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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.

Syracuse Downtown Committee grants developer $30,000

By Charley Hannagan / The Post-Standard 
November 05, 2009, 2:58PM

Syracuse, NY--The Downtown Committee of Syracuse Inc. has provided an entrepreneur with a $30,000 grant to renovate a Clinton Street building into a studio apartment and Middle Eastern restaurant.

Fady Khabbaz, 32, of Armory Square, today said the renovation of 223 N. Clinton St. is the first of what he hopes will be several developments. Khabbaz would not say how much the project cost.

Khabbaz hired Ben Coir, of Darrell Coir Floors Inc. to restore the building’s brick facade, install new windows, a roof, and completely renovated a former storage space upstairs into a studio apartment. The apartment is listed at $2,200 a month, he said.

Coir also renovated the first floor restaurant space by adding hardwood floors, ceiling lights, a new bathroom, ventilation system and kitchen equipment.

The restaurant called Byblos will be run by his mother Violette Khabbaz, who formerly had a Middle Eastern restaurant in North Syracuse and now runs a catering business on the side.

Khabbaz received his master’s in business administration from Syracuse University’s Whitman School and formerly sold advertising for The Post-Standard. He said he’s always been attracted to Syracuse’s buildings.

“I’ve always liked Syracuse for the buildings and the people,” he said.

Khabbaz said he and his brother Waleed Khabbaz are actively looking at other buildings in the downtown to renovate.

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