In May 2020, Andre Samra and his daughter Vanessa introduced themselves to West End locals with their pint-sized Lebanese cuisine dispensary, Shawarma King, which operated within the leafy surrounds of The Garden Pantry at West Village. The concept, which sought to give diners “a taste of Beirut”, was always intended to be a short-term thing, as plans were already in the works to evolve the brand into a bricks-and-mortar restaurant and bar featuring as part of West Village’s new retail and dining precinct. Well, that time came almost a year later when Beirut Bazaar opened on the ground floor of the Peters Ice Cream Factory, marking the first time the building has been permanently occupied since the late 1990s. The 75-seat restaurant (which will also boast a breezy alfresco area) is a go-to spot to savour traditional Middle Eastern cuisine, starting early with coffee and sweet treats and going until late with traditional Lebanese mezza, specialty cocktails and shawarma, which, for the uninitiated, is a dish of marinated lamb, beef or chicken served atop pita with parsley, tomato and legumes. Beirut Bazaar’s offering also features specialty dips and breads, traditional savoury pastries, and plenty of vegetarian and vegan-friendly options.