Le Castel Bistro Bar Kaslik – Jounieh celebrated its reopening in an event held on Monday September 12, 2022, attended by numerous political, media, cultural, artistic, and social personalities amongst whom Lebanese Minister of Tourism Walid Nassar, President of the National Commission for Lebanese Women Mrs. Claudine Aoun, and President of the Union of Keserwan Ftouh Municipalities Mr. Juan Hobeich, as well as its regular clients.
International shooter and Lebanese champion Ray Basil, daughter of the founder of the famous Le Castel, talked on this occasion about the idea, the significance and the symbolism of reopening this prestigious place. Bassil explained that what motivated her and her partners, is her “strong belief in Lebanon, which has strengthened throughout her sporting and olympic career, despite the serious difficulties of the crises that we are suffering from, in addition to the serious will to support the resilient Lebanese by creating new job opportunities amid the well-known and critical circumstances of Lebanon”. Moreover, Bassil noted that “she is certainly aware of the difficulty of launching a new project in Lebanon and investing in the midst of the current crisis”. However, she explained that “she is ready to face all challenges and difficulties for the love of her country, as an appreciation for this exceptional and historical place that went through many difficult circumstances since its establishment, yet maintained a good reputation, a leading position, and fond memories for all the people who loved and visited it”.
Le Castel was founded in 1976 in Kaslik by Mr. Jacques Basil, Ray’s father, who was also a professional volleyball sportsman. The place soon became famous and transformed into a regular spot for many journalists, poets, as well as prominent cultural and artistic figures and business leaders. It is worth noting that the name “Le Castel” was given to the restaurant in view of the fact that Kaslik was very different in the seventies, whereas the venue was characterized by an exceptional location amidst trees with a direct view of the Lebanese coast. It was forcibly closed in 2012 due to the difficult economic situation at the time. However, the founders decided to reinvest in it and to reopen it, with the aim of making it again a gathering point for many Lebanese citizens and tourists, while providing the Kaslik region with a new image, as well as giving hope amid the continuous crises that the country has been going through since 2019.