for a city its size, it boasts a disproportionately large number of happening places, and new establishments open almost every week. but then again it's beirut, a city where enjoying life to the fullest seems to be everyone's priority in life, and we can't blame them. although notable spots are evenly spread across the lebanese capital's inner city, gemmayze has evolved into an entertainment district with a lot of bars and restaurants lining its main thoroughfares. the appeal of the neighbourhood, which had a strictly residential character not so very long ago, has been huge and now a transformation looms for the adjacent mar mikhael area. already home to some noteworthy shops and restaurants, it has welcomed a rather stylish new place of worship for foodies.
épicery is a restaurant + bar, set up by olivier gasnier duparc and youssef harati, the owners of the behind the green door club where some of the city's most notoriously fun parties are held. épicery is housed in a non-descript mid-century building but boasts an inviting atmosphere that makes it suitable for any mood or time of the day. an elongated bar with a marble top stretches to the far end of the establishment and a variety of seating arrangements line the walls both left and right. the entire setting is dipped in a crisp white hue, and on one side walls are covered in grids of intricately crafted pegs. some hold mini display planks but the majority has been capped by resin, resulting in an artsy visual effect.
special attention has been given to the light fixtures, and épicery features a blend of fluorescent tubes, either wall-mounted or in floor lamps, and ornately designed chandeliers by maison tarazi. épicery is conceptualized as an accessible, funky place where you hang out with friends, sipping spice-inspired cocktails and enjoy and share its comfort food. the menu has an international focus, featuring classic dishes that have gained such a status for a good reason. location: rue du patriarch arida [mar mikhael].