La Crêperie restaurant - Jounieh, Lebanon
Mention La Crêperie to any Beiruiti and they get all misty-eyed. ‘Ah, La Crêperie,’ they coo, as anecdotes of first kisses, drunken nights and romantic dates ensue. The restaurant that brought crêpes, French-style seafood and Mediterranean dishes to Lebanon in the 1960s, is etched into the memory of every well-heeled local who remembers when Jounieh Bay, above which it sits, was known as the Monte Carlo of the East. Against all odds, La Crêperie survived civil war and civic unrest, until 2012 when it finally closed its doors. Now, after a multi-million dollar renovation it has re-opened under the aegis of entrepreneur Chafic El Khazen, whose great grandfather bought the building as a family villa in the 1800s. It’s now a National Heritage site and many original architecture features have been restored, while lush gardens tumble down the hillside to a lower level bar, built into cellars. With space for 500 guests, a pizza oven, an open-air rotisserie and a crêpe station, La Crêperie will once more be the place for raucous weddings, special anniversaries and teenage misdemeanours.