34m - After she got married and started cooking for her family, Mireille Hayek...
One of the best bars in the world? We would believe that any day!
Centrale is one of those Beirut bars frequented by locals and tourists alike. One of those bars that has managed to retain its soul through increasing commercial appeal. Set in a historical residence from the 1920’s, the restaurant and bar seems to have held-on to its ancestral atmosphere: cross the lush garden into the restaurant and enter La Belle Epoque.
The two-storey building is an architectural beauty. The elegant ground-floor restaurant serves delicious French cuisine, with seasonable dishes and a fittingly varying menu guaranteed to keep you on your toes. The elevator ride to the first-floor bar is one of the fun-albeit brief-highlights of the Centrale experience. Complete with the place’s signature leather banquettes, the journey only serves to heighten the anticipation of arrival.
The bar itself is another design wonder. With its retractable roof, glittering views of Beirut skyline and water and long dark tunnel bar, the place feels like a glamorous escape from the outside world. The music is a soothing mix of jazz and RnB which turns more clubby in later hours. The drinks and cocktails are some of the best in town. Though the bar can get crowded and occasionally quite smoky, the atmosphere alone is worth a visit. We are not surprised Centrale made it to the world’s best bars list.