Cafe Byblos Mediterranean Grill, at 400 Corona Street, has been a neighborhood staple since 2013, but recently it’s gotten a new lease on life. New owners, a completely new menu and a bit of a remodel have given the Greek/Lebanese cafe a cool new vibe.
Cousins Yousef (Joe) and Justin Khraim are originally from Israel, but had been living in Baton Rouge for the past five years. They grew up cooking together at family gatherings and moved to the U.S. ten years ago in search of new opportunities. After bouncing around the East Coast for a bit, they grew tired of managing other people’s restaurants and decided to make the leap to running their own spot. There was too much competition in Louisiana, and when a space became available in Denver, they found that the neighborhood surrounding it lacked good Mediterranean options. They fell in love with the city after just 24 hours, so they moved here and purchased the restaurant.
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The new Cafe Byblos has been open for about a month and features Greek and Lebanese favorites like gyros, feta and fatoush salads, moussaka, kabobs, and chicken shawarma. It’s a casual spot with a focus on family and quality food, according to the cousins. They’re still tweaking the menu, as they’ve found it difficult to find good distributors here, but the chicken, which comes from Red Bird Farms, is a bestseller. The shawarma is marinated and cooked on a vertical grill for about fifteen minutes to get that perfect crispiness. The Khraims add that they're starting to pick up steam and are getting busier every week.
Cafe Byblos is open for lunch and dinner daily, but closes between 2:30 and 4:15 p.m. on weekday afternoons.