According to a source, Al Yasra are in talks to try and bring Pret a Manger to Kuwait. Pret is already available in the UAE and so it would make sense to expand around the region. I always used to wonder where one would open a Pret in Kuwait since it works well in an area with some foot traffic that isn’t a mall. Now With all the coffee shops in the city creating a bit of foot traffic, that might actually be a great location for a Pret especially since its surrounded by office buildings as well.
Lindsay Lohan is currently in Kuwait filming as a guest on the Swar Shuaib talkshow which will be airing its first episode of the new season in February. Lindsay Lohan along with Tara Reid are at the top of my “Celebrities I’d like to get plastered with” list so I’m kinda having a bit of FOMO here. Check out Shuaib’s instagram story on @sh3aib for behind the scene shots of his new season.
Super busty Lebanese/Australian model Lexy Stevens was in Kuwait this past weekend for the opening of a new restaurant called OVO Bar (not thatOVO). I had never heard of her before but was flipping through her instagram account and two things came into my mind:
2) Kuwait is becoming more and more liberal
Back in August I posted about a rumor that porn star Mia Khalifa was in Kuwait and now I’m starting to think there probably was some truth to that. Anyway you can check out some photos (and a video) of Lexy Stevens in Kuwait on her instagram account [Here]
PS: The picture above is the most conservative I could find.
Thomas Keller is a popular American chef who currently hold 7 Michelin stars (3 at Per Se, 3 at The French Laundry, and 1 at Bouchon). Alshya are bringing his casual dining French-inspired Bouchon Bistro to Kuwait and they’ll be opening the restaurant at Avenues in place of where the Cavalli Caffè used to be located. I don’t have an idea on when they’re opening but the last time I passed by the Cavalli location it didn’t look like any work had started.
Update: I was just informed they’re sadly bringing Bouchon Bakery and NOT Bouchon Bistro. This sucks since I was actually pretty excited about the bistro. We don’t need more Macarons!
The new Four Seasons Hotel is expected to open up in Kuwait early next year and one of the most anticipated things about the hotel is their fine dining options. Below is a list of all the restaurants that I’ve been told will be part of the new Four Seasons in Kuwait:
Sintoho – A Pan-Asian restaurant
Dai Forni – An Italian restaurant
Elements – A buffet restaurant
Al Bandar – Poolside lounge/restaurant
Al Sour – Lobby Lounge
I tried to find renderings of the two main restaurants Sintoho and Dai Forni but wasn’t able to. If by any chance someone has copies or finds any, then please share them.
According to a reliable source of mine, the opening date for the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre has been officially set as October 31st. I didn’t receive any other details but I would assume a performance will be taking place there to correspond with the opening. More details when I get them. In case you missed the post on my visit to the Cultural Center you can check that out [Here]
According to an email I received, last week Al Sayer signed a deal to bring the fast food franchise Chick-fil-A to Kuwait (and I’m guessing the region). Al Sayer recently brought Five Guys to Kuwait so I wouldn’t be too surprised if this information turned out to be true. A chicken franchise seems to go hand in hand with a burger one, Americana have Hardees and KFC, Alshaya have Shake Shack and Cane’s Chicken, and Al Sayer will end up with Five Guys and Chick-fil-A. I’ve gotten in touch with my contact at Al Sayer to confirm this information but haven’t heard back from him yet.
Back in 2012 there were rumors Alshaya were in talks to bring Chick-fil-A to the region but the deal fell through. Supposedly one of the terms they couldn’t agree on was the fact that Chick-fil-A wanted to close on Sundays (they’re a very Christian company). Alshaya was trying to convince them to change that rule for the region but Chick-fil-A wasn’t backing down and the deal fell apart.
If Al Sayer do manage to bring Chick-fil-A to the region that would be a pretty amazing accomplishment. Not only does Chick-fil-A only exist in the US at the moment but the way they run their franchises is different from others. For example Chick-fil-A franchise owners generally aren’t allowed to own more than one or two branches in the States so that they can give it all their attention. So handing the reigns to another company to open up as many branches as they wish would be an unusualstep for them. I hope they are coming though since I love their food and I’ve had great experiences at their restaurants which were all super clean and had great service.
Update: Just got a pretty aggressive call a few moments ago from Al Sayer Franchising relating to this post. According to the person I spoke to at Al Sayer Franchising, this is the first they hear about a deal with Chick-fil-A. I’ll not go into too much details relating to the phone call, but I will say it wasn’t the kind of professionalism I was expecting from them.
Now just a bit of perspective on this situation. If by any chance the deal with Chick-fil-A was signed last week with Al Sayer, that information would take time before trickling down the chain of command. So it could still very well be true that Al Sayer acquired the franchise or signed some sort of preliminary agreement but have yet to let everyone internally know. In any case, they are denying this information to be true.
Back in April I posted that the popular coffee place ARABICA was opening a second location in Shuwaikh, this past weekend I found out that they’re opening another location as well. ARABICA are opening a new third location in the Arraya Plaza, the open air shaded space between Arraya Mall and the parking lot, the same spot where the first Qout Market took place.
The new ARABICA will be called ARABICA Gardenia and was designed by a Japanese architect based in Tokyo. Both ARABICA Gardenia as well as the ARABICA location in Shuwaikh are both expected to open in October.
Update: Due to an issue with the original design, the opening of the Arraya location has now been pushed back to November/December.
I also got an email from a Wataniya Airways representative stating that they’re targeting to come back between December and January depending on certain circumstances.
For those of you who weren’t around at the time, Wataniya Airways was a premium local airline that launched back in 2009. Compared to Kuwait Airways at that time, they had newer planes and they flew out of the Sheikh Saad terminal which was (and still is) much nicer than the main terminal. In 2011 they shutdown due to financial reasons.
I’ve got a personal attachment to Wataniya Airways since I had worked with them on their advertising from pre-launch till shutdown, so I’m really interested to see how this will pan out.
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