I’ve been meaning to visit this place for a while now. Mar Mikhael has seen the migration of the Gemmayzeh-obsession slightly towards the north, with several new and refreshing concepts springing up on Gouraud’s neighboring street.
A Banksy-inspired mural lies near the first-floor venue’s entrance, whose door reveals even more interesting graffiti including my favorite: Grendizer in a suit. The graffiti murals are at odds with the traditional architecture and elaborate chandeliers of the restaurant-bar, which I found awesome.
Three rooms welcome pub goers and diners, with the larger hall featuring the bar on one side, the entrance on the other. The other smaller, adjacent rooms have more comfortable sofa seating to enjoy a proper dinner.
If you’re not there for dinner or brunch, maybe order the divine mushrooms starter dish, a nice cocktail and sit on one of the high tables in the bar area. The music can get funky but is mostly soft rock and pop classics. In other words, you won’t hear radio garbage at Secteur 75, but don’t expect underground house sets either.
If you wanna enjoy the restaurant part of this restaurant-bar, sit on a sofa-table (which needs reservations) and order the dishes that seem weirdest, such as Beer Chicken and Pasta a la Russian Standard. It might seem too odd for people like me (I ordered the cheese burger) but Lori loved the Beer Chicken (which is chicken marinated in beer) and I plan on trying the “a la Russian Standard” dish next time. So, try to avoid your comfort foods such as the club sandwich and cheese burger, and try something new! (the advice I gave myself after finishing my burger)
All in all, Secteur 75 is definitely a place to try. It’s not your average pub and don’t include on your bar-hopping trail. It’s more of an up-scale venue than what we’re used to in the area. Catching up with a group of friends would be ideal, especially if you’re the artsy type which enjoys retro-style fridges with industrial AC vents amidst Terminator graffiti art on the wall illuminated by a massive chandeliers in an old Lebanese house.
Oh, and for those wondering about the name, the location is in Beirut’s “sector 75″
Verdict: A must-try venue with a selection of good cocktails and fine cuisine
Price: 40-50 USD should be enough for dinner for two (without appetizers or drinks)
Atmosphere: Sophisticated and artsy, but not too uptight
Staff: Unobtrusive. They also use iPod touches to take orders!
Music: Soft Rock and classics spun by Anthony Semaan and Philip Yaacoub