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Some might call it a restaurant boom in the city of Syracuse.

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Some might call it a restaurant boom in the city of Syracuse. By the end of next month, the city will have nearly a dozen new restaurants on its dining roster.

Some opened their doors several months ago, while others are getting ready to greet diners in the coming week. 

The restaurant boom may surprise some after a lull in development in the city, prompted by the recession. People were unable to spend like they once did on eating out.

As the economy seems to be turning around, restaurateurs are responding. They believe downtown has the potential to be a great market for new eateries because of the number of people who work there, the number of students in the area, and the growing number of people who are moving to apartments in the heart of the city.

David Mankiewicz, the Executive Director for the Downtown Committee said, "Everywhere where housing is opening on the upper floors you have new businesses on the ground floor. They follow where people live." Mankiewicz says it’s a great trend for the city, considering the new housing built within the past few years. "Now the places are filling in with new restaurants and hopefully new retail."

The type of food served at each new restaurant varies from Asian to Mexican and all are owned and operated by people living in the area. 

The Downtown Committee is savoring this trend and sees it as good news for the local economy.

The following information is from the Downtown Committee's website. 

Byblos Mediterranean Café (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)

• 223 N. Clinton St.
• Phone: 478-3333
• Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 7 pm, occasional Saturdays for special events (call ahead)
• Website:
• Opened: April 26, 2010

Owner Fady Khabbaz is proud of his Lebanese roots, and he emphasizes that Byblos is the first and only genuine Lebanese restaurant in Syracuse. His parents, Violette and Philip Khabbaz, take charge in the kitchen with home-country recipes, assuring that the cooking methods, spice blends, and tastes are authentic. Khabbaz emphasizes the distinctive difference in his fare from other Middle Eastern food available locally. "Our customers can tell that the ingredients are fresh, homemade and authentic." Popular among the made-to-order menu items are the Beef, Chicken, and Kafta Kabobs; Falafels; Baba Ghanuj (eggplant dip); Grape Leaves, and Tabbouleh Salad. To finish off the meal, Byblo's offers Baklava and fine Turkish Coffee. One diner's accolade, "You have a five-star eatery at a one-star price." Khabbaz purchased the building at 223 N. Clinton Street nearly two years ago, then began drafting his business plan for the restaurant and the renovations to the apartment on second floor. A New York State Main Street Grant though the Downtown Committee supported the project. He admits it has been hard but rewarding work. "We knew what we wanted to do and we knew we had a good product. The response has exceeded our expectations."

Italians call it dining “al fresco” — out in the open, under sunlight or starlight, in the fresh air.

Gary Walts / The Post-StandardThe Edgewater Grill, 2 Oswego St., Baldwinsville, NY. 

Italians call it dining “al fresco” — out in the open, under sunlight or starlight, in the fresh air.

 In Central New York, it’s something we have to wait for. But when that warmer weather finally hits, you can count on folks grabbing every available outside seat.

   Here’s a look at some of the outdoor dining opportunities around Central New York — and you’ll notice being near the water helps, but isn’t essential:

  1) Borio’s Restaurant, 8891 McDonnells Parkway, Cicero: An outstanding view of Oneida Lake rewards those who sit outside — but if you have to, the views are pretty good 
  through the dining room windows, too. Seafood, prime rib, etc., plus live bands on the patio.

  2) The Cascade Grill, 2846 Route 38, Moravia. Billed as Owasco Lake’s only waterfront restaurant, the Cascade has three decks open during the season, overlooking the lake’s
      southwest corner. There’s also dock space for boats. Casual dining, with steaks, seafood and local produce.

  3) 1820 House, 1715 E. Lake Road, Borodino. The deck offers a truly stunning view of Skaneateles Lake. Specials include Lobster Bisque, Veal & Lobster Picatta, and Scallops 

  4) The Retreat, 302 Vine St., Liverpool. When the weather turns warm, the outdoor patio with its own tiki-flavored back bar starts rocking. The lines are long, but the party is 
  happening. And the menu has a little of everything.

  5) The Brewster Inn, 6 Ledyard Ave. (Route 20), Cazenovia. The outdoor patio leads to the lawn, which leads down to Cazenovia Lake. Enjoy the fine dining and the extensive wine
  list — one of Central New York’s best.

  6) Byblos Restaurant, 233 N. Clinton St., Syracuse. A new Lebanese eatery near Clinton Square, with 24 seats outside during good weather. Or just take your food to go and head
  to  the square.

  7) Rudy’s Lakeside, 78 County Route 89, Oswego. There are lakes and then there are lakes, and Rudy’s offers tables alongside Central New York’s greatest: Lake Ontario. Enjoy the fish fry and the special Texas Hot Sauce.

  8) Alliance Bank Stadium: What says summer more than a hot dog at the old ballpark? Nothing.

  9) Armory Square: From the porches at PJ’s Pub & Grill and Empire Brewing Co. overlooking Walton Street; to the street-level seating outside The Blue Tusk and Clark’s Ale
   House; to the charming brick-lined courtyard at Pastabilities, there are plenty of fresh air options in Syracuse’s hottest nightlife district.
  10) Baldwinsville: A river runs through it (the Seneca River), and that provides the attraction for outdoor seating at the Edgewater Grill and the Lock 24 Restaurant. Then there’s  
  Mohegan Manor, which has a large porch out back, overlooking a garden with a fountain. 

Food & Drink Editor Don Cazentre can be reached at 470-2297 or by e-mail at Find Food & Drink updates at

What's In Store: Lebanese restaurant now open

Last Update: 4/30 6:23 pm What's In Store 4-30-10
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Downtown Syracuse's first Lebanese Restaurant, Byblos, is now open just north of Clinton Square. 
Owner Fady Khabbaz says the first few days of the new venture have been busy. Byblos is open for breakfast, lunch, and a dinner, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. 
The name Byblos comes from an ancient port city in Lebanon. 
Want to know what's in store in your neighborhood? Call us at (315) 446-9900, or e-mail us at 

Lebanese cuisine finds a home in downtown Syracuse

Lebanese cuisine finds a home in downtown Syracuse

By Don 
Cazentre / The Post-Standard

April 28, 2010, 10:25AM

Syracuse getting 1st Lebanese cafe

Syracuse getting 1st Lebanese cafe 

February 5, 5:44 PM Upstate NY Restaurant Examiner Bill Dowd

SYRACUSE, NY -- Not many people outside of history professors or members of the Lebanese community can identify Byblos.

However, Byblos is one of the more popular names for restaurants serving Lebanese cuisine. That's a style not seen here right now, but that soon will be remedied.

Byblos Mediterranean Café soon will open at 223 North Clinton Street in downtown. It will be the city's first Lebanese restaurant. Dine in, take out, and catering services are planned. 

Not up to speed on Lebanese cuisine? Read about it here.

Oh, and the name Byblos? It was the name of an ancient Phoenician city in what now is Lebanon. The modern name of the Mediterranean port city is Jbell, although it also has been known as Gubla, Gebel and Gibelet over the centuries.