Casablanca to open new café on Front Street

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  • Front and centre: restaurateur Amre Elsayed, left, and executive chef Mohamed Wafik on Front Street outside what will soon become Casablanca, a sister to the restaurant with same name in Washington Lane

    Front and centre: restaurateur Amre Elsayed, left, and executive chef Mohamed Wafik on Front Street outside what will soon become Casablanca, a sister to the restaurant with same name in Washington Lane
    (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Business is so good for the owner of Casablanca in Hamilton, he is to open another outlet on Front Street.

Less than a year ago, Amre Elsayed opened Casablanca in Washington Lane specialising in Middle Eastern cuisine with a dash of style

The industry veteran has now taken over the former Juice ‘n’ Beans café on Front Street, which is to reopen as Casablanca next month.

Mr Elsayed said: “I took it over in January and I expect to be open in August.

“Business in Washington Lane has been good. To be honest and there’s nothing on Front Street for takeout on the ground level.

“There are restaurants, but nothing that’s casual with a reasonably moderate price.”

The café is to be decorated in a similar style to the existing restaurant — an eclectic mix of exposed old bricks and tiles and recycled wood.

Mr Elsayed said the new Casablanca, which is bigger than his current premises, meant that new items could be added to the menu.

“The variety is good. We’re going to introduce an international coffee section, including Thai, Indonesian, Japanese and Turkish coffee.

“It will be very casual, but very fun and we’re also going to have a noodle bar where people can create their own noodles. It’s Asian-style, but it depends on what you pick to put in them.”

The new Casablanca will also feature pastries and the popular buffet selection, which will be cooked in Washington Lane and transferred to the new restaurant.

Mr Elsayed said: “We can also open late hours as well and people can pick up their food on the way home by car or taxi. It’s going to be quick, fun and hip. It will be very easy, put it that way.”

The restaurant will feature tables and chairs, rather than the counter-style seating in Washington Lane, but there will be no waiter service.

Mr Elsayed said: “We will have pastries as well, which we can’t have in Washington Mall because of the space. We’re trying to make the new place simple, quick and take some pressure off Washington Lane, although we will be offering different things.”

Other features will include all-day bars for waffles, pancakes and omelettes, as well as loose tea, including a herbal selection, where the customer can brew the drink to their preferred strength.

Casablanca favourites to be included in the new restaurant include shawarma-cooked meats, fresh home-baked breads and fresh local fish.

Mr Elsayed, originally from Egypt, started his Bermuda career at the former Sonesta Beach Hotel in the 1980s and later started Front Street’s Café Cairo with businessman Frank Arnold, as well as doing a stint at the Grand Café in Hamilton before striking out on his own.

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Published Jul 21, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 20, 2017 at 11:40 pm)

Casablanca to open new café on Front Street

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