Mar Mikhael venue gives junk a sec­ond chance

Executive Magazine - - Hospitality & Tourism - By Na­bila Rah­hal

Whether it’s a plow­ing truck re-used as a makeshift bar stool, or a door frame reused as a ta­ble, most of the fur­ni­ture and ob­jects used in Junk­yard, Mario Had­dad Ju­nior’s hip bar-res­tau­rant in Mar Mikhael, are cre­ative recon­cep­tu­al­iza­tions of junk items de­vel­oped by lo­cal de­signer Rami el Khazen. The re­main­ing items, such as the cut­lery, nap­kins, place­mats and some fur­ni­ture were brought from restau­rants that have shut down.

The idea of up­cy­cling first came to Had­dad dur­ing the sum­mer of 2014 when he launched a pop up con­cept in the same spot which now houses Junk­yard. Not want­ing to in­vest too much fi­nan­cially into a con­cept that was only meant to be op­er­a­tional for a few months, Had­dad chose in­stead to re­use and up­cy­cle, fur­nish­ing the open air out­let with ta­bles and chairs from his old restau­rants which had closed down and re-us­ing com­mon house­hold and junk items in cre­ative ways for the decor.

The style re­ceived such pos­i­tive feed­back from cus­tomers that when Had­dad de­cided to make Junk­yard a per­ma­nent out­let, he stuck with the up­cy­cling con­cept. To­day, Junk­yard is housed in 14 ship­ping con­tain­ers opened up to cre­ate one space un­der a glass and iron dome. The con­cept of up­cy­cling be­came even more cre­ative with the in­stal­la­tion of the per­ma­nent struc­ture, and even events held at Junk­yard to­day, such as the re­cent ABBA and Bob Mar­ley nights, use up­cy­cled or reused items to dec­o­rate.

“One man’s trash is another man’s trea­sure,” quips Dana Alay­wan, the mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion man­ager at Hands On, the back of­fice man­age­ment ser­vices com­pany be­hind Junk­yard. She ex­plains that the re­use of items from restau­rants that

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