Cocktails & Spirits

Byblos Unveils Swanky Late-Night Lounge

Last week, the Lounge at Byblos debuted as a new nightlife destination. The lounge is located on the ground floor, at the far end of the upscale Middleterranean restaurant. Expect weekly resident DJs, signature cocktails, and bottle service Monday through Sunday beginning at 6 p.m.

It's fitting that Byblos is moving into the late-night space — one of its owners, Charles Khabouth, is a nightlife impresario based out of Toronto. Indeed, the first Byblos opened in Toronto more than two years ago to great acclaim. Canada's National Post in 2014 declared Khabouth and his business partner, hospitality expert Hanif Harji, the "kings of Toronto's dining scene." 

What's more, since Byblos opened in Miami last summer at the James Royal Palm, the eatery has distinguished itself with a unique and extensive cocktail menu. A favorite is the lively Gulab, which pairs Absolut Elyx vodka with pomegranate syrup, fresh lemon, and rosewater. The restaurant also offers a spirit-infused cold-tea service rolled to your table on a special trolley, carrying exotic flavors such as Moroccan mint, hibiscus rose, and Turkish Delight. There's the option to get it sans alcohol, and good news is the tea service is available at the lounge as well. 

“We added a third dimension to Byblos that will enthrall guests with lively entertainment, delicious cocktails, and, of course, the Byblos menu that Miami has come to love,” Khabouth says. “The lounge will offer a new nightlife experience for Miami.”
Byblos' lounge will offer some bites from the regular dinner menu, although the exact dishes are still being finalized. Some popular dinner items include the lamb ribs, duck kibbeh, and sweet jeweled rice, otherwise known as Persian wedding rice, owing to its popularity at traditional nuptials.

During the opening party, waiters passed around signature cocktails and cups of Turkish Delight to a crowded room filled with glamorous guests. Unlike the restaurant, with its bright hues and graphic-print accents, the lounge is less Mediterranean holiday and more Great Gatsby meets Arabian nights. It's dark and romantic, with velvet sofas and mostly gold, copper, and silver tones. It's a beautiful and comfortable space designed by award-winning international firm Studio Munge. 

Byblos Miami is Khabouth and Harji's first venture outside of Ontario, and they told New Times in a previous interview that if it's a success, they might expand further in the States. By all accounts, the restaurant is doing well, so let's hope the lounge follows suit. 

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Valeria Nekhim was born in the Ukraine and raised in Montreal. She has lived in Manhattan and Miami. Her favorite part of food writing is learning the stories of chefs and restaurateurs.