without a huge cache of titles on release day and a price that makes your eyes water, we’ll probably be waiting a while. Available for pre-order at Sony World Lebanon. (01 322532) ABC Achrafieh, Achrafieh. $729 (inc. one game) message from the village which only speaks backwards. Your kiddies are sure to stay enthralled regardless of the number of re-reads. Sitt Sobhiye and the Quest for the White Horse. Available at all good bookstores nationwide. $17

BREAKING BAD Lost on what to get your special someone for V-Day? What says ‘I love you’ more tenderly than five full seasons of Walter White? Pick up the new DVD box set for the whole lot. Warning: you’ll not see your loved one for between six to eight weeks (depending on level of addiction). Virgin Megastore. $250

ESCAPE TO PARADISE The Lebanese are legendary in the kitchen, and GameCooks know it. These local developers have done it again with ‘Escape for Paradise,’ where a kooky character tries break out of the ‘paradise’ he found himself in after biting into some magical mushrooms. Four stars from TOB for this one! App store. 0.99c

Things to Do Activities

porcelain as you snack on homemade tidbits. The fantastic art space serves as a platform for art lovers of all ages to come together and express their artistic talents. They also regularly host exhibitions, bazaars and events for children.

This section lists the best of Beirut’s activity centres alphabetically. How to be listed Email details of your venue by 5pm on the 15th of the month before publication. Listings are free, but inclusion is not guaranteed due to limited space.

Atelier Lulu Baassiri (03 855942) 2nd Floor, Dhalayni, Sanayeh. Wed 10am-1pm, Sat 10am-1pm. Painting and drawing courses for professionals and amateurs aged 12 and above in a cosy, noncommercial environment.

Activity clubs El Rancho (09 741133, 09 741188) Ghodras, Adma Hwy, Ftouh, Keserwan. By reservation only. A full Western-styled activity centre up in beautiful Ghodras, with animals galore, farming and camping, along with horseback riding. You can even experience the Wild West at the Indian Village.

Things to Do

Lebanese Rugby League Federation (03 404345) 2nd Floor, Fadi Abou Rahal Bldg, St Georges Str, Safra. Office hours daily 9am-3pm. A sports business that organises rugby league tournaments in and out of Lebanon. It also coaches schools in rugby.

Atelier d’Art Fabriano (01 810161) Safiaddina Bldg,Verdun Str, Verdun. Sat 7.30am-6pm. Courses: Fri 10am-12pm; Sat 10am-12pm, 1pm-3pm. Providing art courses for children and adults, Fabriano is also a renowned art supplier for some of the most well established brands on the market. L’ Atelier du Coin (03 325006) 3rd Floor, Blue Bldg, Jean Ayoub Str, Achrafieh. Mon-Fri 10am-8pm; Sat 10am-1pm. A cute and varied art centre for young kids (as well as adults) with arts

Ghazl El Banet (01 424516, 70 202723) Ground Floor, Sodeco Sq Centre, Sodeco Sq, Sodeco, Achrafieh. Mon-Sat 10am-6pm; Sun 2pm-10pm. Enjoy this unique children’s cooking class workshop, which offers onehour culinary sessions where kids get to make a ‘treat’ of their choice. La Maison des Artistes (01 216905, 03 809009) Adib Isaac Str, Achrafieh. Tue-Sat 10am-6pm. A professional and advanced preparatory school for artistic prodigies, La Maison des Artistes welcomes serious-minded students who wish to develop their natural artistic talents. Oh! Happy Days (01 215831, 70 252726) Abu Rizk Bldg, Abdel Wahab El Inglizi Str, Monot, Achrafieh. Mon-Fri 12.30pm-6pm; Sat 10am-12noon, 3pm-6pm. A child-friendly place that provides various activities for kids 2 to 10 years old. Check beforehand for the centre’s latest monthly schedule – past activities include crafts and puppet shows.

Racing Kart Zouk (09 219760) Principle Rd, Zouk Mosbeh. One of the best (and oldest) racing circuits in town. You can test drive different cars, ranging from the 7-horsepower beginner’s engine to the 13-horsepower monster. Call ahead, in case the entire circuit is booked for private lessons.

Arts & crafts Art’Brico (01 901186, 71 960766) Boulous Center, Assaily Str, Jdeideh. Mon, Fri, Sun 3.30pm-6pm; Sat 10am-7pm. This creative studio opened by art teacher Gena Damien offers children art classes for children aged 5 to 16 years. They will teach the children about all sorts of artistic mediums, colour mixing, techniques such as the style of Jackson Pollock and art history. Each session is about two hours and you can send your budding da Vinci as often as possible. They also offer sculpture sessions every Friday. L’Atelier Art Lounge (01 370181) Zaitunay Bay, Minet EL Hosn. Daily 10am-10pm. Transform yourself into an artsy guru at this fun-filled café and workshop. Get creative with paint, ceramics, glass and

Oh La La Girly Spa (03 817028) Mary Wakim Centre, 1st Floor, Mansourieh Old Hwy, Mansourieh. Daily 9.30am-8pm. Make your little girl’s day at this marvelous spa offering everything from manicures, pedicures, hand massages, makeup, tattoos and brand new hairdos. The special care and attention the spa lavishes upon little girls will transform into a princess for the day. The spa also hosts special birthday parties. Spa-tacular (01 397702, 71 344807) 2nd Floor, Block A, Sodeco Sq, Sodeco, Achrafieh. Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun by appointment only. This is the ideal location for mother-daughter bonding time with a hair salon and nail parlour that caters for both generations’ tastes. The centre also offers birthday packages, an activity centre and a boutique that stocks goodies by local designers.

Play areas Adventure World (01 385330) Beirut Mall, Saida Old Rd, Tayouneh roundabout, Furn El Chebbak. Mon-Fri 11am-9pm; Sat-Sun 10am-10pm. The first indoor family park in Lebanon, Adventure World is a two-storey, 3,500 sq m child’s dream. Packed with amusement park rides, a jungle café and tons of fun games, it will keep kids aged 2 to 14 years smiling for hours. Plus, it’s a fantastic place to throw a birthday celebration.

Tennis Academy Beirut (Tennis-Inc. com) (01 755475, 03 407890) Exess Bldg, Achrafieh. By appointment. This professional tennis academy located in Beirut provides elite tennis programmes for children and adults. They offer professionalism, knowledge and experience for tennis enthusiasts with international standardized programmes approved by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). WalkBeirut Meeting point: Gefinor Center Plaza on Clemenceau Str (across from Middle East Airlines and facing Gruen Eatery). Founded by Ronnie Chatah, WalkBeirut offers the city’s only guided walking tours in English. The intriguing tours uncover tales about the city’s rich history and troubled past in a story-based narrative. Roughly four hours long, tours run every Sunday and typically start between 2pm-6pm. Reserve your spot online by visiting www.

Events Beauty Center by Special Events (01 861700, 03 864971) Verdun Plaza 2, Verdun Str, Verdun. Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 2pm-7pm.This is a large centre for all things beautiful, with sparkly decorations and places to fix hair, nails and make-up, and to dress up. There is a large room for having parties, with full food and entertainment services.

and crafts of all kinds including pottery, glass and oil painting. Ceramics ‘N’ More (01 424516, 70 202723) Ground Floor, Sodeco Sq Centre, Sodeco Sq, Sodeco, Achrafieh. Mon-Sat 10am-10pm; Sun 2pm-10pm. A fun-filled ceramics painting workshop with a wide selection of pieces for you and your children to choose from. The nearby café is also ideal for parents to relax while the kids get down to business. Cooking and Crafts by Special Events (01 861700, 03 864971) Verdun Plaza 2, Verdun Str, Verdun. Mon-Sat 10am-7pm. Boys and girls can learn how to prepare three-course meals or get creative with cotton candy and ice cream recipes. Afterwards they can head over to the craft station where they can make their own stuffed animals or play a giant bubble game. Doll Salon by Special Events (01 861700, 03 864971) Verdun Plaza 2, Verdun Str, Verdun. Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 2pm-7pm. At Special Events’ Doll Salon, girls can create their own dolls – it’s every little girls dream! They’ll spend the day styling their dolls hair, picking out clothes and everything else necessary to make their dream doll a reality. There’s also a special area for jewellery-making to create matching bracelets and necklaces for their doll and doll maker.

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Trompe l’Oeil l’Atelier (01 335740, 78 846174) Ferzeli Bldg, Saint Coeur Str, Achrafieh. By appointment. This atelier caters to anyone who fancies polishing off their artistic skills or learning a thing or two about becoming a budding artist. Professional and experienced teachers offer classes in painting, drawing and sculpture for small groups in a fun and informal setting. Bring your kids along on Saturdays to participate in classes. All courses require registration in advance.

Kiddy spas Bella’s Spa by Special Events (01 861700, 03 864971) Verdun Plaza 2, Verdun. Mon-Sat 10am-7pm. This is Special Events’ Bella’s Spa where young girls of all ages can get exquisitely pampered. From make-up to facials, manicures to stylish hairdos and personalised cosmetics, Bella’s Spa is every girl’s dream come true. Chez Lulu (Frizzy) (01 801601) L B2, Dunes Centre, Verdun Str, Verdun. Mon-Sat 10am-8pm. Chez Lulu is a one of a kind spa and salon offering new concepts where teenagers and mothers pamper themselves in a relaxing atmosphere. Services include nail treatment, facials, reflexology, foot scrubs, hairdressing and make-up. Pass by their Fashion lounge, where you can decorate your own beach bag.

Jumping Jungle (01 366555) Lifestyles, Mada Bldg, Bliss Str, Hamra. Mon-Fri 4pm-6pm; Sat-Sun private party bookings. This fun-filled centre has plenty of mazes, slides and a ball pool to amuse 2 to 5 year olds. Should they start losing interest, there are tables for colouring, or they can take a break and have a snack in the kitchenette. KidsVille and The Jungle Land (01 212888 ext. 2828) ABC Mall, Achrafieh Str, Achrafieh. Daily 10am-8pm. Weekly shows on Sat-Sun. Children up to 10 years old will fall in love with this play centre’s computers, slides, ball pit and face-painting. KidsVille also has a Playstation, while the Jungle Land is slightly bigger and has a Nintendo Wii.


Castle Moussa (05 500106) Beiteddine Main Rd, Chouf, Daily 9am-6pm. This place has a moat, a drawbridge, and medieval-style ramparts. Inside his fabulous castle Moussa recreated scenes of daily life in Lebanon with wax figures. A number of rooms house Moussa’s large gun collection, and there’s the occasional large display case of daggers, swords and Bedouin jewellery. They also offer a second castle with two floors displaying different weapons. CCF (01 420200) Damascus Rd, Achrafieh. This French cultural treasure has a whole slew of resources available to visitors. Working to promote the French language and culture in Beirut through a series of services and

Things to Do exhibitions, the CCF offers visitors access to the Médiatheque (fully stocked library and media centre), a language school, an exposition gallery, a charming café and more.

of manuscripts, photos, paintings and a selection of furniture that belonged to the philosopher. You’ll find his book for sale at the gift shop. Also hosts thematic events.

Debbane Palace (01 489124) Al Moutran Str, Saida. Thur 9am-6pm Sat-Sun 9am-6pm. The Debbane Palace was built in 1721 and lived in until 1978. This old family house has been transformed into a museum by the Debbane Foundation to explore the Ottoman Period and Saida’s rich architectural history. The museum includes an exhibition of artifacts, texts, documents and manuscripts.

Hall of Fame (09 225202/303) Jeita Grotto Rd, Zouk Mosbeh. Daily 9am-5pm. It’s not a wax statue, it’s silicone! It’s not Madame Tussaud’s but the Hall of Fame in Zouk Mosbeh, which houses 50 statues of worldfamous people from political, artistic and cultural spheres, and uses mechanics to make some of them move, talk or sing. Come pose with your favourites!

Things to Do

Edward Nassar Museum (04 712112) Jal El Dib Main Rd, Jal El Dib. Mon-Fri 9.30am-7pm; Sat-Sun: 10am-6pm. Owner Edward Nassar has spent 60 years collecting precious valuables which are now proudly on display for others to enjoy. The museum is jam packed with paintings and art adorning all walls as well as old manuscripts and autographs (all personally addressed to Nassar), collections of old and historical books, sculptures, ancient watches, archaeological remains, stamps, and the largest Roman, Greek and Byzantine coin collection in the Middle East. Khalil Gibran Museum (06 671137) Becharre. Daily 10am-6pm. The museum is dedicated to the life of the Lebanese writer, poet and painter Khalil Gibran, and exhibits a collection

Ibrahim Najem’s House of Collectibles (01 365813) Ibrahim Najem Bldg, Ain El Mreisseh. By appointment only. This is not your average museum. Former fire fighter and diver Ibrahim Najem has been collecting knick-knacks for over 25 years; wonders from the sea and land decorate his walls and shelves in a delightfully disordered manner. Listening to Mr. Najem’s stories is half the fun. Jbeil Wax Museum (09 540463, 03 395537) Jbeil. Daily 9am-6pm. With wax statues of different well-know personalities and characters, learn all about the lifestyles of people living in Lebanon from the Phoenician period up to modern times. Merveilles de la Mer (Wonders of the Sea) (01 891548, 03 626069) Residence Assaad

Yazbeck, Jdeidet El Metn, Jdeideh. Mon-Fri 8.30am-1.30pm; Sat-Sun 3pm-7pm. Adults LL8,000; children LL5,000. This gorgeous museum is built in a 19th century Lebanese house with high ceilings, stained glass windows and a beautiful garden. Here, visitors will learn about the mysteries and magic of marine life through displays including salt-water aquariums, shells, fossils, and marine equipment. The Silk Museum (05 940767) Bsous Caza of Aley, Bsous. Tue-Sun 10am-6pm. The Silk Museum is the perfect getaway to keep your kids entertained at the weekends. Tour the eco museum, see the processes of weaving and the cocoons from which the silk comes. Let your kids find their green fingers in a onehour long gardening workshop. Soap museum (07 733353, 07 753599) Moutran Str, Saida. Daily 9am-5pm. Built in the 17th century, the Audi family house and soap factory were turned into a soap museum in 2000. The exhibits take the visitors through the different stages of soap-making and present the history of the soap industry in the region from Aleppo, Syria and Nablus, Palestine to our very own Tripoli.

History AUB Archaeological Museum (01 340549, 01 350000 ext. 2660) AUB, Bliss Str, Hamra. Summer Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; winter Mon-Fri 10am-4pm. Audio guide LL3,000. Provides an overview of the development of man in the Middle East from the Early Stone Age to the Islamic Period. Here you’ll find an impressive display of rare, ancient artefacts, such as pottery, coins, blown glass, busts, flint tools, weapons, jewellery, musical instruments and sculptures. Museum of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia (04 410001/3) Antelias Hwy, Akhawain Rahbani Str, Antelias. Tue-Fri 10am-5pm; Sat-Sun 8am-12noon. This Armenian museum will give you a different perspective on the history of the Middle East. On display are religious objects and modern artwork from the ancient Armenian kingdom of Cilicia, located in modern day Turkey. Lebanese Prehistoric Museum (01 421860/1/2) Saint Joseph University Str, Monot, Achrafieh. Tue-Wed, Fri-Sat 9am-3pm. Adults LL3,000; reduced LL1,000. This museum, run by the University of Saint-Joseph, contains an array of prehistoric hunting and agricultural tools from Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East. Call ahead to organise a tour for larger groups. National Museum of Beirut (01 612295, ext 0) Damascus Rd, Badaro. Tue-Sun 9am-5pm. Adults LL5,000; students, children 18 and younger LL1,000. Known to all simply as ‘Mathaf’ ( ‘Museum’), the National Museum of Beirut is not to be missed. The exhibits are organised by time period, ranging from prehistory to the Mamluk Period in a well-organised and manageably-sized space, and will enhance your enjoyment of monuments around Lebanon.

Liban Trek See parts of Lebanon you’d never know existed with an expert guide. Weekly trips organised around experience and physical level. (01 329975) 40 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

Sursock Palace Gardens (01 218720) Sursock Str, Achrafieh. Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. Situated in the heart of Achrafieh, these magnificent gardens are available for all to enjoy. The gardens surround the Sursock Palace, which is still a fully functioning residence. Steeped in history the palace and gardens stand proudly having survived intact since 1860. This is without a doubt a must see.

Entertainment Cirque du Liban (03 017859) Enjoy the circus right at your event with all you can imagine from magicians, gigantically long clowns, face painting and animations to boot.

Event Attack (03 976343, 03 019019) Variance Center, Jounieh Hwy, Kaslik. Mon-Fri 11am-6pm. Plan the perfect event for your mini-me. Event Attack specialises in corporate events, weddings and kids entertainment. Fantasy Party (71 285278) Hamra Main Str, Hamra. Mon-Sat 10am-7pm. This marvelous party shop is jam-packed with costumes and party supplies for all occasions. Whether you have a fancy dress party or need a new costume for Halloween, you’ll find sizes ranging from newborn to adults. They are also fully equipped with party supplies for all your special events. Go! Party Group (01 681808) Kamar Centre, Bouchrieh Main Rd, Bouchrieh. By appointment only. A door-to-door kids’ birthday entertainment group offering party accessories such as balloons, piñatas and tableware as well as magicians, clowns, musicians, face painters and animators. They can even provide gumball machines, confetti machines and goody bags, in addition to catering to a selected theme of your choice. Kiki Monkey (04 715987) Jal El Dib Main Rd, Jal El Dib. Mon-Fri 3pm-8pm. All partyplanners know the best bashes are inflatable ones. Kiki Monkey specialises in bouncy castles and other inflatable rides. Le Club des Deux Clowns-C2C (03 902598) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. By appointment only. Add some extra magic to your son or daughter’s celebration. Les Deux Clowns provide clowns and other characters that will entertain the crowd through performances and workshops. Le Monde de Yoya (04 910772) Str 2, Deek El Mehdi. Mon-Sat 11am-2.30pm, 4.30pm-7pm. A professional centre organising birthdays, christenings and events for kids from the age of 2-10. Whatever you are looking for, the staff has the know-how to plan a top party for little tots. The centre also opens a fun outdoor playground every summer. Les Bouffons (03 849003)1st Floor, Third Block, Mallat Center, Hazmieh. By appointment. These guys have earned their reputation as reliable party planners for children’s events. They handle everything, from themes and decoration, to catering and celebrations. The organisers carefully research all details before planning an event and truly transform your child’s dreams into reality. Definitely a hot pick for fab kiddy parties. Niños (01 566026, 70 445755) Cassir Bldg, Gebran Tueni Sq, Sursock Str, Achrafieh. By appointment only. Toted as a ‘trendy lounge for funky kids’, Niños organises fun-filled activities like birthday celebrations, makeup workshops, parties, events, DJ lessons, dance classes and photoshoots. Plus, as an added bonus, they work to help children in need, donating a percentage of their profits to Himaya - a branch of the children’s charity Arc en Ciel.

Arts & Culture Afteratlas

Edited by Dan Hilton


Radical receptions of art and its exhibition


Art s & Culture

bold meeting of photography and conceptual art results in an exhibition at the Beirut Art Center that invites you to consider the reception of artwork from various angles. A collaboration between French art historian and philosopher Georges Didi-Huberman and Parisbased photographer Arno Gisinger. Through creating an exhibition that is, in effect, a spin-off of an exhibition, they question the translation of not only art, but thought through time, distance and image. ‘Atlas: How to Carry the World on One’s Back,’ the original exhibition that last showed at the Sammlung Flackenberg/Deichtorhallen gallery in Hamburg in 2011 was curated by Didi-Huberman and explored the creative process of 140 artists, writers, filmmakers and theorists using their original oeuvres and preparatory works. Here we have something quite different. The exhibition takes inspiration from the brilliant, but quite mad, art historian and theorist Aby Warburg, whose fiery intellect and fabulous wealth spurred him to collect works together exploring the new associations that the pieces found in different contexts. This exploration of changing meaning through differing contexts and receptions is the crux of what the exhibition is trying to achieve. Gisinger’s photographs of the original exhibition are blown up to a monumental 3.5x2.5m scale and include everything from original artworks themselves to the spaces they inhabited as well as the documentation and packaging. The taking of these photographs in itself means the original works are finding new relevance, new meaning, and the same can be said for their exhibition here at the BAC. ‘Afteratlas’ asks questions about not only photography, its possibilities for reproduction, intertextuality and aesthetic pleasure, but also the politics of art, how it is expressed, represented and exhibited. This photographic essay stretches the boundaries of how one is used to receiving ‘works of art,’ and their ability to take a life of their own, travelling to unintended places, in unintended ways and gaining new and potentially greater significance as a result. (01 397018) Beirut Art Center, Jisr El Wati. MonSat. 12-8pm. Until March 22. Free

This photographic essay stretches the boundaries

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Art s & Culture

Arts & Culture Critic’s choice... Perminent resident


Permanent collections that won’t be going anywhere soon


For a city awash with galleries, you must admit there aren’t many permanent exhibitions around. It’s rather a pity, there’s something wonderful about being able to visit and re-visit exhibits that you love, without them being whisked away to some far-flung corner of the world, or a billionaire’s toilet. AUB Art Gallery (01 350000) Bliss Str, Hamra is perhaps top of the list. It opened in 2012 and contains some extraordinarily important pieces such as oils by Khalil Saleeby, the founding father of Lebanese art. The permanent exhibition at Arts and Beyond Gallery (01 611295) Sodeco Sq, Sodeco showcases 23 internationally recognised Lebanese artists, though all their

Rosy Yazigi makes a grand come back in Rima; a one woman show written and directed by Joe Kodeih. Kodeih has already established himself in the theater scene as a solid solitary act but now swerves back to directing after five years of being on stage. Yazigi and Kodeih had previously met in college but just recently reunited, which ignited the inspiration for Rima, a one-hour melodrama that deals with the trials and tribulations of the modern day Lebanese woman who struggles with issues of national rights, appearances, being a teacher, a mother and an individual of her own. In order to write the script, Kodieh had to place himself in the psychological frame of the female mind, developing several characters within one body. Yazigi is successful

work is for sale so if you really love a piece, maybe come with your wallet. For something a little different, try South Border Gallery (01 584040) Renno Bldg, Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh, the owner Michel El Daher travels the world bringing artworks, mainly from Latin America, to Lebanon, some with Lebanese origins.

The unseen

Seriously surreal photography explores beneath the surface As surreptitiously surreal and styled as any exhibition you are bound to find, Lebanese photographer Lara Zankoul’s solo exhibition at the Ayyam Gallery is as intriguing as it is mysterious. Using water as a device to encourage one to, quite literally, look beneath the surface, she photographs her subjects in great water tanks, the effects of which can be rather spectacular. Each photograph is divided by the waterline, and the realities presented in each half are noticeably quite different. In ‘Feminine Side’ for instance, a man’s dry, waistcoat and bow tie-ed upper half is accompanied by a tutu-ed lower half. The water

gives the cloth a life of its own, a dancing quality, quite different to the sombre face above. All shot in soft hues and shrouded by pastels, each frame uses no digital effects and was created with elaborate, life-sized sets. (01 374450) Ayyam Gallery, Beirut Tower, Zaitounay Str, Minet El Hosn. Feb 10-Mar 30

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Laugh out loud at Gemmayzeh’s new comedy in portraying those contrasting characters by manipulating her voice and exchanging body postures. The essential pauses are used for emphasis while her graceful voice keeps one amused. When asked to describe the star of the show Kodeih describes her as a soldier. He has worked with many actors but states that Rosy Yazigi is exceptional when it comes to talent and commitment. The play takes an unexpected turn with a heartfelt confession of a woman in denial, while most of the hour is spent with humorous innuendos, some of which are predictable and a pinch repetitive. Gemmayzeh Theater (76 409 109) College Sacre Coeur, Gemmayzeh. Thu-Sun. 8.30pm. Until Feb 18 By Joanna Aziz

Art & Culture Art galleries This section lists the best of Beirut’s cultural venues alphabetically. How to be listed Email details of your venue by 5pm on the 15th of the month before publication. Listings are free, but inclusion is not guaranteed due to limited space. 392RMEIL393 (01 567015) Gouraud Str, Berbari alleyway, Gemmayzeh. Mon-Sat 11am-7pm. 392RMEIL393 is a non-for-profit organisation which operates from the two spaces RMEIL 392 and RMEIL 393. The former is a stone house with a beautiful garden of 200 sq.m., with space for events such as forums and plays. The latter takes up three shop fronts to exhibit work of emerging artists. It sets itself apart from the traditional gallery scene, giving room for various disciplines related to the visual arts to be displayed. Exhibitions rotate monthly, so there is always something to see.

housed throughout two floors, changing exhibition pieces each month. Espaces Ephemeres (01 442265) Al Gamarek Str. Mon-Fri 11am-6pm. Head out to this hidden art gallery to discover a world of beautiful and unusual collections. The gallery exhibits everything from furniture, jewellery, sculptures, paintings, porcelain and more. The collections are all limited editions and tend to have a story of their own Esquisse Gallery (76 397373, 03 109555) Abou Arbid Bldg, 1st Floor, Elias Sarkis Str. Mon-Fri 12noon-8pm, Sat-Sun by appointment. Situated in a beautiful old Ottoman house is a fascinating art gallery. Visitors can appreciate the rotating roster of artists’ talents in a perfect artisanal setting. The gallery constantly seeks new and upcoming local talents. Unique exhibitions will keep you coming back every month.

books on the current exhibition in two. Salamé’s aim is to present international contemporary art of high calibre to a Lebanese audience, and to make accessible these esteemed and varied works to Lebanese collectors. Smogallery (01 572202) Dagher Bldg, 77 Senegal Str, Quarantina,. Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat 2pm-6pm & by appointment. Located near the port of Beirut, Smogallery shows the works of promising or established international and Lebanese designers. Focusing on unique pieces, exploring the movement of boundaries between contemporary art, design and architecture; three disciplines that nurture and shape the new territories of design. Throughout each exhibition, the gallery, created and managed by architect Gregory Gatserelia, is transformed into a place of constantly renewed discoveries and dynamics. Complemented by a selection of unique pieces or limited editions made exclusively for the gallery.

Bissan Library (01 351291) Moufarej and Sawaya Bldg, Mahatma Gandhi Str. Daily 9am-9pm. Brush up on your Arabic at this well-known Hamra bookshop that carries Arabic books only. Spend an afternoon browsing the shelves, and stock up on novels, biographies, history books and more. Chahine Gallery (01 346522-3) Pres Du Centre, Concorde, Verdun. Mon-Sat 10am-6pm. Chahine Gallery stocks a range of Italian furniture and reproduction antiques. Large selections of paintings are available in a variety of styles. Antique books and engravings are sold. The gallery is

Artwork Shop (01 749646) Ground Floor, Ayad Bldg, Adonis Str, Hamra. Mon-Fri 9am-6pm; Sat 9am-1pm (Sep-May). The Artwork Shop offers many rich and varied courses for children and adults. Try your hands at finger painting, making mosaics or creating your own ceramic designs. They also offer pottery, cake design and organize birthday parties. This great workshop space also has its own café with couches where you can browse through arty books and magazines.

Performing Arts DANCE STUDIOS Beirut Dance Studio (01 426869) 9th Floor, Victoria Bldg, Nahr Str, Achrafieh. Mon-Fri 4.30pm-9.30pm; Sat 11am-3pm. Study the light, graceful and fluid movements of classical ballet at this charming dance academy. Founded by Nada Kano in 2007, Beirut Dance Studio of fers professional training in classical ballet for children and for adults. Joanna Seikaly Gallery (70 776711) 480 Gouraud street, Saad building, ground floor (facing Red Cross), Gemmayze, Beirut, Lebanon; Mon-Fri 2 -6 pm. ‘The Gallery Collection’ is on display at Joanna Seikaly Gallery from November until December 2013. and features works from the artists Semaan Khawam, Thaer Maarouf, Samer Saem El Dahr, Taline Temizian and Wissam Shaabi. www. Laboratoire d’Art Gallery (01 322744) St. Nicholas Stairs, Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Mon-Fri 11am-7pm; Sat 11am-6pm. A charismatic little gallery situated on the popular stairs of Gemmayzeh. Hosting exhibitions and workshops, this is one popular escape to appreciate authentic artwork. Metropolitan Art Society (70 366969) 35 Trabaud Str, Achrafieh. Tue-Sat 11am-7pm. Tony Salamé, founder and CEO of Aïshti, takes his personal interest in art publicly, by launching a distinctive commercial gallery. Set inside the former 19th century Abdallah Bustrus palace, now known as the Metropolitan Club, the gallery occupies the ground floor of 500 square meters with windows bringing in huge amounts of natural light. In Ottoman and Florentine styles, the gallery houses five rooms displaying art, with the possibility of sitting down to read

Zico House (01 746769) 174 Spears Str, Hamra. Mon-Sun 10am-1.30pm. A bar on the ground floor. An art gallery, residential rooms and headquarters of the gay rights organization, Helem, on the second floor. They also organise festivals and events. An environmental NGO on the third floor. Zico house is kooky and eccentric in the most delightful of ways.

Permanent Collections Matignon Images et Tableaux (01 484115) Gedco Centre, Horsh Tabet. Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat 10am-2pm (closed on Sat in the summer). Permanent exhibition of Lebanese and international painters laid out over four floors, each dedicated to a specific style and technique of painting. The gallery offers also the widest collection in Lebanon of art prints for large projects and the fourth floor is dedicated to framing. State of Art Gallery (01 489038) 2nd floor, behind Berad Al Younani, Arabian bldg, Bauchrieh Industrial City. Mon-Fri 10am-4pm. The permanent collection of paintings and furniture on display in this mod gallery are primarily the works of gallery owner, and ALBA (Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts) alumnus, Sandra Kheir Sahyoun.

Elio’s Dance Academy (01 902275, 70 727379, 71 828389) Saint Joseph Center, 2nd Floor, Sid El Bauchrieh Str, Bauchrieh.. MonFri 4.30pm-10.30pm. Learn the techniques that will transform you from an amateur to a professional dancer at Elio’s Dance Academy. Unlimited courses and lessons on of fer include Latin, ballroom, dabke, ballet, Oriental dance and more. Choreographer Elios Ghafar y guarantees you’ll pick up the skills that will impress all. Flamenco Beirut (03 588766) Nagib Trad Str, near Mandaloun Café, Achrafieh. Filling the flamenco-shaped hole in Beirut’s dance scene, Flamenco Beirut of fers regular monthly workshops taught by visiting or specially impor ted Flamenco dancers. Forget ‘Spanish-flavoured’ dance classes, this is the real deal. Fred Astaire Dance Studios (05 958158) Fitness Zone Centre, 2nd Floor, Emile Lahoud Str, Hazmieh. Mon-Fri 2pm-10pm. Head out to the outstanding dance school Fred Astaire Dance Studios to polish of f your dance skills. The renowned studio is franchised across the world, first founded in 1947 and named after famed dancer Fred Astaire. The studio guarantees you’ll turn pro in a matter of hours.

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Art & Culture

Beirut Art Center (01 397018) Bldg 13, Str 97, Jisr el Wati. Mon-Sat 12noon-8pm. This large non-profit art space dedicated to contemporary art has curated some of the Beirut’s premier exhibitions since it opened two years ago. Up-and-coming artists as well as the more established feature, and check the website for talks, documentary screenings and workshops. A choice book selection is on sale, and a small café purveys the basics for a mid-peruse refuelling. Well worth checking out.

Art 4 Art (01 744989, 03 679280) Zuhoor Bldg, off Spears Str, near Skaff. Mon-Fri 9.30am-6.30pm. Let the little artist unleash her/his talents at this art centre, with anything from glass painting to candle making, needle work, photography and ceramics. Offers private classes and art sessions for kids and adults.

Ashkal Alwan (01 423879) Ashkal Alwan, Home Workspace, 1st Floor, Bldg 110, Str 90, Jisr el Wati. Mon-Fri 10am-6pm. A funky non-profit centre committed to educating, supporting, producing and promoting contemporary art. They regularly give art courses and host numerous lectures.

Art Factum Gallery Alley 204, Bldg 13, Rehban Str. Mon-Fri 12noon-7pm; Sat 2pm-5pm. One of the most recent galleries to grace the up and coming Quarantina art district. Ayyam Gallery (01 374450/51) Ground Floor, Beirut Tower, Zeitoune Str, Downtown. Mon-Fri 10am-8pm; Sat by appointment only. A major player on the burgeoning Arab art market, Ayyam first opened in Damascus, then Dubai, adding its Beirut space in late 2009. As well as some prestigious exhibitions, some handling controversial fare that rarely shows at the other branches, Beirut’s Ayyam also runs auctions. Its sleek, modern space houses paintings, sculptures and photography from some of the Arab world’s established and emerging artists, with a slight emphasis on the exciting talent emerging from Syria.

Art Studios


Edited by Roman St Clair

Man I feel like a woman


TOB has a chat with Elias Zayek who plays the lead role in the new Lebanese film 'Neswen'

One of my biggest influences was Mel Gibson's performance in Braveheart Hi Elias so could you tell us a little about yourself? I'm a 23 year-old Lebanon based actor, trained at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting in Los Angeles, Hollywood. While I was at high school I took 300 hours of acting classes with Dr. Elie Lahoud (Chief of Acting Department in Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts) What I learned in LA was totally different from my acting experience in Lebanon; the acting courses, character development and imagination work were far more intensive in the US.

How did you choose this script? The script written by Youssef Sleiman has been an on-going project for five years and after some meetings and negotiations I had the privilege and honour to play the lead, Saber. The story really struck a chord with me because I think it's different from any Middle Eastern movie ever made. Youssef took a typical, conservative, male character and transported him into a woman’s role to explore what life is like when the shoe is on the other foot.

And how did you get into acting? Acting has always been what I loved, from school plays to drama clubs that I was a part of. Maybe the biggest influence, although this may sound strange, was Mel Gibson’s performance in Braveheart. It has always been one of my favourite films and when I applied for my student visa for the US I actually did the freedom monologue! The films of Steve McQueen (director) and Daniel Day Lewis are also inspirations.

So tell us a bit about this character and how you prepared for the role. Well I tried my best to do some method acting and so I worked at a butcher's to acquire the technique of a butcher. But my main focus was the psychology of Saber, what brings him to hating women and their role

44 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

in society. I invented a story for him, his place of birth, how he was raised and how his surroundings and news around the country affect his way of life and point of view. What do you feel about the role of women in the Middle East? To me, I'm on no one’s side, I respect both women and men ruling together 50/50. Women in Middle East are still marginalised and this is a disgrace. It's time for a change and the movie will hopefully highlight this. I love Lebanon because it is where I was born and made me who I am but I want to serve my country in the field that I'm in. They have tried changing Lebanon through politics and this has failed, let's try to change it through all kinds of art forms especially those that come from the heart. 'Neswen' out Feb 6. Cinemas nationwide

Film Before midnight �� Dir. Richard Linklater. Starting Feb 6. Cinemas nationwide

Saving mr banks �� Dir. John Lee Hancock. Starting Feb 6. Cinemas nationwide

By Joshua Rothkopf THE BOTTOM LINE A little too sugary

Stable unstable

By Joshua Rothkopf THE BOTTOM LINE A worthy sequel that explores some interesting issues

��� Dir. Mahmoud Hojeij. Starting Jan 20. Cinemas Nationwide Dealing with apathy, grief, paranoia and temptation is all part of the human condition. Some let these feelings consume their lives, others laugh in the face of their own human frailty and a great many see shrinks. Lebanese Director Mahmoud Hojeij’s debut is a dark comedy that explores this topic and effectively see-saws between the tragic and the humorous. The majority of scenes take place either in the elevator or the psychiatrist’s office, allowing the audience to see deeply into each character’s psyche, not only while they are in the chair (or in this case sofa) but also directly before and after thier session. The New Year’s Eve motif

is central and every character deals with the expectations of this holiday in different ways. The whole film builds up to this fateful night but ends up feeling somewhat unresolved with little or no closure for any of the patients and we are left asking questions. By Roman St Clair THE BOTTOM LINE Sad but funny, an enjoyable film about the human psyche

Three raunchy teen sex comedies for hormonal kids like us!

PORKIES The original ‘80s teen-sex-romp that started it all and spawned thousands of imitations. Set in the ‘50s it features locker room peeping, desperate virgins and condom hijinks; all the essentials are here.


Stiff-backed Pamela Lyndon Travers (Emma Thompson, a starchy riot), the creator of Mary Poppins, arrives in Hollywood in 1961 to discover a giant, stuffed Mickey Mouse on her hotel pillow. What studio is going to make a movie about getting into bed (literally) with Disney than Disney itself? Saving Mr. Banks turns Travers’s tense collaboration with Walt (Tom Hanks) and his team of Imagineers into—naturally—a schmaltzy journey of closure, climaxing in a teary screening of

the finished musical. Like Julie & Julia, the movie toggles between two imbalanced halves: Every time it cuts away to Travers’s dreamlike Australian girlhood and alcoholic dad (Colin Farrell), you wish you were back on the lot, watching her argue with chirpy song composers and the impulses of commercialisation. (Seriously, animated penguins?) No need to mention which side prevails—it’s a small world, after all. But for a while, you can enjoyably ally yourself with a cynical foot-dragger.

Before Midnight may be the most superheroic sequel of the summer, as middle-aged Jesse and Celine grapple with foes many adults can appreciate: thwarted ambitions, work distractions and the pressures of rearing kids together. Linklater and his two leads take on the question of spousal resentment as the film’s implicit theme, and it can’t be stressed how refreshing it is to be treated at the multiplex like a person with a brain. There’s a shrewdness to the scripting this time, the central pair flanked by other couples at different stages of life. Love, we hear, has as much to do with randomness as it does attention. Do my eyes deceive me, or are many of Midnight’s walks shot from behind, with Celine and Jesse on the verge of receding? That’s the subtle level this movie operates on, and by the time it arrives at its powerhouse climax, there’s nowhere left for them to ramble. They’re pinned down and have to improvise, but this glorious movie has infinite space to roam.


SUPERBAD So these two virgins walk into a house party and the fat one gets menstrual blood on his leg and the lame one just looks like he needs a hug. For a teen sex movie there isn’t actually that much sex, but plenty of hilarity and very creative cock drawings.

AMERICAN PIE Four dorks make a pact to lose their virginity before college. Featuring the famed pie-stuffing scene, the 'band camp' stories and Stiffler’s mum - these ingredients make it one of the archetypal teen movies. For more reviews, listings and bookings go to 45

Film Coming out this month


3D Lego Movie Dir Phil Lord Feb 6. An ordinary LEGO minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together.

whose instant desire sparks a love affair made only more reckless by parents trying to keep them apart. A Most Wanted Man Dir. Anton Corbijn Feb 13 Vox A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught up in the international war on terror.


Robocop Dir. Jose Padilha Feb 6. In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) - a loving husband, father and good cop - is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, partrobot police officer.

This section lists the best of Beirut’s cinemas alphabetically. How to be listed Email details of your venue by 5pm on the 15th of the month before publication. Listings are free, but inclusion is not guaranteed due to limited space.

Dallas Buyers Club Dir Jean-Marc Vallée Feb 6. The story of Texas electrician Ron Woodroof and his battle with the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies after being diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1986, and his search for alternative treatments that helped established a way in which fellow HIV-positive people could join for access to his supplies.

Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA) (01 480056) ALBA Campus, Ave Emile Edde, Sin el Fil. Free. Created in 1997, ALBA’s cineclub ‘Cult’ has a reputation for featuring well-chosen, alternative cinema and contemporar y classics. It’s one of the better-organised and -marketed clubs, but like most of them will die down during the summer, when the students are on holiday, so call ahead. Films are screened ever y Friday at 7pm.

Her Dir Spike Jonze. Feb 13. A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that's designed to meet his every need. Winter’s Tale Dir. Akiva Goldsman Feb 13. A burglar falls for an heiress as she dies in his arms. When he learns that he has the gift of reincarnation, he sets out to save her. Endless Love Dir. Shana Feste Feb 13.The story of a privileged girl and a charismatic boy

De Prague (03 575282) 166 Makdissi Str, Hamra. Free. Films are projected on the wall of this relaxed cafe/pub/restaurant ever y night, beginning at 9pm. They make a nice conversational backdrop, or a slightly disjointed viewing expreince. Entr y is free, but the films are shown without sound, and are subtitled in French, English or Arabic (varies each night). If you want to pin down what’s on, call the staff just before you go.

Psyne Club (03 985061) Theatre Béryte, Saint Joseph University, Damascus Str, Achrafieh. A cineclub held by what must be the most cinema-loving university in Beirut. Run by psychology students, this group screens a new film every three weeks on a specific psychological theme. Debates are held afterwards in French and/or Arabic.

Empire Dunes (01 792123) Dunes Centre, Verdun Str, Verdun. A four-screen cinema located in the Dunes Centre, a mid-sized shopping centre in one of Beirut’s most popular shopping districts. Before or after your movie chow down on food in the Dunes Centre food court, play games in the basement arcade, or even try your luck at the Centre’s four-lane bowling alley.

Film Theatres

Empire Galaxy (01 544051) Galaxy Mall, Camille Chamoun Blvd, Chiah. Opening in 2000 in the pleasant Galaxy Mall, the Galaxy cinema has five screens and hosts a mix of Hollywood, European and Middle Eastern films.

CIRCUIT PLANÈTE All Circuit Planète cinemas are open daily, the first films beginning at 3pm, and the last films of the day beginning at 10.30pm. They tend to be the ones to screen the bigger local releases and more artsy films, so if you’re looking for something Lebanese, check here first.

Empire Sodeco (01 616707) Sodeco Square, Achrafieh. Begin your night out with a refined experience at this cinema, located at the top of Monot. Opened in 1998, this wellsituated, multiplex cinema also offers VIP services with recliner chairs, pillows and blankets, butlers, a Japanese menu with food from Le Sushi Bar and a library corner with free WiFi.

Planète Abraj (01 292192) Abraj Center, Damascus Blvd, Furn el Chebbek. This large, modern cinema houses eight screens, an enormous lobby filled with small tables and chairs, and a brightly coloured candy and popcorn counter. EMPIRE CINEMAS All Empire Cinemas release new films on Thursdays and are open daily, the first films beginning at 2.30pm, and the last films of the day beginning at 10.30pm. Prime Empire CinemaCity (01 899993) City Mall, Dora Highway, next to Nahr el Maut Bridge, Dora. This massive cinema was opened in May of 2006 with 9 screens. Before your fi lm, stock up on popcorn and candy and watch movie trailers on the plasma screens decorating the walls of the spacious lobby.

Metropolis Empire Sofil (01 328806) Centre Sofil, General Fouad Chehab Ave, Achrafieh. This is the beating heart of Lebanon’s independent film scence – though it has some major releases, too. Sofil was opened in 1982 and today plays host to a number of film festivals including the Beirut International Film Festival, the Lebanese Film Festivaland DocuDays: Beirut International Documentary Festival. Grand Cinemas All Grand Cinemas are open daily, the first films beginning at 2pm, and the last films of the day beginning at 10pm. Open 364 days a year, closing only on Good Friday. As with all cinemas in Lebanon, new films are relased on Thursdays. Grand ABC (01 209109) ABC Mall, Achrafieh Str, Achrafieh. With seven screens and located inside one of the city’s most popular malls, this is one of the most frequented cinemas in all Beirut. Grand ABC Dbayeh (04 444650) ABC Dbayeh, Dbayeh Hwy, Dbayeh. This luxurious cinema first opened in June 2012 and is the first VIP cinema in the country. Take a break from shopping in ABC Dbayeh mall and enjoy a first-rate film experience. Spoil yourselves with seven impressive screens and a wide selection of refreshing treats before the film starts. Grand Concorde (01 343143) Concorde Centre, Dunant Str, Verdun. This eight-screen theatre lies just between Hamra and Verdun and as such attracts a fair number of AUB and LAU students. Make an afternoon of your movie excursion and after the fi lm spend the rest of the day chilling with friends at one or more of the many cafés, restaurants or shopping venues located within walking distance.

Robocop A 21st century update of a film set in a dystopian Detroit in which a murdered cop is brought back to life by mega corporation Omni Consumer Products as a superhuman cyborg law enforcer. Feb 6 46 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

Vox Cinemas (70 720964, Beirut City Center Mall, Hazmieh. We reckon a film experience at this massive cinema is like no other with 15 luxur y theatres, the largest screen in the countr y stretching across 20 metres and a gourmet café. The VIP screens offer reclining chairs and waiter ser vice for top pampering throughout the film screening. Make sure you purchase your tickets online or through their mobile application to avoid queuing.


Edited by Roman St Clair

Wud you believe it

We talk to the legendary Lebanese rock star Jay Wud about how he got to where he is today

I was 12 when I first picked up a guitar


So how old were you when did first picked up a guitar? I was 12 when I first picked up a guitar at my cousin's place. I would go there every night just to strum it even though I didn’t know how to play. A year later my mother got me my own acoustic guitar for Christmas and it was the best Christmas gift of all time. Tell us about your childhood influences? It started with my dad making me listen to bands like Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, then friends at school made me listen to Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Ozzy Osbourne and Nirvana. Rock and blues came as a second nature to me I guess.

What was it like supporting Robert Plant, Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses? I was young when I supported Robert Plant with local band The Kordz and it was a great experience. After I moved to Dubai I supported Aerosmith with Paul Akiki and it was an eye-opener to see that level of production. But the best support gig for me was Guns N’ Roses because it was with my band and the first gig to launch our second album ‘False Utopia.’ Playing for a 10,000 strong crowd and being on the same stage with Guns N’ Roses was an honour, to say the least. Have you had any wild ’rock ‘n roll’ tour experiences? Our touring experience hasn't quite

started the way we wanted it to with all the turmoil in the Middle East right now. We did Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Lebanon and India (that was certainly pretty wild!). But I'm looking forward to telling you some stories next time we come back from a proper tour. We are aiming on hitting Europe and India again this summer.

What are your plans for the future? We are currently working on the third album, which isn't titled yet. But I can definitely tell you what we are working on now is on a whole other level, we are very excited.

So why did you decide to move to Dubai? Was it for better internet connection? [Laughs] Yes! How did you know? Well, I was in my friend's band Paul Akiki at that time and he was living there and the band was active and doing shows, so I went there and I liked it and stayed. For more reviews, listings and bookings go to 47



World record talking marathon On December 20 Rima Njeim broke the Guiness World Record for ‘The longest marathon for a radio talk show’ with a staggering effort of 46 hours and 20 seconds. That is a lot of chin waggery. She had planned to break the record since 2011 and her comeback to Aghani Radio seemed like the perfect moment. Njeim heroically decided to use her extended air time to raise $20,000 for a little

girl called Larissa who was in need of open heart surgery. The target was met, Larissa had the operation and is recovering well. Over the 46 hours Njeim received more than 30 guests in the studio and much more over the phone. She showed some restraint drinking one cup of coffee every three hours, which amounted to 16 cups, and when it was over she went to the church, prayed and then slept for 12 hours.


Flum me to you

We have a chance to sit down with Jad Taleb, one half of exciting new live electronic outfit,’Flum Project’

So when and how did you form? Well, me and Patrik (Ab Abdallah) started to experiment about three years ago while we were playing together in a band called Purple Seeds which was made up of a bassist, drums and vocalist and we covered trip hop songs mainly. It wasn’t until last year that Patrik and I decided to develop our own sounds and take it more seriously. What do you mean by experimenting? We would just jam for hours in the band practice with me on the keyboard and Patrik on the drums, figuring out the music we liked and exploring different sounds.

ZIAD EL AHMADIE IN CONCERT A cacophony of instrumental delights featuring percussion, an oude, a saxophone and a double bass. For all those that love the sound of real instruments, this promises to be a special night. Metro Al Medina (76 309363) Sarolla Bldg, Minus 2, Hamra. Sat 8. 9.30pm. LL25,000

ART DEPARTMENT These two Canadians are regarded as some of the most revolutionary underground producers to come out of North America. Critically acclaimed and internationally renowned, expect raw, synthy electronic euphoria. St. George Beach & Yacht Club (70 999104) Minet El Hosn. Fri 7. 10.30pm-2am. LL60,000

EELKE KLEIJN IN BEIRUT The Dutch producer hailing from Rotterdam, known mostly for his electronic dance music, is stopping off at Ora to showcase his sounds. With a lovely view over the media and an elegant and modern interior, Eelke has chosen his setting nicely. Ora (70 000766) Junction 5, Dbayeh Hwy, Dbayeh. Sat 8

48 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

What made you want to make music? I have always been in love with music since I was a kid. I started to realise that the music I want to produce is the music that I want hear. Patrik was passionate about music as well and we both got together to develop a new combination inspired by our different musical tastes and backgrounds. Can you tell us a little bit about the name Flum? The name is purely spontaneous,

regardless of definition. It’s the impression the music gave me. So what is your song writing process? As for the composition we record random jam sessions and then we listen to them later on. If something comes up which we like, we select and develop it further. The composition process is based on repetitive and progressive tunes and harmonies. My musical taste is very eclectic, from jazz to electro to ‘60s rock and trip hop. As for Patrik the types of music he enjoys are psychedelic rock, blues, progressive rock and electro. Our common element is rock but we don’t confine ourselves to any one style when we are making music. We just go in whatever direction it takes us. What are you guys planning for the future? Well we both have a background in animation so at the moment we’re working on some videos, a visual show to accompany the music. Hopefully the performance will happen very soon we’re just trying to find the perfect location. www,

Music Live music Blue Note (01 743857) Makhoul Str, Hamra. MonThur 12noon-12mid; Fri-Sat 12noon-late. Meal for two with wine LL50,000; Fri-Sat min charge LL52,500 on live shows. Known for its live entertainment, Blue Note’s gastronomy is international, though nothing out of the ordinary. Stick to the steak platter, and the apple pie for dessert. Chill (76 740390) Jean d’Arc Str, Hamra. MonSat 4pm-late. A warm boho atmosphere and extremely friendly staff. For all the Irish beer lovers, Guinness is available, there’s also free WiFi, and they host regular themed nights. Thur: salsa, Fri: karaoke, Sat: live bands.

Democratic Republic of Music (01 752202, 70 030032) Ground Floor, Mkahhal Bldg, Sourati Str, Hamra. Out of the dust of an unmarked building site appears an ambitious concert hall with an industrial look, all grey tones and exposed pipes. Check out their clubbing Saturdays where you can finish off with breakfast in the early hours. Dictateur (01 571512) 30 Bedawi Str, Bedawi, Achrafieh. Mon-Fri 4pm-late; Sat-Sun 11am-late. With an innovative interior full of quirky charm, Dictateur keeps the spirit alive of this former mini-industrial factory. It’s part of a project that aims to show the dying buildings of Beirut. The mini amphitheatre will house plays, live music and art exhibitions along with a weekend ‘blunch’ that will no doubt make this a new creative space for artists and foodies alike. Mandaloun (01 565333, 03 434333) Armenia Str, Mar Mikhael. Mon-Sat 9pm-4am. Dine in this spacious restaurant with a modern oriental interior, while enjoying the live Arabic performance. Get off your seats and get groovy at your table to the Arabic spun by the DJ.


Dany’s (01 740231) 78th Str, Hamra. Daily 10am-late. One of Hamra’s most famous bars and a magnet for the young, liberal, international and intellectual crowd. Hosts live music three to five times a week on their small basement stage and DJs every night of the week playing everything from jazz and funk to soul, indie and electro. After midnight the bar fills out as many people’s evenings finish in this popular

Hamra destination, this is when the atmosphere is at its most electric. Thur-Fri: live music.

Maillon the Club (01 333147, 70 070808) Sofil Center, Achrafieh. Fri-Sat 9.30pm-3.30am. Meal for two with drinks LL225,00. The city’s socialites mingle in this extravagant nightclub that sparkles with live entertainment and gourmet meals. Enjoy fine dining with French cuisine and a selection of sushi catered by award-winning Chef Daniel Akari and Kobe restaurant. Live singers, dancers, instrumental acts and a DJ keep the night young. Metro Al Madina (01 753021, 76 309363) Saroulla Bldg, -2, Hamra Str, Hamra. Mon-Sat 6pm-late. The once famous cinema Saroula has transformed into an entertainment hall seating up to 100 people. The cultural and entertainment venue in Beirut boasts a stage for performing artists. Music Hall (03 807555) Starco Centre, Omar Daouk Str, Downtown. Thur-Sat 10pm-late. In 2003 this former cinema was converted into a lavish, Cabaret-esque music hall that hosts local and foreign performers on its monumental stage. Beirut’s premiere live music stage will offer you an experience you’re not likely to forget. Radio Beirut (01 561577) Al Nahr Str, Mar Mikhael. Mon-Thur 10am-2am, Fri-Sun 10am-3am. Lose yourself with appreciation for musical talents in this radio café and bar as you watch live broadcasts. This venue serves as a platform for local and regional artists to showcase their skills live on an online radio station. Others may come and witness for themselves how a broadcast takes place. If you’ve got what it takes, grab the bull by the horns and broadcast live with your own music show. Razz’zz (01 366246, 70 530007) Weaver’s Center, 464 Clemenceau Str, Hamra. Tue-Sun 12noon-1am. Get your hands on some real tigan and varti beurek in a smashing ambience, offering two seated levels, a bar and a leafy garden. Adds an Aleppo twist to some authentically Armenian dishes, to enjoy with the regular musical entertainment. Wed- Sat: live bands (10.30pm-12.30am). Reservoir Beirut (01 801411) Chinese Restaurant Bldg, Farid Trad Str, Verdun. Daily 10am-1am. A deli, restaurant and pub with friendly staff, live music and great fresh food. The menu includes salads, sandwiches, platters, soups and mains.

Metro Al Medina The once famous cinema Saroula has transformed into an entertainment hall seating up to 100 people. This cultural venue plays host to a wide range of arts largely performed by local talent. (01 753021) Saroula Bldg, Hamra Str, Hamra. Mon-Sat. 6pm-late 50 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

Rules (76 414747, 76 123404) Boutrous Dagher Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 6pm-3am. This Gemmayzeh pub knows exactly how to entertain you. Along with its international cuisine and a sparkling selection of cocktails it also organises activities to keep you coming back. Mon: Oldies night. Tue: 50 percent off all drinks. Wed: Karaoke. Thur: Live comedy with Raymond Saliba. Fri & Sat: Live DJ sets. Sun: Live acoustic bands. Every other night, DJ John spins magic with a mix of commercial, RnB and house. Happy hour daily 6pm-9pm. Sepia (70 705200) St Nicholas Stairs, Gemmayzeh. Daily 8.30pm-late. An elegant Franco-Latin restaurant/pub. Great decorative touches includes customer contributed notes all over the walls. Thur: live bands (10.30pm-12.30pm). Tredici (71 252511) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh.

Tue-Sun 6pm-2am. Fans of affordable meals, cocktails and a bustling ambience will love this Gemmayzeh gem. Named after the number 13 in Italian, the restaurant serves all their dishes for only LL13,000. Stick around to enjoy live music or pop into their outdoor garden for a breather. Valet parking is available. Unplugged (76 813216) Monot Str, Monot. Tue-Sun 6.30pm-late. If you’re looking for a night out with a combination of art, live music and DJs then we reckon you’ll love this gem of a bar hidden away in Monot. The bar regularly exhibits work by local artists for free and hosts band performances with music ranging from indie-alternative, nu disco, electro-pop and deep house. The laid-back space offers comfy couches, affordable drinks and bar snacks, along with outdoor seating for smokers to light up. Walimat Warde (01 343128, 03 628578) Ground Floor, Marble Tower Hotel, Makdessi Str, Hamra. Daily 12noon-late. Walimat Warde has the charm and character of a cozy and welcoming Arab home during the day. The menu is scribbled in English and Arabic on a chalkboard. By night, it transforms into an eccentric and laid-back bar filled with good music and great conversations. Zinc (03 873333) Seif Eddine Al Khatib Str, Achrafieh. Wed-Sun 9pm-2am. Dance venue built inside an old house attracts the young trendsetters of Beirut. Three comfortable lounge areas are infused with serious party beats, from hip-hop and jazz to trance and commercial music.

Musical instruments Antoun’s Music (01 742683) Sadat Str, Hamra. Mon-Sat 10am-6.30pm. A fully equipped music shop open since 1956 that offers all kinds of musical and sound instruments. They also repair instruments and offer music lessons with qualified instructors. They are especially known for their skills in tuning and rebuilding pianos. Abdallah Chahine (01 361992) America Str, Hamra, (01 548787, 01 548989) Hazmieh Boulevard, Chiyah, (01 332222) George Zeidan Str, Achrafieh. Mon-Fri 9am-6.30pm, Sat 9am-1pm. This haven is the place to be for all music lovers. They stock imported musical instruments of all sorts including major brand names such as Fender, Hohner Kawai and more. The budding musician is catered to as well with their collection of mini-instruments for children. Instruments Garage (01 202302) MTV Bldg, Fassouh Str, Achrafieh. Daily 10am-8pm. Put together a family band and head to this place and check out the wide variety of musical instruments and a special collection for kids. You’ll find the drum sets, flutes, guitars, percussion and more; all sold at competitive prices. Maher’s Music Shop (03 728629) Sadat Str, Hamra. Mon-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 4pm-9pm. Music lovers will be pleased to discover this place, which stocks a large collection of CDs, iPods, and accessories. If you are looking for a specific album or accessory for your gadgets, chances are you’ll find it here. Mozart Chahine (01 215000) Abdel Wahab El Ingizi Str, Achrafieh. Branches: (04 416813 ) Main Hwy, Jal El Dib. (09 224925) Main Hwy,

Music Zouk Mosbeh. Mon-Sat 10am-8pm. If you are looking for a certain brand or type of musical instrument, look no further – these guys have you covered. Along with having all kinds of instruments in stock, these specialists are the exclusive dealers of Yamaha, Ibanez, Tama, Tycoon and more than 25 different international musical instrument brands.

Music lessons Care (01 880592) 2nd Floor, Almaza Str, Jdeideh. Mon-Fri 9am-7pm; Sat 9am-4pm. Care provides workshops tailored for children and young adults with special needs. Weekly drama and music therapies, vocational training and academics are offered during the week. Drum Lessons Beirut (03 779753) 7th Floor, Jadayeil Bldg, Rachid Karame Str, Verdun. Mon-Fri 4pm-8pm. Forget pots and pans, let your child get to grips with the real art of percussion with these unique drumming lessons.

JelyBely Kids Activity Center (03 817028) Mary Wakim Centre, 1st Floor, Mansourieh Old Hwy, Mansourieh. Daily 9.30am-8pm. This place is dedicated to fun and activities for little ones. They organise weekly classes in music, theatre and lots more. KinderMusik (03 241020) 9th Floor, Victoria Centre, Corniche Al Nahar. Thur 3.45pm-6.30pm; Fri 4pm-6pm; Sat 10am-12noon. KinderMusik welcomes children from 7 months to 7 years old. They concentrate on developing young infants’ minds socially as well as musically. Depending on the child’s age and cognitive level, musical activities are introduced to encourage each child’s psychological tgrowth - from motor skills to speech therapy. Krafty Kids (01 355805, 03 231314) Jabara Bldg, Adonis Str, Hamra. Krafty Kids of fers all types of fun for children up to ten years old. Interactive activities include acting classes followed by a play, card making, music, drawing, ar ts and crafts and stor ytelling. Mozart Chahine School of Music (04 414649) Main Hwy, Jal El Dib. (09 224876) Main Hwy, Zouk Mosbeh. Mon-Sat 10am-8pm. Whether you are a budding musician or just want to improve your musical talents, this music school offers all you need to get the job done. In a friendly and welcoming environment, the school provides lessons for all ages and backgrounds by qualified music instructors. Genres range from classical to modern, blues, jazz, Oriental, fusion and more. Annual exams and certificates are awarded to all students to keep track of their progress.

KinderMusik You don’t just have to be a German child to enjoy these music lessons, Lebanese kids are allowed too! Look to develop your child’s mind. (03 241020) Victoria Center, Corniche Al Nahr Rock ‘n Bach (09 850330) PO Box 1844, Ghazir, Jounieh. Mon-Fri 11am-7pm; Sat 9am-3pm. Rock ‘n Bach is an electrifying school teaching children music, art, dance and singing. With qualified instructors and a variety of equipment, kids will be astounded by the unlimited courses on offer. The school boasts a friendly and happy environment, making sure every student feels like they belong to one big family. Some of the courses on offer include, zumba dance classes, hand crafts and music lessons for toddlers.

Audio equipment Abed Tahan (01 661000) Corniche Al Mazraa Main Rd, Corniche Al Mazraa. Mon-Fri 8.30am-8pm, Sat 8.30am-7pm. You might think you’ve stumbled upon audio heaven when you stroll in, with brand names from all the big players. You’ll find TVs, computers, phones, fitness equipment and household appliances to browse through. They also offer great maintenance and customer service. Bang & Olufsen (01 974400) Arass and Kanafani Str, Saifi. Mon-Fri 10am-6.30pm, Sat 10am-2pm. Step inside this digital haven and pay audio paradise a visit. The Danish company is a globally recognised brand that designs and manufactures their own brand of audio products. In the showroom you will find a sparkling selection of music systems, loudspeakers, TVs, phones and more. They are also the exclusive distributers of sound systems for car companies such as Aston Martin and BMW. Khoury Home (01 244200) Adnan Hakim Str, Jnah. Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, Sat-Sun 9am-7pm. Pop in to explore their electronic and home decoration products, including telephones, audio and video equipment, computers,

home appliances, home decoration and the like. Anything of a domestic use and electronic heartbeat can be found here, and there is excellent after-sales service. Radio Shack (01 340340) Strand Center, Hamra Main Rd, Hamra. Mon-Fri 8.30am-9.45pm, Sat 8.30am-8pm, Sun 11am-8pm. At Radioshack store, cast your eyes over an endless stock of electronic equipment. This electronic haven has been dubbed as one of the largest distributers in the world, with computers, cameras, audio equipment, phones and lots more. Sounds Inc (01 353351) Salamoun Bldg, Cairo Str, Hamra. Mon-Fri 9am-6.30pm, Sat 9am-2.30pm. If you need some sleek new audio equipment, head here. Established in 1973, these sound specialists are known for their high quality audio products. They are one of the largest importers, distributers and installers of various brands in the video and audio industry. Viatek (01 339650) Viatek Bldg, First Floor, Elias Sarkis Ave, Achrafieh. Mon-Fri 9am-7.30pm, Sat 9am-5pm. If you’re in the market for computers, TVs, phones, or audiovisual equipment, Viatek is where you’ll find it all. Stuffed with multimedia equipment, some of the luxury brand names include Apple, Nokia, Samsung, HTC and Toshiba to name a few.

DJ Schools Per-vurt Music Technology Store (01 743156, 03 733156) Lyon Str, Hamra. Mon-Sat 10am-9pm. There’s a DJ in ever y one of us and if you’re up for it, Per-vurt DJ School and Recording Studio can get you on the right track with their four-week, 12 session course that will teach you all you need to know about being a professional DJ.

DJ School Lebanon (03 486667) Versaya Center, Achrafieh. Mon-Thur 10am-6pm. Aspiring spin-kings will love this non-profit DJ school that is dedicated to polishing off musical talents. Originally founded in 2009, it promises to kickoff careers in the music industry with courses, workshops and tutorials. The school is open to all ages with all the kit a would-be DJ needs.

Recording studios 360 Media (01 216091) Voice of Lebanon Bldg, 11th Floor, Alfred Naccash Str, Achrafieh. Daily 11am-4pm. This remarkable studio is the first production house in the Middle East to be certified with Dolby 7.1 and 5.1 solutions, meaning their surround sound allows them to provide the highest quality in sound mixing. The recording studio also provides full client services, from songwriting and production to distribution and marketing. Jean-Marie Riachi Studios (04 522111, 03 808333) Rue des Oliviers, Rabieh. Mon-Fri 9.30am-6pm. This awardwinning production house and studio offers an array of packages to suit budding artists. They specialise in recording, producing and composing in all music genres. With three impressive studios, the production house also offers comprehensive services to commercial clients. Some of the renowned artists they have worked with include Haifa Wehbe, Fairouz and Elissa. Tunefork Recording Studios (70 148879) Moucarri Bldg, 7th Floor, Dora Hwy, Dora. By appointment. We reckon this recording studio is a place for serious audiophiles with a commendable range of services and equipment to suit all. Some of their services include music production, composition, voice-over recoding and sound design to name a few. The studio also provides music for commercial clients.

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Ecole de Musique Ghassan Yammine (01 202820)7th Floor, Abou El Oula Bldg, Baydoun Str, Sodeco, Achrafieh. Mon-Fri 10am-9pm; Sat 10am-3pm. Branches: (04 711047) Jal El Dib, (01 350310) Hamra, (09 850202) Ghazir. Offers courses in modern music including jazz, pop, blues and classical music. Kids can learn a variety of instruments including saxophone, drums, clarinet, electric or acoustic guitar. Future singers can take vocal lessons or learn how to come up with compositions, computerised music or enjoy classes in music appreciation. They also offer lessons in theatre, photography, dancing and sound engineering.


different kinds of music here, at any party. They just want to party no matter what. They have good taste. I think as a lover of music it is very important to remain flexible in your taste.


What kind of places to you play in Lebanon? Well I have a residency every Friday at FLO 360 rooftop in Hamra. I have done a couple of underground parties in Faraya and played in last year’s Fete de la Musique. I would love to throw a party in the mountains. An open, beautiful setting where I would play all night until sunrise then have an after party in the morning.

As a lover of music its important to remain flexible Nightlife

Edited by Roman St Clair

How do you release your music? At the moment I am unsigned but talking with a record label in LA. But for now I put samples of originals and remixes on Soundcloud and mixes and podcasts, including my radio shows from Canadian station ‘The Drop’ on Mixcloud. In my view, the more people your music reaches the better.

DJ MQube TOB shares a mojito with Melhem, aka DJ MQube, the Saudiborn, Lebanese DJ, producer, live performer and radio host who specialises in deep house and indie dance How did you get into music? It all started when I lost my Dad when I was 11. To fill that gap I turned to music. I would play the piano on my own and after few years I formed a rock band with my four friends. The Saudi region back then was very limited so we did a lot of private events at clubs and compounds. Aged just 15 we were already playing in front of over 500 people. However as bands often do, we drifted apart. I always wanted to do something different, more energetic so I started DJing when I was 16.

When did you move to Lebanon? I moved to Lebanon when I was 18 to do an engineering degree. I would still do private and club events with my friends but it was just a hobby, nothing professional. I did two semesters abroad and really fell in love with electronic music while living in the US. I got the chance to perform at a few venues and the respect you get over there is huge so I became more passionate and serious about it. So what do you think about the party scene in Lebanon? It’s amazing. It’s way different. People like all

Tell us a little about your NGO. My NGO is hopefully going to discover and nurture artistic talent of refugee children. At the moment we are forming the board, I have it registered so hopefully within a few months it will be off the ground. I have a big team of psychologists, professors and students to help figure out how we are going to unearth the talent. My club in AUB called ‘All Square’ also raises funds through themed parties to help build housing for refugees. We’re having a big event in February so get ready.

DJ Mqube knows his indie dance from is nu disco, but do you? Here’s three of the genre’s top downloads to check out

‘WHAT’S THAT SOUND?’ THE BEATANGERS A lively upbeat tune that uses the hook brought to fame by Lou Reed and Public Enemy. Other than tha t, it sounds nothing like either of those songs.

‘EVERY DAY AND EVERY NIGHT (KANT REMIX)’ AMBER JOLENE, NOLAN A slightly more downbeat and emotional song, perhaps suitable for an intense show of your love to a friend or stranger.

52 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

‘LOST (ORIGINAL MIX)’ AMINE EDGE Deep rolling bass lines with what sounds like Frank Ocean singing over it. Allegedly ‘Gangster House’ which surely must be an oxymoron.

Nightlife Critic’s choice


FUSAM Live in Lebanon: Artificial Insemination After the release of his latest album, Beirut is going to be the first stop for FUSAM’s tour ‘Artificial Insemination’. By mashing around 25 different music styles FUSAM, Ziad Boustani, Osman Arabi, Makh, Necrostate and ScrewHeadz will try and break down all the musical boundaries. Yukunkun (70 745072) Lebanon Str, Gemmayzeh. Sat 8. 10pm-Late. LL22,000

A perfect weekend C U NXT SAT Moustache Night Twist and groom those upper lip whiskers until you bear some resemblance to a gentleman of class and sophistication. Then go to C U NXT SAT claim your free drink and peacock that facial hair. Moustaches with beards attached do not count, there’s also some table football. Concrete 1994 (03 865050) Sin El Fil Hwy. Sat 1. 9.30pm-5am. Free

Soul Train: A Don Cornelius Tribute A tribute to the funky individual behind the iconic ‘Soul Train’ TV series, exactly two years after his death. DJ Spindle will be spinning the 45s so all aboard the Holy Mothership and let the groove move your feet and minds. Radio Beirut (76 936744) Armenia Str, Mar Mikhael. Sat 1. 10pm. Free

We ask credible faces in the nightlife game to describe their perfect weekend in Beirut. For this edition we asked Gus Naamandi, resident DJ at Überhaus, to tell us how he likes to get down My perfect weekend usually starts on Friday around five o clock, early evening. My friends and I go for coffee at Internazionale (01 565463) Armenia St, Mar Mikahel, one of my favorite spots in the area. The guys behind it really know how to run a proper bar! Before we know it it’s time to start hitting the booze so we would bar hop around the Mar Mikhael strip, dropping in at Floyd the Dog (03 286596) Armenia St and Vyvyan’s (01 567040) Armenia St for a few shandies. If you do hit Vyvyan’s, ask Santana to make you one of his specialty shots, he rocks the bar like no one does. If I’m staying in this part of town and feeling in the mood for a bit of exercise we’d hit Behind the Green Door (01 565656) Armenia St for some good Funk and Disco vibes. Otherwise I’d go to Hamra for something a bit more underground like Überhaus (76 363662) Leon St where I’m a resident DJ on Fridays for the Katapult Nights, with Romax and

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Guest DJs from around town. Saturday Morning after waking up as late as my hangover would allow, I would go for a late lunch with friends to discuss the previous night’s antics. An artichoke dip, with a proper blue steak is my staple order at the Happy Prince (01 569040) Alexander Flemming St, whereas the specialty burger takes the biscuit at Frosty Palace (01 449595) Pharaoh St. After lining our stomachs with a slap up meal we would get back on the sauce again probably starting at L’Osteria (01 566175) Al Nahr St. Here we would sink a bottle of wine

or two, then hit Cargo (03 480299) Badawi St just down the street. Saturday nights out often start pretty late and don’t end till the early morning hours of Sunday. I generally try to make it to all the parties in Beirut, Uberhaus, C U NXT SAT (71 694469), and Stereo Club nights at Art Lounge (03 997676) Karantina. Sunday Brunch is one of the most essential parts to the weekend, and often happens at St Elmo’s (01 367356) in Zaiytunay Bay; good food, good booze, and beautiful people. We do nevertheless try to take trips outside of Beirut every now and then to enjoy Lebanon’s hidden natural treasures tucked between mountains or resting on its Mediterranean shores but the city is often just too much fun.

Nightlife Bars & clubbing This section lists the best of Beirut’s bars and clubs alphabetically. NEW Denotes a new entry+ How to be listed Email details of your venue including the phone numbers, address and opening hours. Listings are free, but inclusion is not guaranteed due to limited space.

Bars 37° Bar and Grill (01 203215) Monot Main Alley, Monot. Daily 6.30pm-2.30am. Happy hour 6.37pm-8.37pm. Nearly a decade old, 37º Bar and Grill is one of Monot’s gems. This lounge bar gets far hotter than its name would let on, and while it caters for lounging, if you come in on a quiet night the bar can be a perfect pre-clubbing venue. Ser ves a good selection of international cuisine and an impressive selection of shots.

Berlin (01 442600 70 246688) Saad Bldg, Youssef Hayek Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 8.30pm-late. This cosy low-lit Gemmayzeh pub has an urbane feel. Nights usually start off pretty quietly, but inevitably descend into playing ‘big tunes’ until the early hours. Berlin play lots of deep house and commercial electro, with a guest DJ every Fri. Thur: Latin. Big Shot (01 342140) 78th Str, Hamra. Daily 6pm-4am. Beirut’s first RnB bar clearly boasts a bad ass feel with pictures of music legends such as Tupac and Rolling Stones magazine covers. Weekends take a wild turn often accompanied with some rounds of sweet shots on the house. Bodø (01 738068) Abdel Aal Str, Hamra. Daily 24hrs; kitchen open 6am-12mid. This openfronted charmingly small bar looks like an old converted workshop. Everyday brings a new popcorn flavour for you to munch on and there’s an extensive cocktail list full of tasty treats, for you to sip on 24/7. Named

dress makers. High arched exposed stone ceilings which tastefully contrast with a slick modern bar façade. Burlesque has a small and simple French menu containing crêpes, sandwiches and snacks. Celtic (01 338688) Monot Str, Monot, Achrafieh. Daily 5pm-2am. An Irish style pub popular with Lebanese and ex-pats alike. Good place to hang with friends and watch sports (mainly football) on a projector TV screen. On Fridays they host a game of ‘beer-pong’, a drinking game that incorporates ping-pong balls. Celtic will open for any Premier League game. Chaplin (03 286977) Mar Mikhael Str, Mar Mikhael. Daily 10am-late. Happy hour 5pm-8pm. This charming old-world bar complete with net curtains, ancient typewriters and gramophones, has the Charlie Chaplin quirk. Dress up like the man himself with the bar’s fake moustaches and Chaplin hats and pose for a Polaroid snapshot. Music passes through jazz, bossa and acid jazz with breakfast served in the morning.

Art Lounge (03 997676) Najjar Bldg, Quarantina River Bridge, Qarantina. Daily 6pm-late. Once upon a time this space was a derelict warehouse; now it’s home to one of Beirut’s most important art venues, with a bar, concert space, art book store and a popular cineclub (with a different cinematic theme ever y month). Barbu (01 567606) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 5pm-late. Happy hour 6pm-8.30pm. A busy student haunt with happy hours from 6pm-8.30pm and a decent cocktail list. If you’re poor and peckish they offer 20% off for all university students with ID, and discounts to all Red Cross members.

Hamra Bar (01 565340) Nahr Str, Mar Mikhael. Daily 7pm-2am. Hamra pub has brought a corner of Ras Beirut to this side of the city, with its hip black interior and blue fluorescent bar. The best thing about this place is the food, with starters of bruschetta and calamari rings, and mains of crab, steak, and smoked salmon.

after the Norwegian town where the sun never sets. La Bouteille (01 570811, 70 161811) Armenia Str, Mar Mikhael. Mon-Sat10.30am-late. Explore the tastes of international wines originating from Argentina to South Africa, all the while listening to jazzy and funk sounds and sitting on the outdoor terrace. Brick’s (01 355443) Makdessi Str, Hamra. Daily 11am-3am. Brick’s is the place to kick back and get a good hearty meal in a cosy atmosphere. A home from home, expect a varied soundtrack of everything relaxed from jazz to folk, blues to alternative rock. Brut (03 671177) Monot Alley, Monot. FriSat 9pm-4pm. Brut has reopened a new version of itself in the same space it once occupied. A sea of chrome and black leather stools surround the bar, which prides itself on its great selection of premium vodkas. Fri: RnB, hip-hop and urban sounds. Sat: Club Night – a mix of house music. Both parking and valet parking are available. Burlesque (70 480640) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 4pm-late. Happy hour 4pm-9pm. This cavernous little bar with a subtle burlesque theme has been built from a renovated

Charlie’s Bar (01 442019) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Mon-Sat 10am-2am, Sun 5pm-2am. A snug little place buried away on a street that comes to life night after night. The green, blue and brown colours lure you in to enjoy their cocktails and snacks. The bar also ser ves sandwiches all to a pleasing blend of reggae, rock and noncommercial tunes. Get cosy on the small couches and high stools. Citizen Smith (01 737573) Makdessi Str, Hamra. Daily 6pm-late. Tucked away at the end of Makdessi Street, Citizen Smith takes us back to a past era of Hamra, taking its name from the long standing supermarket ‘Smith’s’ which closed its doors recently. With their extensive bar selection and friendly staff, Citizen Smith has an industrial-feel interior and attracts a crowd of young and artsy professionals. Crew (01 449873) Pasteur Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 6pm-6am. This bar works on a different concept, hospitality staff receive 25 per cent discount on drinks and Middle East cabin crew get a whopping 50 per cent off. Nurse away the hours on your feet with their speciality ‘Crew Bar Touch’ cocktail, to a soundtrack of jazz, blues, regaee and pop. Snacks and sandwiches on offer. Hosts regular psychedelic nights.

Internazionale (01 565463) Armenia Str/Alexander Fleming Str, Mar Mikhael. Daily 4pm-late. With its classic décor, Internazionale boasts an impressive cocktail list with affordable old standbys. The first thing you see when you walk through the door is a massive old black and white photo and their DJ table with one of the best sound systems in Mar Mikhael. Not necessarily a dancing venue, it doesn’t stop the hip crowd from taking the floor in the late hours. Jackie O (03 602624, 03 756947) 78th Str, Hamra. Daily 5pm-late. This may be gender diversification at its best. Jackie O, smack dab in the middle of Dany’s, Oscar Wilde and Kennedy’s (coincidence? We think not). Hardly a resto-pub, but the savoury grilled chicken citrusy salad followed by Jackie O’s specialty fruit cocktail will keep your strength up.With many ending up here be sure to arrive early, grab a seat and chill to laidback tunes before the pumping tunes and crowd rule, an experience whether you remember it or not. Jukebox (03 110200) Youssef El Hayek Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 5pm-2am. Happy hour 6pm-9pm. Mon: 70% off, Thur: buy one drink, get one free. This cosy bar has a free jukebox, and music genre cocktails to match your mood from blues to funk and electronic. Free WiFi. Sun: live bands. Juleps (76 351616) Uruguay Str, Downtown. Daily 5pm-1am. Escape hectic city life, kick back and sip cocktails at this stylish bar. Be sure to try their signaturemint juleps, or let the bartender be your guide. Juniper (03 795357) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 7.30pm-1am. A great regular haunt with an upstairs sitting area and a DJ

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Anise (70 977926) Alexander Flemming Str, Mar Mikhael. Daily 6pm-1.30am. Feel at home in this lovely Mar Mikhael haunt offering cocktails and tasty bar snacks. We love their extensive variety of homemade Arak gathered from vines across Lebanon. Drinks are affordable with attentive bar staff. Tr y their specialty the Cezar Arak cocktail.

Demo (03 958504) Lebanon Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 10am-2am. Takes the pretentious sheen out of Gemmayzeh. Good indie music, free WiFi till 6pm and the perfect venue for a mellow night out. A nice selection of toasted sandwiches for roughly LL12,000. Keep an eye out for posters as Demo hosts some great in-house live events.

Hole In The Wall (03 439122) Monot Main Alley, Monot. Daily 6pm-late. This small, dingy pub has been around for as long as Monot has. Enjoy their specialty draft beer while you tap your feet and bob your head to the DJ’s alternative rock, jazz and blues records. Two Mondays a month are set aside for special tribute acts, while Thur live singer with a guitar.

Abbey Road (03 3681797, 01 570118) Mon-Sat 11am-2am, Sun 5pm-2am. Armenia Str, Mar Mikhael. The place to be in Mar Mikhael. Abbey Road offers a relaxing atmosphere during the day before the rocking beats start a-thumping at nighttime. The venue houses two floors of what appears to be a recording studio, with photos of famous rock singers adorning the walls. Snacks are ser ved throughout the day to accompany old, classic rock rhythms. Come together. Right now. American Dream (01 341625, 03 245238) Jeanne d’Arc Str, Hamra. Daily 3pm-12mid.This cosy bar opens ever y night of the week for nights out. The interior houses two floors with a bar on each level, so you won’t have to move ver y far for your next round of pick-me-ups. Music is soft and chilled, seating a total of 130 people in the homey space. If you’re not sure what to order, tr y the signature cocktail ‘American Dream’.

The Closet (01 568708, 03 126559)Armenia Str, Mar Mikhael. Daily 6pm-late. This happening bar comes to life every night. Discover the funky ‘S’ shaped interior with pulsating industrial vibes. Serving sandwiches and drinks, the interior easily fits 86 with couches and high-stools. Beats range from electronic to rock and blues. We recommend starting off with a Bloody Mary to get the night started.

Nightlife amenable to requests. The friendly bar staff, down to earth crowd and original cocktail list makes Juniper a relaxing and unpretentious hang-out.

posters of film stars from the ‘60s and ‘80s adorning the walls. Get cosy on the couches or kick back on the high stools by the bar.

Li Beirut (03 286977) Makdessi Str, Hamra. Daily 6pm-late. Happy hour 6pm-9pm. This welcoming compact little bar comes alive at the weekend with a DJ Wed-Sat playing old style Arabic music. Go up the creaky wooden staircase for the cosy, library style upper room. Serves excellent mezze and the enthusiastic bar men – with a uniform of white t-shirt and trouser braces – will knock you up any drink that comes to mind.

Moscow Mule (03 329279) Makdessi Str, Hamra. Daily 4pm-3am. A stand out bar for young and old to spend thrilling nights. Try out their addictive ‘Moscow Mule’ specialty cocktail made of vodka, lime, fresh ginger and soda. Enjoy a smart décor with couches, high-stools and an outdoor terrace as you listen to jazz, blues, soft rock, rock and funk beats. Meals are also served. Happy hour: 5pm-9pm.

Life Bar (03 678741, 01 576000) Tabaris Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 8pm-late. Minimum charge for two LL30,000. Brace yourself for a different atmosphere every day of the week. From Karaoke Wednesday to Oriental Thursdays to different DJs playing all types of music Friday through Sunday, you’ll never get bored. Don’t forget to order some delicious nosh from their full-scale sushi menu and fresh sandwiches made daily.


Lime (03 348273) Monot Str, Monot, Achrafieh. Daily 6pm-late. Happy hour 6pm-8pm. An established drinking hole that’s been open for about ten years. It has a big terrace and a chic bar in the centre of the floor. A good pre-hangout in Monot before the club.

Tequila (01 447233) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 8pm-late. Happy hour 7pm- 9pm. Tequila shots for LL2,000, need we say more? A dark pub with loud tunes famous among students and ex-pats with dirt cheap shots and a wide selection of cocktails. Fills up around 10pm. Try their massive flaming Lamborghini. Torino Express (03 611456) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 10am-2am. Café by day and kicking bar by night, Torino Express was converted from an old arcade shop, and is arguably the most popular bar in Gemmayzeh. You’re best off heading here earlier in the evening, before it becomes too crowded. Since they have no phone number, you’ll simply have to pass by for a chat.

Treesome (03 753297) Youssef Hayek Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 6pm-late. Contains a real olive tree growing within. Packed on weekends and the place to go for shots, particularly the distinctly Lebanese Dou-Dou shot. Jazz and ‘80s music play during the week and commercial hits blast on weekends. Whispers (71 594740, 03 448667) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Tues-Sun 7pm-3am. A cosy little Gemmayzeh hangout in a warm and friendly setting. This is the place to visit for a successful night of drinking and experimenting with shots. The extensive list of shots on offer is sure to impress you, including their specialty the ‘Whispers shot’. The small space houses two floors, comfortably fitting 35 people. The friendly bar staff often play music upon request of their visitors. The bar also plays sport matches and important events on their TV screen.

Bars with dinner 107 Victor Hugo (76 017107) Victor Hugo Str, Monot. Daily 8pm-late. 107 Victor Hugo, so called after its address, doesn’t need a catchy name to draw people in. Over three seating areas twisting round a striking central wine cabinet, whose racks resemble the endless windows of a sky scraper. The lighting, the design and the ambience of the space is genuinely stylish and cosy

London Bar (70 774902) Makdessi Str, Hamra. Daily 5pm-late. Happy hour 5pm-9pm. Whether you’re in it for the drink or the music, London Bar should be a good choice. Happy hour will take you on a three-hour happy double decker journey with 50% from 5pm-9pm. Cocktails and shots are very pocket friendly. Lust (70 145454, 03 792563) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 8pm-late. Swim in sin at this hot Gemmayzeh pub. Sample the wonderful cocktails while listening to DJ Tim’s mixes of the latest commercial and electro hits. Indulge in guilty pleasures at their weekly ‘90s night every Thursday.

Bobo (03 384156) Estral Bldg, Hamra Str, Hamra. Daily 5pm-2am. Claiming to be where bohemian meets bourgeois, this cosy resto-pub strikes the right balance. Offering breakfasts, salads and mezza, not to mention a cracking cocktail list. Resident DJs on Wednesdays and Thursdays, bands on Fridays and themed nights on Saturdays. Bobo is the first bar in Lebanon to launch the indoor antismoking policy. Bedivere Eatery & Tavern (01 748909, 03 902909) Makdessi Bldg, Jeanne D’arc Str, Hamra. Daily 11am-late. Named after one of King Arthur’s knights of the round table, this lovely bistro bar boasts a feel-good medieval vibe. Whether you want dinner, drinks or both, this is the right place to visit. Serving international cuisine, diners can choose from appetisers, pastas, sandwiches, main dishes and dessert. You’ll be impressed by the U-shaped bar along with everything else about the place. We suggest you try the steak on lava as a main dish and finish off with the fondant au chocolat for dessert. The Bronx (76 885888) Uruguay Str, Downtown. Daily 12noon-2am. The only restaurant bar with a New York twist in downtown Beirut. Their graffiti on the wooden tables and walls has an exceptionally urban feel to it. Dine on their signature dishes such as the Bronx burger or the Bronx sizzling fajitas and enjoy one of their themed nights featuring impressive live bands and DJs. Catch Tree Hoppers live on Sundays and band JLP on Tuesdays. Every other night, DJs Tim, Cesar and Mich will get your heart pumping with the best of RnB, commercial and rock. Their daily happy hour goes from 6pm-8pm. Clé (71 200712) Abdel Baki Bldg, Abdel Baki Str, Clemenceau. Daily 11am-3am. Meal for two with drinks LL75,000. Café by day, bar by night, the eater y ser ves European cuisine along with a selection of Japanese dishes. The fashionable interior houses three rooms with a colourful garden for outdoor seating. Free WiFi is also available.

Mad Water (03 049184, 71 219090) Makdessi Str, Hamra. Daily 5pm-late. This gem of a pub is a popular drinking hole located on Hamra’s lively main strip. The place comes to life every night with a slew of rock, alternative, blues and the like Though they don’t serve dinner, this place is worth a visit if you dig fab cocktails. We love the ‘Mad Fashion’ passion fruit cocktail. Happy hour: daily 5pm-8pm.

De Prague (01 744864, 03 575282) 166 Makdessi Str, Hamra. Daily 9am-2am. Its trendy art deco setting and imaginative menu is popular with the Hamra hipster crowd and AUB students. Transforms seamlessly from subdued daytime work space (with free WiFi) to dimly-lit bar in the evenings, with excellent music and a backdrop of classic films with the sound off.

Main Street (01 344343, 76 680674) Makdessi Str, Hamra. Daily 5pm-2am. Other branches: (71 090953) Uruguay Str, Downtown. This spacious, cosy, restaurant-bar is decked out like a train station café, with its chandeliers and wooden furniture (think Brief Encounter). Popular for their happy hours (daily 5pm-8pm), the venue attracts locals and tourists for their great selection of food and cocktails. Mantis (70 668307, 71 861126) Jabre Doumit Str, Hamra. Tue-Sun 7pm-late. A popular hangout commonly known as an alternative drinking den. This little pub is frequented by music enthusiasts and plays beats you aren’t likely to hear elsewhere. Mixes of punk, metal, dark wave and neo-classical hits just begin to cover it. The décor only adds to it with

while the menu is the sort of timeless French and international cuisine one doesn’t tire of.

The Caprice This lounge bar is a stylish and sophisticated place to kick off an evening. Both indoor and out are effortlessly chic so dress glamorously if you want to impress. (70 220223) Seaside Rd, Jal El Dib. Tues-Sun. 7pm-2am.

56 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

The District (01 747991, 76 807867) Makdessi Str, Hamra. Daily 7pm-late. If you prefer mingling with a more mature crowd then you can’t go wrong with a night out in this bubbly waterhole. Suitable for dinner, drinks and dancing, the night kicks off with a mix of chill out tunes before the thumping alternative, rock and RnB beats take over. The kitchen serves a fusion of international cuisine with a fancy cocktail bar for your rounds of pick-me-ups. Attracts a 24+ crowd. Kayan (01 563611, 03 899213) Lebanon Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 5pm-1am. Friendly and professional staff in a bar that is slick but welcoming. Kayan is known for its

Nightlife happy hour. Serves great gastro food and wholesome sandwiches. Quick tip: try their tiramisu shots. Divine.

Y Cocktail Bar (76 376764, 03 557346) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Tue-Sun 8pm-late. Don’t ask why, just head straight to the heart of Gemmayzeh where 15 exclusive cocktails await inside this tidy bar. Wed: Live bands. Thur: DJ Nour spins tech house. Fri-Sat: An amazing mix of oldies, new generation and house music with video clips.

Myu (03 334476) Mar Antonios Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 8pm-2am. Meal for two with drinks LL110,000. A trendy Gemmayzeh restaurant and bar, MYU features a range of classic Mediterranean food with a French twist. Devour your meal in front of a huge glass window overlooking the street or sample cocktails at the longest bar in Gemmayzeh.

Clubs B 018 (03 800018) Charles Malek Ave, Quarantina. Thur 9pm-7am; Fri-Sat 12mid7am. Famed Lebanese architect Bernard Khoury designed this internationally renowned, tomb-like club, bringing in big name minimal and electro DJs. At dawn the roof opens, just in case you thought of nipping off early. Thur: ‘80s night.

Q (03 807162) Ibrahim Abdel Aaal Str, Hamra. Daily 5pm-2am. Happy hour 6pm-9pm. Venture through the welcoming green-doors of this lively Hamra pub for an evening of good music and cocktails. With a brightly lit interior and laid-back jazz, blues and alternative hits, this is a wise choice for a night of socialising. Come by early to take advantage of their happy hour.

Caprice (70 220223) Jal El Dib Seaside Rd, Jal El Dib. Tues-Sun 7pm-2am. Meal for two with drinks LL90,000. This stylish lounge bar club is the place you’ve been seeking to get your evening started. Both indoor and outdoor space is effortlessly chic with contemporary designs so make sure you get glammed up. The space has been designed to let partygoers warm up before hitting the clubs. Serving fusion cuisine, you’ll find a mix between Asian tapas and light nibbles.

Schwarz (01 444304 , 03 635303) Torbey Bldg, Mar Mikhael Str , Mar Mikhael. Mon-Sat 8am-late. The kitchen of this suave pubrestaurant is open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner before it turns into a hotspot for night owls. The menu serves a modern take on international cuisine, including Mexican and French fare. With a selection of freshly baked goodies, early birds should try the ‘Schwarz breakfast’ formula. Step inside for sleek black décor, exquisite oil paintings and a bar that shimmers with 16 different colours. Tue: salsa night, Wed: karaoke, Thur: oldies night, Sun: jazz night. Vie (01 447766, 71 664477) Mar Mikhael Str, Mar Mikhael. Tue-Sat 8pm-late. This fine-dining restaurant-club has a smart interior with Korean style bar and mirrors. If you’re a cigar-smoker, take a pick from their display of fine cubans. Wed: karaoke, Sat: live entertainment from Arabic and French to Italian. Vyvyan’s (01 567040) Armenia Str, Mar Mikhael. Daily 10am-late. Contrasting the cement, bricks and rusted metal of a rundown atelier with elegantly designed parquet wooden fittings, this bohemian bar is polished up industrial chic at it’s best. They serve great Italian coffees (LL3,000) with croissants and jam or lebneh platters (LL10,000) for breakfast, including a selection of artisan sandwiches served for lunch and dinner. A different DJ each night sets a warm, laid-back ambience with tasteful shuffles of jazz, electro-funk and swing before the tempo (and volume) picks up around midnight. Zucca 01 998669) Uruguay Str, Downtown. Daily 12noon-2am. Meal for two with drinks LL120,000. A mixology bar and pizzeria located in the heart of the city. Their cocktails are made using fresh juices, herbs and purees. Open for lunch

Cassino A nightclub for the more worldly individual. It models itself on an old James Bond casino scene with every table a VIP table. To set the atmosphere, club owner Joe Ashkar sings live. (01 656777) Damascus Str, Achrafieh. Wed-Sun. 12pm-5am and dinner, you’ll also find generous seating indoors and outdoors making this an ideal meeting spot. Make sure you take advantage of their happy hour daily from 5pm-8pm.

Cocktail lounges 6th Avenue (76 002102) Uruguay Str, Downtown. Daily 4pm-3am. A New York style cocktail bar with classy décor and cosy seating. The venue houses two floors with wide-screen TVs screening sport matches and concerts. Music is a blend of soft rock and commercial beats. If you aren’t busy munching on one of the bar’s generous sandwiches or salads, be sure to tr y their ‘Moscow Mule’ cocktail made of vodka, lime and ginger beer. DJs ever y Wed-Sat. The Bar (01 761000) 2nd Floor, Four Seasons Hotel Beirut, 1418 Professor Wafic Sinno Ave, Minet El Hosn. Daily 5pm-2am. Inside the salubrious environs of a five star hotel, The Bar is known for its serious collection of blended Scotches and Cuban cigars. It features a menu of Asian Oriental inspired hors d’oeuvres including fabulous shawarmas. Hemingway’s Bar & Cigar Lounge (01 869666) Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Beirut, Général de Gaulle Ave, Raouché. Daily 24hours. This suave bar

is composed of three intimate areas - a cigar lounge, a bar and an open terrace. It attracts a mature, sophisticated crowd. Tr y to sample all three while listening to the pianist and enjoying the view of the Mediterranean. Daily; band from 9pm. Mr Boston Cocktail Bar (09 930907, 76 449912) Mina Street, Jounieh. This delightful little bar toes the line between chique and hole-in-the-wall really well, ser ving a mix of fusion and old fashioned cocktails as well as full meals for ever yone wishing to enjoy a pleasant night out.

Cassino (01 656777, 03 944955) Damascus Rd, Achrafieh. Wed-Sun 12mid-5am. An older aged nightclub furnished with soft couches and drenched in cream and gold. RnB and pop music play until 2am, when famous Lebanese singer Joe Achkar plays and sings Arabic music until closing. Life (70 666060) Quarantina. Fri-Sat 10pm-late. Partygoers of Beirut gather at this 600 sq m club for a memorable night. With impressive resident DJs spinning commercial music till the early hours of the morning and a lavish, sparkling party venue, you will find you have arrived at the ultimate party scene. Mad (03 060090) Seaside Rd, Nahr El Mot, Wed-Sat 10pm-dawn. Their motto is sanity is overated! This is one of Beirut’s top spots, clubbers dance beneath the LED-lit latice work on the ceiling, and coloured lasers span the room, turning the space incandescent. Skimply clad International club dancers perform on the bar throughout the night. Wed: YOLO nights with DJ Mikey Blaze playing RnB, Thu-Sat: commercial house music with resident DJ Jojo on Fridays and Saturday’s with DJad.

Dragonfly (01 561112) Gouraud Str, Gemmayzeh. Daily 6pm-2am. Happy hour 6pm- 8pm. A tiny cosy place, decorated with wooden furniture and large mirrors. The barmen dress like barbers and the DJ spins some real crowd pleasers with a bent towards jazz, funk and Latin music. Check out their perfectly made mojitos and ginger wine speciality.

Überhaus (76 363662) Leon Str, Hamra. Fri-Sat 9.30pm-4am. This underground club is the city’s latest alternative electro institution. With a strictly over 21 policy, Überhaus occupies the basement of Hamra’s WH Hotel with the finest local and international DJs pumping out alternative, electronic and house sounds. They also have an extravagant dance floor for you to get your groove on.

Uruguay Cocktail Bar (71 747488) Uruguay Str, Downtown. Daily 5pm-2am. Named after the popular street, this trendy cocktail bar is a suitable choice to catch up with friends over drinks. The bar boasts a bubbly ambience in a chilled out setting. Seating is comfortable, with chairs spilling onto the busy street. Sandwiches and snacks are also served along with beverages.

Yukunkun (03 229226) Lebanon Str, Achrafieh. WedThur 9pm-4am, Fri-Sun 9pm-5am. This alternative music hub is located in an underground venue. Their main focus is on electronic music, stemming from a range of different sounds and influences. They aim to serve as a platform, hosting international concerts, DJs and other major art performances.

For more reviews, listings and bookings go to 57


Revolver (76 858529) Argentine Str, Downtown. Daily 5pm-3am. Meal for two with drinks LL120,000. This bar is not exactly on Uruguay Street but on its parallel fellow South American friend, Argentine Street. The décor and menu is inspired by ‘60’s British pop culture – think collages of mod icons, exposed light bulbs and menu options such as ‘fields forever’. Order the ‘fab 24’, a yummy selection of 24 pieces of sushi makis. Sun: live acoustic performances by Gus Farah. Happy hour daily 5pm-8pm.

Love & Dating

Edited by James Haines-Young and Dan Hilton

Three alternatives to sex toys

Love & Dating

We all know that sex toys are illegal in our blushing nation, so what to use instead?

SNICKERS Better without the wrapper, rather than with it (serrated edges – ouch!), though it can get a bit warm and sticky. On the plus side, at least they come with nuts.

Pssst...Have you heard? A dating app that’s for Lebanese lovers

WASHING MACHINE Perfect for the desperate housewife, cosying up to one of these bad boys will cause a whole sexual revolution (geddit?!).

Are you sick of all the men in bars being rubbish? Sick of having a too-small-a-pool of girlies to crack onto? At TOB we love new ways to meet potential partners so we got excited about Psst, the new dating app from Lebanese developers FOO. Once you open up the app you unlock a whole new world of admiration where you can anonymously send your Facebook mates flirty messages and hope that they respond. If they also have the

LETTER MOUTHWASH It’s scientific fact that peppermint promotes blood flow for more intense sexual pleasure, and it fights plaque too! Leaves you feeling even fresher than when you started.

Q.My housemate caught me and my girlfriend having sex and tried to join in. Of course we refused, but now everything’s megaawkward and my girlfriend thinks I’ve been sleeping with her. Paul

58 For more reviews, listings and bookings go to

app and ‘like you’ back, then you’re ‘matched’ and the veil of secrecy falls away and love (or random hookups) blossoms. Sounds great. So we downloaded the thing and fired it up only to run straight into a massive floor. The pool of partners you’re instantly connected to are already your friends, which means that your options are suddenly very limited. Quite frankly if TOB was going to try and get jiggy with a mate we’d probably not do it through some A. George Hang on, you refused? Are you completely out of your tiny little mind? Look, you just passed up the opportunity of a lifetime, and I mean both for you and your girlfriend. Life’s too short baby, I say next time your housemate is in bed the two of you should ambush her and make up for lost time. Unless she’s rough as a bag of nails that is, then just steer well

complicated app. After some fiddling we did find a way to connect to other Facebook users who we didn’t already know, but only by randomly guessing names in the search bar, and even then they all seemed to be in South Korea or Poland. So it’s a nice idea but TOB thinks we’ll probably stick to Tinder – which if you haven’t tried is a bloody great dating app that uses Facebook but is totally not like Psst. TOB’s verdict: forget Psst, it’s rubbish, get on Tinder. clear and hopefully everything should just blow over (it won’t). For advice on sex and dating, email our sex columnists George and Gina at

Time Out Beirut- Feb 1-15 2014 No. 68: THE DATING ISSUE  

With #Valentine’s on the way we thought we would come up with some ideas to branch out of the normal ‘dinner and a movie’ dates and make a l...