Kuwait: Amr Bin Al Aas Street in Kuwait, known as “ Food Street, ” is a must-see destination for everyone in the country, from Kuwaitis to expats to young and old. The 650-meter-long street takes its name from its various restaurants and fruit juices.
As you walk down this street, one can’t help but notice the common tendency of customers ordering meals from the comfort of their vehicles rather than sitting at tables near restaurants. After their meal, they walk down Al Blajat Street, a famous waterfront street stretching from Salmiya to Kuwait City.
“When the restaurant is on a street front where there are a lot of people and cars, it attracts more people than if a restaurant was on a random street between buildings,” said Mohammed Al Qadhi, an employee. from One Cut, to Gulf News.
One Cut, a shawarma restaurant, like most Food Street restaurants, receives free publicity simply by being located on the street. A shawrama restaurant, Kurdo, has two locations on Food Street, one is 17 years old and the other opened just a year ago.
“The old restaurant was in too much of a hurry and therefore to meet demand and customers, Kurdo opened a second branch,” explains Mohammed, an employee of Kurdo.
Although the first Kurdo branch has been around for almost two decades, it is still not one of the oldest, as Makarina, a sandwich shop, opened on Food Street in 1998. Although there are old and new restaurants across the street, there is a common theme between them: they are open 24 hours a day.
“Customers come and go throughout the day, there isn’t a specific time when people want juice. But usually the busiest time is around the holidays, especially during the national and liberation holidays, ”Waleed Jamal Tawfiq, an employee of Khokh We Meshmesh, told Gulf News.
“While we are open 24 hours a day, we generally see the most traffic between 11pm and midnight,” Al Qadhi said.
Those who can be seen walking up and down Food Street in the last hours are usually young people, mostly men. Tawfiq pointed out that most of the customers at Khokh We Meshmesh, a well-known juice store, are younger.
Since most of the food is take-out, some of the more common foods people order on Food Street are chicken or beef shawarmas, hot dog sandwiches, and falafel sandwiches. When it comes to drinks, the most common are fruity drinks which usually have unique names.
For example, one of the best selling Khokh We Meshmesh drinks is the “ Tiger ” which is a combination of mango juice, ice cream, avocado juice, pomegranate chunks and strawberry juice. .
Like most restaurants in Kuwait, all restaurants on Food Street have been affected by the closures.
“We were closed for four months and we were without work. All the restaurants were affected, but when they lifted the curfew, we saw business pick up, ”Al Qadhi said.
From March 22 to August 30, Kuwait was subject to a form of curfew, both partial and complete, making it the longest consecutive lockdown in the world. The nationwide lockdown took place between May 10 and May 30. During the total lockdown, all restaurants were forced to remain closed, resulting in great losses. Then, after the total lockdown, the country began to open in stages and the curfew times changed more or less every month as the government assessed the current health situation to ensure a return to normal. security.
“The last hour before the curfew, between 8:00 p.m. and 8:50 p.m., was the busiest hour for us,” Tawfiq said.
According to an economic research report by the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the restaurant sector is one of the sectors that will be affected and directly affected.