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The monumental Café Hamra catches your attention even when you're just drifting by: a paramount red hue fishes you into a regional museum of art, music and taste. A collection of rare posters and photographs from the pop culture familiar to the Beirutis of the 70's hang on a stream of cherry walls bounding the heterogeneous interior. The creators' heartfelt loyalty to the history of Hamra and its once bustling strip of cafés urged them to resurrect the culture of sidewalk cafés.
Like the residents, Café Hamra fuses the local with the international and the rural with the urban in the food it offers, the design elements and the mode of delivery. The menu is predominantly international with commercial favorites prepared to suit the local taste. Graffiti of Beirut's street scene is dispersed across the outlet. Interior elements of the Lebanese countryside are amalgamated with industrial material harmoniously crossing you over from section to section. What's become a local hangout from the moment it opened its doors suits everyone and anyone: fitted with leather couches for the coffee loungers, the striving students and the businesspeople. Dining tables are set up for the hungry patrons looking for a convenient variety and the biggest seated outdoor space in the area nestled in Café Hamra's backyard housing the narguileh puffers, backgammon lovers and those yearning for a true al fresco experience.
If you happened to be strolling down memory lane, make sure to make a stop at the new landmark: a destination that will be celebrated as the initiator of the backyard cafés movement in Hamra for generations to come.