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Hassouni

Gemmayze Cafe

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Note, there are a LOT of pics and videos I have of this place, for more please see this post: [url="http://www.hookahforum.com/topic/39931-lebanon-trip/page__view__findpost__p__486917"][color="#000000"]Leb trip report, Day 2, Venue 2[/color][/url]
[size="2"] [/size]Atmosphere: 5 out of 5. No make that 6 or 7 out of 5. This is as old school as it gets in Beirut. G[/font][/size][/size][/font][size="2"][font="Arial"]emmayze Cafe, on Rue Gouraud in Gemmayze, just next to Downtown, is in the style of old cafes in Syria and Lebanon decades ago - a huge space with lots of tables, a bar, nargile, and live music. These sort of places are apparently still around in Damascus but hard to find in Lebanon. Lots of people drinking and dancing to the music, things get kind of nuts here, in a VERY entertaining way[/font][/size]
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Hookah: 4 out of 5. Smoked fine, still better than what I can get in the US or most places in London, but not as good as the 2 or 3 best places in Beirut. Selection, as far as I could tell, was Ajami, Nakha, and Mu'assal - of which you could get DA or Grape. I chose grape. Still, the atmosphere is made this one of my favorite nights in Beirut.

Service: Fine, not much to speak of. Once again, a competent nargile attendant who was reasonably prompt.

Food: N/A - Didn't eat here though they have a full menu. They have a full bar though, that's nice.

Price: 4 out of 5. I can't remember, but I think mu'assal was 12,000? 13,000? Not bad, but not the cheapest. Beer was 8000 I think.

Overall recommendation: GO GO GO GO GO GO! This place is AWESOME! Look at these pics:[/font][/size]
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[font="Arial"][size="3"][size="2"]Drunk flamboyant guy dancing ALL OVER THE PLACE:[/size][/size][/font]
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[font="tahoma, arial, verdana, sans-serif"][size="2"][size="2"][font="Arial"]People spontaneously breaking out into dabke (Levantine circle/line dance):[/font][/size][/size][/font]
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[font="tahoma, arial, verdana, sans-serif"][size="2"][size="2"][font="Arial"]Drunk guys raising their friend wearing a tarboosh (fez) up on their shoulders for no apparent reason...[/font][/size][/size][/font]
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[font="tahoma, arial, verdana, sans-serif"][size="2"][size="2"][font="Arial"]Note: This place is not the most obvious place from the street. It's name is officially Gemmayze Cafe, but I THINK the name is only written in Arabic - it may be in English too, but not sure. Either way the sign is hard to see. [/font][/size][/size][/font]
[font="tahoma, arial, verdana, sans-serif"][size="2"][size="2"][font="Arial"]Here's the Arabic for it : [size="5"]مقهى جميزة[/size][/font][/size][/size][/font]
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[font="tahoma, arial, verdana, sans-serif"][size="2"][size="2"][font="Arial"]Compounding the problem is that locals call it the Glass Cafe, Ahwet al-Izzez in Arabic. This however, is a clue to finding it. If walking on Rue Gouraud in Gemmayze from Downtown, its on the left side after you pass the church on the right, and is a biiig space with huge windows on the entire front, hence the name Glass Cafe. You can see right in and see a huge open space filled with tables and people and argilehs. [/font][/size][/size][/font]

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GRR. I'm so angry and sad about this. Gemmayze Cafe is NOW CLOSED, because, in a pattern typical across Beirut, greedy landlords raised rents and would not make an exception for this BEIRUT INSTITUTION, IN PLACE SINCE 1920. I am bitterly upset about this, it was a unique place and cannot be repeated anywhere. The owners have said they will relocated to Antelias, which is a coastal suburb of Beirut, where apparently a lot of bars are flocking to, as the Gemmayze establishments are getting complaints from crotchety residents. FUCK THEM and FUCK THE LANDLORDS.

[img]http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/182859_605317981121_37003198_34837052_2516152_n.jpg[/img]

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