Farewell Cafe Gemmayze…

I didn’t know you long, but I know you will be missed.

Cafe Gemmayze

Wish this one could've been saved..

Cafe Gemmayze


Cafe Gemmayze

Backgammon at Cafe Gemmayze.

Cafe Gemmayze

Live music.

Cafe Gemmayze

Final farewells.

Farewell Cafe Gemmayze.



Filed under life in Lebanon

10 responses to “Farewell Cafe Gemmayze…

  1. It’s a sad day when historic places like these can’t be saved and preserved.

    As u said…Ahwet el Ezez has been around for 90 years.

    Just for the sake of comparison, the Lebanese national anthem’s been around for 84 years…

    [The “Backgammon at Cafe Gemmayze” pic is just brilliant]

  2. I am so angered by this… farewell history, farewell to my favorite spot in the city.

  3. Sad… lotsa memories there. C la vie I guess.

  4. How sad… glad you were there for the last photos 🙂

  5. I had the privledge of having a cup of coffee at this historic local, the moment i entered thru the door felt transported to another time. I developed a strong admiration for the Lebanese for preserving such jewels, but now it’s closing.

    Does anyone know why? Is it going to be replaced by some flashy new store?

    If the arches on the walls, the floor tiles, if they could talk, what stories would they tell us?

  6. 90 years of Beirut history….gone. How sad!

  7. Oh well, nothing lasts forever…

  8. Joana

    One last thing about the event, the Cafe & what it represented (even though it has changed over the years):
    I’ll quote one of my friends who was also at the “Goodbye Cafe Gemmayze” event : “It clearly had alot of meaning for many, and also served to educate those who were not fully aware of the historical significance of the cafe
    (such as myself)”.
    I think the mobilization demonstrated the impact this place had on Beiruties throughout the years and how important it was in the life of the neighbourhood. Especially for the old neighbours who have been playing “tawleh”, cards, chit-chating while drinking turkish coffee in those tiny cups & smoking “arguileh” for ages now. Where are they gonna go to meet now? That is the truly sad part of all…
    But at least Cafe Gemmayze closed down with a bang contrary to Modca, Horseshoe, Cafe de Paris & other places that were part of Hamra’s identity and are now replaced by Vero Moda, Crepeaway etc.
    It is true what Alain Lb said above: “nothing lasts forever” but hopefully the spirit of the Ahwet el Ezez will and, as I’m an optimistic person sometimes living in the carebears world, the cafe will stay a location were Gemmayze neighbours can keep on meeting to hit that backgammon one more time! 🙂

  9. Lorena

    Really sad to see this place closing 😦 😦 And what for? Another bank? Do we REALLY need that? I honestly didn’t know they were doing that bad. Whenever I passed by it, it was always full.. sigh. Guess money won. As usual.

  10. KM

    It is so sad…I was there on the last day and it’s so disturbing to lose what has made Beirut so famous; its culture and heritage. We used to brag that we are not like UAE, KSA etc, but it seems we are far worse. At least hey never had inherited landmarks and cultural alleys, for them to get rid of. All they had was the desert before the 90’s.
    However in the same time, one has to be impartial and look at this situation which is a double edged sword. What to do with the land owner, who probably is not that well off and has nothing but this parcel of land to invest. He is potentially worth millions but realistically is broke!
    I believe that this is where the municipality and ministry of culture fall into play to resolve this conflict. The ministry of culture should tag the building as a cultural landmark, which can not be demolished. In the same time the municipality has to compensate the land owner by buying the land from him at the market rate, and as a result the property becomes owned & maintained by the municipality.
    This is the righteous and only solution. However it necessitates a missing element for it to work, can you guess what it is?!

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