Several University of Toledo students and staff members gathered with the family of Phoenicia owners, Ed and Sam Barakat Nov. 7 to celebrate Phoenicia’s grand opening and indulged in the free buffet provided by the restaurant.
The Mediterranean cuisine moved from the third floor of the Student Union to a larger location on the fourth.
“We love that Phoenicia’s new location has more space because we can accommodate for more people,” said Ed Barakat, one of the co-owners of the restaurant.
Ed and his brother, Sam Barakat, have worked together in the restaurant business for 28 years after opening their first restaurant, Papa’s, in 1990.
The small tavern was located near Campus Drive and Bancroft Street.
Five years later, the restaurant’s popularity created the need for more space, so Sam and Ed opened Phoenicia on the third floor of the student union, he said.
Ed’s daughters, Reem and Elsie, both UT alumni, have worked in the restaurant since they were in school at UT, and they now assist with management.
“I’m so excited about this opening,” said Reem. “The food served here is what I eat every day, and I love working with my family,” she continued. “It’s my home away from home.”
Students say they are excited about the opening as well.
“The new lounge space they added to the restaurant is great for students to relax and study,” said Daniel Blandford, third-year history major.
Phoenicia is open Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
For more information, please visit www.phoeniciaoncampus.com.