Al Fala­manki spreads Mid­dle Eastern hos­pi­tal­ity

Au­then­tic Le­banese café con­cept Al Fala­manki has just opened its sec­ond branch in Beirut and third out­let re­gion­ally, fac­ing the iconic Pi­geon's Rock. Tony Ramy, CEO of Mood Vil­lage, the com­pany be­hind Al Fala­manki, con­tin­ues to make strides in his ag­gres

Hospitality News Middle East - - CONTENTS - al­fala­manki.com

Al Fala­manki opened its first branch in Sodeco, Le­banon, in 2008, tak­ing the form of a nos­tal­gic café that trans­ports vis­i­tors back to 1960s’ Beirut. The ven­ture was founded by a group of en­trepreneurs with a reper­toire of suc­cess­ful F&B and nightlife des­ti­na­tions: Na­jib Abu Hamza, Tony and Ted Ramy and Mario Jr. Had­dad. Back then, tra­di­tional shisha cafés were not branded nor had a spe­cific Le­banese menu. Thus, Al Fala­manki tapped into an op­por­tu­nity, giv­ing a Le­banese café a gen­uine iden­tity. A decade later, dozens of sim­i­lar con­cepts have popped up, in­spired by this novel idea.

Big heart, big lo­ca­tion

Named af­ter Khalil Al Fala­manki, a Le­banese wrestler-turned-body­guard, a sec­ond branch in Le­banon for the restau­rant was never on the founders’ agenda, un­til they came upon an ap­pro­pri­ate lo­ca­tion on Beirut’s shores. “Raouche (Pi­geon's Rock) is an iconic Le­banese land­mark and so is Al Fala­manki. It was the per­fect match,” Tony Ramy told HN. The new out­let stretches over 1600 square me­ters of space, split be­tween an in­door and an out­door area, and spread over three lev­els, with the ca­pac­ity to seat 750 peo­ple. With this new ad­di­tion, Al Fala­manki’s fam­ily has grown to 500 em­ploy­ees, in­clud­ing Sodeco and Dubai team mem­bers. In­vest­ment in the project is over USD 2.5 mil­lion, ex­clud­ing land and build­ing costs.

Spe­cialty food

Most items on the menu echo au­then­tic Le­banese fla­vors, namely 'fat­touch', 'fat­teh' va­ri­ety, fava 'hom­mos', the 'balila' and veg­gies found along­side the 'kafta' (minced meat) with 'tahini', served in clay dishes. In ad­di­tion, the new menu in­cludes a se­lec­tion of fin­ger foods and seafood ap­pe­tiz­ers to com­ple­ment the new lo­ca­tion.

Be­yond so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity

Prior to open­ing the new Raouche branch, Al Fala­manki or­ga­nized a cam­paign to clean up the sur­round­ing beach area. The clean-up drive is one of the com­pany’s key CSR ini­tia­tives, re­flect­ing its com­mit­ment to en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion and the pro­tec­tion of Beirut’s coast­line. Fur­ther­more, due to the restau­rant's strate­gic lo­ca­tion, the com­pany took it upon it­self to light up

the iconic Le­banese land­mark, Pi­geon's Rock. "It was a per­sonal ini­tia­tive, but an im­por­tant one, not only for our guests, vis­it­ing in the evening, but for the city in gen­eral," Ramy said.

Al Fala­manki abroad

Al Fala­manki has man­aged to ex­port Le­banese tra­di­tions to the re­gion through its suc­cess­ful out­let in Dubai. Opened in 2016, the stand­alone venue faces the Four Sea­sons Ho­tel on Jumeirah Beach Road. Span­ning a 2500 sqm site and ben­e­fit­ing from a large com­pany in­vest­ment of USD 6 mil­lion, the out­let has man­aged to turn heads in the UAE, gain­ing the sta­tus of a true land­mark. Dekkanet Al Fala­manki Dekkanet Al Fala­manki is a con­ve­nient, agro-re­tail boutique, of­fer­ing a wide va­ri­ety of pro­vi­sions from many of Le­banon’s vil­lages, rang­ing from pantry and dairy prod­ucts to veg­eta­bles, bread, pas­tries and sweets. The con­cept has also been ex­ported to Dubai, where the ru­ral-in­spired store sells some of the goods and pro­duce found on the restau­rant’s menu, to pro­vide peo­ple with a taste of Al Fala­manki to take home. These in­clude spices, olive oil, var­i­ous fla­vors of jam, pick­les, or­ganic soap and herbs, all of which pre­serve the spirit of au­then­tic Le­banese pro­duc­tion, in ad­di­tion to de­sign­ers’ home prod­ucts and kitchen wear.

Raouche

Sodeco Raouche Dubai

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