9 kings of nightlife

9 kings of nightlife

In Beirut, trends come and go on the club and bar scene in the same amount of time it takes to shake a cocktail. Properties need to be refreshed, neighborhoods are hot – and then not – and then there are the trends in people’s tastes, like whisky versus rum. Not many moguls are able to ride the waves smoothly enough to stay in business. We catch up with nine heavyweights who have dominated the scene and are here to stay

Jad Abou Jaoude
Managing Partner
Addmind Group

Number of years in the role

A leading restaurateur, a proponent of lifestyle and an avid entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience. Graduated from the Swiss Hotel Institute of Montreux in Hospitality Management

First job in the hospitality industry
Manager of Bamboo Bay Jiyeh – Lebanon

Names of venues owned and managed
• Bar Du Port – Lebanon
• Brut-Riyadh-KSA
• Caprice Ltd. – Lebanon
• Clap – Lebanon, Dubai
• Drais’- Dubai-UAE
• Indie – Dubai-UAE
• Iris-Bahrain, Lebanon, Qatar, Abu Dhabi UAE, Dubai-UAE
• Iris Cafe Jeddah And Riyadh-KSA
• Iris Beach Club-Lebanon
• La Mezcaleria-Lebanon, Dubai-UAE
• La Plage-Lebanon
• Mad – Abu Dhabi – UAE
• Madame Bleu – Lebanon
• Matto-Lebanon, Dubai – UAE
• Paradise Beach – Dubai-UAE
• Pompette- Lebanon
• White Beach-Dubai-UAE
• Zuruni-Lebanon

International rankings
WHITE Dubai: Voted World’s 16th Club, on DJ MAG Top 100 Clubs and earned a Top 16 spot in the world, up four places from last year’s number 20.

Mark Chehade

Number of years in the role

Marc Chehade entered the Lebanese F&B industry in 2000, when still fairly young and studying for a civil engineering degree at LAU. At this time, the outlets that were attracting the crowds were few and far between. Being a nightlife enthusiast himself, he decided to set up a company called Managing and Engineering F&B Concepts (MEC) and, as CEO, opened the first bar in Monot Street, named Rounders, that same year.

First job in the hospitality industry
Owner of Rounders Pub – Lebanon

Names of venues owned and managed
• Escobar – Lebanon
• Lock Stock – Lebanon
• Stairway – Lebanon
• Kaffeine – Lebanon

Charif Doumit
CEO / Owner
Doustar s.a.l. and Doupont s.a.l.

Number of years in the role
More than 20

Charif Doumit, is the owner and CEO of Al Mandaloun Group, a family institution that has been a powerhouse in the restaurant and entertainment sector since 1974. Doumit has been the driving force behind all of Al Mandaloun outlets. Born and raised in Lebanon, he holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from ALBA (Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts). His academic background in design, combined with his passion for food, music and hospitality, enabled him to rethink and shake up the rules of nightlife entertainment by launching the groundbreaking Mandaloun Night Club, and from there he boldly moved on to establish all of the other breakthrough Al Mandaloun concepts.

First job in the hospitality industry
CEO and Owner of al Mandaloun Night Club

Names of venues owned and managed
• Al Mandaloun Night Club – Lebanon
• Al Mandaloun Café – Lebanon
• Al Mandaloun Pâtisserie – Lebanon
• Al Mandaloun Grill – Lebanon
• Al Mandaloun Sur Mer – Lebanon
• Kahwet al Mandaloun – Lebanon
• Al Mandaloun Beach Club – Lebanon
• Al Mandaloun – Lebanon
• Le Beach – Lebanon
• Al Mandaloun Waterfront – Lebanon
• Le Trottoir de Paloma – Lebanon

Chafic el Khazen 
Sky Management Holding

Number of years in the role

Chafic el Khazen studied economics and political science in the US and moved back to Lebanon to work in the family business. However, it was a very corporate job that did not fit his personality, since he is extremely energetic and always on the go. So, he decided to team up with some friends and opened the first SKYBAR afte noticing that Lebanon had no rooftop concepts. It was a small format then, with a loungy feel that catered around 400 clients. Following its success, he felt confident he could could take the brand to a larger scale venue. He moved SKYBAR to a bigger location capable of accommodating 2,000 guests and transformed it into a club. The rest is history.

Names of venues owned and managed
• SKYBAR Beirut – Lebanon
• O1NE Beirut – Lebanon
• SAX Beirut – Lebanon
• La Crêperie – Lebanon
• SKY2.0 Dubai – UAE

International rankings
SKYBAR was often featured as one of the best clubs in the worlds in prestigious publications such as Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue, GQ, Harper’s Bazar, DJ Mag, Time, Forbes and in broadcasts on: CNN, TF1, M6, BBC etc.

Michel Elefteriades
Founder and Co-owner
La Macumba SARL – Elefteriades Productions

Number of years in the role

The Beirut-born Greek-Lebanese music mogul, artist, producer, public figure and businessman is a modern day version of a Renaissance man. He is notorious around the Arab World and beyond for his eclectic style and creations, songs, music videos, documentaries, books, musicals and plays, paintings, sculptures, the Mediterraneo Byblos Int’l Festival and touristic projects in six countries. He studied Fine Arts and Advertising in Nantes, France and holds a Master’s degree in Graphic Design and Communication Arts from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts-ALBA.

First job in the hospitality industry
Founder and Co-owner of the club Amor Y Libertad

Names of venues owned and managed
• Amor Y Libertad – Lebanon
• MusicHall – Lebanon
• MusicHall Dubai, UAE
• MusicHall Jeddah, KSA
• B By Elefteriades – Lebanon
• Elefteriades Park – Lebanon

RELATED CONTENT  Time out with the man behind MusicHall Beirut 

International ranking

• MusicHall Beirut: Winner of the “Best    live music venue” of the Time Out    Beirut Nightlife awards 2012
• MusicHall Dubai: Winner of the “Best    live music venue” of the Time Out    Dubai Nightlife awards 2016
• B By Elefteriades: Nomination for    the “Mediterranean Cuisine    Award” of the 2020 World Luxury    Restaurants Awards number 20 &    top ranked on restaurants review sites

Rabih Fakherddine
7 Management

Number of years in the role

A strong example of young entrepreneurship on the rise, his visionary approach and careful study of the F&B market in Lebanon and the MENA region helped him to operate more than 10 current existing top brands within the entertainment industry. The company is now present in Lebanon, UAE and Syria. Within the pipeline of projects exists an expansion plan into Egypt, KSA, UK and Greece, not only through existing successful brands, but also by introducing new concepts into the market.

First job in the hospitality industry
Horeca manager for the Levant region at British American Tobacco

Names of venues owned and managed
• Seven Sisters Dubai, UAE
• Antika Bar Beirut, Dubai & Syria
• Feb30 – Lebanon
• Raii Club – Lebanon
• Kahwet Beirut – Lebanon
• Latifa Bar – Lebanon
• Super Snack EL Kbeer – Lebanon
• Soon, we will be introducing Antika Bar Doha, Cairo, KSA, Amman, Greece & two new concepts, Bait, Studio 30 & Nox

International ranking
• Best Rooftop Bar in Dubai 2019 by Fact.
• Dining Awards Dubai & Best Concept Creation Award for Seven Sisters and Feb30 Beirut

Selim Ghanem
Standalone Management Group

Number of years in the role

With 20 years of experience in the F&B industry, operating leading nightlife venues in Lebanon and the UAE, Selim Ghanem had one vision and one goal – to build an iconic venue with an unorthodox design that would rise from his hometown and expand globally. His journey began part time during university days and evolved to become full time after his graduation with a Masters in finance. He never ceased to exercise hands-on operations, perfecting the details. “It is an innate drive… I cannot rest until I ensure that there are no compromises in the operation, and this has been picked up by my team; it’s contagious,” he says.

First job in the hospitality industry

Names of venues owned
• ARTS Beirut – Lebanon
• SPINE Beirut – Lebanon

International ranking
SPINE Beirut: Winner of the Best Overall Bar design in the world for the 2019 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, a globally recognized competition dedicated to the design of food and beverage spaces.

CEO & Founder / Resident DJ
Factory People

Number of years in the role

Hailing from Beirut, Jade quit his engineering job in 2003 to focus on his band Blend, then got into DJing and opened the legendary club/ concert venue The Basement in 2005, where he started inviting renowned international artists to regularly  perform and host workshops. After joining Clique Bookings agency in Berlin, he became one of the Middle East’s most active and most exported DJs. Today, he runs two of Beirut’s most successful clubs, The Grand Factory & AHM; each with specially designed and curated events catering to different genres, from house to techno, disco to pop and oriental to afro. In addition to his entrepreneurship and music career, Jade is at the helm of a portfolio of companies such as Clap Clap, a creative studio that is at the heart of Factory People, The Lick Record Store, Dark Matter tattoo parlor, and Riverside Studios in Berlin. As a producer, he was first known for blending oriental with cutting edge electronic music.

First job in the hospitality industry
Resident DJ at Babylon

Names of venues owned and managed
• The Basement – Lebanon
• The Grand Factory / Reunion / Soul    Kitchen – Lebanon
• AHM / Soul Kitchen Terrace –    Lebanon
• Warehouse – D-Beirut – Lebanon
• ANYA – Lebanon International rankings DJ Mag top 100 Clubs 2019

Khaled Nazha
Managing Partner
Blue Note Café

Number of years in the role

Khaled Nazha has been serving as VP of the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafés, Night-Clubs & Pastries in Lebanon since 1999 and has been a key player and activist in the development of the sector. Among many other establishments, he founded the Blue Note Café, which has since hosted 100 Int’l jazz artists and was a booster for countless local talents. He is also a developer and operator of numerous leading F&B outlets locally and internationally, such as Dany’s, Main St and Locale. He has been a board member of the Ministry of Tourism’s Advisory Board since 2004 and the National Recruitment Agency since 2005. He represents Lebanon as the chairman of the International Relations Committee and is a board member of the Mediterranean Restaurants’ Federation.

First job in the hospitality industry
MD at the Blue Note Café

Names of venues owned and managed
• Blue Note – Lebanon
• Dany’s – Lebanon
• Main St.- Lebanon
• Locale – Lebanon

Location of the venues
Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Greece

International ranking
The Best of the Middle East, Guardian ;
Perfect 100, Newsweek

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