Weekly Leaks: What’s Behind that Pond?

Lebanon can’t be beaten for entertainment and nightlife venues. But every time you decide this, every time you say that Beirut couldn’t be more cutting-edge, you witness something new happening around town. Have you passed by the Samir Kassir pond in Downtown lately? If not BNL suggests you get going soon.

Why should you go? Let us tell you what we found. A new project is on its way. And we couldn’t resist getting some more information, even though right now it is under construction. So, staggering clumsily across the rubble, I caught up with the developers of the project, Venture Hospitality, who were very keen on showing us around their site.

And you can see why; walking around, you can envision what the future is shortly to bring. A small quartier of unique restaurants, where artists can sit outside drawing sketches of passers-by, where street florists vend their wares, where balloon-sellers wait at the corner to entertain children. And much more. It’s going to be small, it’s going to be pleasant, and it’s definitely going to be relaxing.

Not only that. The flooring is being changed by Solidere so that the facility can be completely pedestrian. That’s right: Beirut is changing and walking is becoming the way to get around – something that BNL wholeheartedly supports.

After all, how else are you going to come across projects such as these? How else are you going to see the city’s great architecture? How else are you going to discover Beirut? So Solidere’s initiative is more than welcome. The flooring currently at the project site “is not so high-heel friendly; ask me, I almost fell!”

In short, it’s exactly what Beirut needs.

But what exactly is it? Well, in less than a month, the project will be complete. Something very special is about to open. And we’re not just talking one outlet, but at least half a dozen restaurants and pubs will be opening.


There will be an Irish bar, a sushi place, a tapas restaurant, a burger joint, even a New-York style cuisine. There will be French food, Italian – you name it, it’s coming – and all by big name in the food and beverage business in Lebanon.

We’re feeling hungry already.

According to the developers – and it looks as though their prediction will come true – this new project, who’s name is still a secret, is going to be a hot spot this summer. The best part, though, is that all of the restaurants will be somehow combined into one with the outdoors. Yep: all of the windows can be opened to allow ease of movement between inside and outside. And the location, with its casual, easy-going atmosphere, is certain to attract artists, musicians, designers … in other words, the people who provide Beirut with its inescapable joie de vivre.