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Casablanca still closed, long past opening day

Long after the anticipated return to service of a popular Washington Lane takeout restaurant, Casablanca remains shuttered, hit by an unforeseen staffing problem.

Three weeks ago, there was every attempt to bring the restaurant back online. There had been long delays, including a variety of supply chain issues.

But when the stars appeared to finally be aligned, expected restaurant staff gave last- minute notice they were pursuing other opportunities.

With no chefs to cook, it meant giving away food that otherwise would have gone to waste.

Amre Elsayed, the owner, admitted he has had to call on his inner strength to proceed.

“I can’t say how much I had to give away when this happened. Immediately, it was a minimum of $10,000 worth of food.

“Everything was ready for the opening and suddenly, no chefs. So, I’ve had to find other staff. It is all very costly.

“I had so many customers coming to see us and there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t open. It was heartbreaking. If I wasn’t a strong man, I don’t know what I would have done.

“It really hurt me tremendously, emotionally. It was one of the most difficult, embarrassing times of my life. I had to explain to customers and turn them away.”

There is no doubt that as Bermuda reopened from a crippling pandemic, many Bermudians sought, and in some cases confirmed, multiple employment opportunities.

There is some uncertainty what happened in this case, but it was the latest in a series of unfortunate events that has kept the outlet – well known for its Mediterranean and Asian specialities – unable to open.

For years, Bermudians and visitors have enjoyed lamb and chicken shawarmas, falafel, shish kebabs and other dishes in the various iterations of Casablanca.

Amre Elsayed: hopes to have Casablanca take-out restaurant open in three weeks (Photogaph supplied)

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Published August 08, 2022 at 7:55 am (Updated August 08, 2022 at 7:55 am)

Casablanca still closed, long past opening day

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