Nearly four months after the devastating Beirut blast, the popular Gemmayze gem Le Chef is back in business.
Before the local restaurant was completely destroyed to the ground by the August 4th explosion, Le Chef was a beloved spot for Lebanese and expats alike, known for its homemade dishes, unfussy service, pared-down prices, and front-man Charbel who is famous for shouting “welcome!” at passersby.
Le Chef was extremely loved to the point where Hollywood star Russell Crowe surprised the owner of Le Chef’s restaurant by donating $5,000 to support his efforts to rebuild it.
Crowe said his generous donation came in memory of chef Anthony Bourdain, who had visited Le Chef on both of his visits to Beirut, describing it as “a legendary spot, famed for its simple, straightforward, home-style classics.”
“Le Chef is 53 years old,” Charbel Bassil told Middle East Eye. “We passed loads of problems after the civil war but this blast has been the worst and most horrible.”
Like most Lebanese, who were already struggling because of the country’s deteriorating economic crisis, Le Chef had to respond to the explosion by temporarily closing its doors.
However, today Le Chef is ready to welcome you back, and Russel Crowe is thrilled to hear that. “Made me laugh, made me happy. Great to see them back in business,” he tweeted.