GSBDC Partners with Downtown Committee to Finance New Restaurant

Posted 05.31.11


Byblos Mediterranean Café opened in downtown Syracuse near Clinton Square in April.It is the first and only authentic Lebanese Café in the area and takes its name from the Greek name of the ancient Phoenician city Gebal in what is now Lebanon.

Fady Khabbaz, President and owner, undertook extensive renovations of the building at 223 North Clinton Street after purchasing it in October of 2008.  Renovations included adding hardwood floors, ceiling lights, a new bathroom, ventilation system and the installation of kitchen equipment as well as renovating the second level into an upscale flat for his residence.

Mr. Khabbaz’s parents, Violette and Philip Khabbaz previously operated a successful Middle Eastern Restaurant in North Syracuse and serve as the chefs.  Fady Khabbaz is the manager and oversees the restaurant’s daily operations.  Patrons can eat-in or take out.  In addition, they offer  delivery to a limited area in downtown Syracuse as well as offering catering services.

GSBDC provided a $75,000 Connective Corridor Hospitality Enterprise Fund (CCHEF) loan to assist with final renovation costs, inventory and equipment purchases and working capital needs. The CCHEF fund was established to stimulate and support the development of new and existing restaurants, hospitality and retail establishments in downtown Syracuse.  As part of the total funding package, the Downtown Committee of Syracuse provided a $30,000 New York State Main Street grant to help with the renovation costs.  The remaining project costs were funded by the Khabbaz family.

They currently employ three full-time and two part-time employees and expect to add another two full-time and one part-time staff as the restaurant grows.