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Reported on:
Mon, 2021-03-08 18:00
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Summer Hopes in Ashrafieh

Summer 2013 has arrived, and the shops and coffee shops of the neighborhood still hope that the area will soon be bustling with tourists and booming businesses... However, businesses are complaining of slow days, due to the current political climate, as well as lack of tourists coming to Lebanon.

“Last month was our best period,” says Cynthia Jarjoura, Store Manager of the Sassine Square location of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. “Three weeks ago, business has decreased, probably because of the political situation. People prefer to spend money on basic needs instead of luxury items such as tea and coffee outside. They’d rather just make it at home.”

Nawaf Shami, Manager of Chiekha’s Sassine Square location, was more optimistic. They have been receiving good business however mostly by delivery and takeout. Shami blames the smoking ban, which came into effect on September 2012, to be the culprit of slow business, as well as the new malls, such as City Centre in Hazmieh. “They have been stealing the spotlight from the neighborhoods,” he said.

While some businesses such as Chiekha, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Blossom are moving to Achrafieh because they still believe it is a big business center, other establishments such as Semsom, Whataburger and Costa have closed their doors due to the mounting pressures of staying afloat and have relocated to other areas around Beirut. Semson just opened up in Monot, Costa remains open in Hamra and other locations.

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