By Nicole Bayne
When then the space next door to Cedar’s Gourmet & Sweets in Fairfax became available, owner Imad Zein was finally able to open his next dream project: a hookah bar.
“I’ve always had this idea of a restaurant … just a place to chill. Nothing too fancy,” says Zein. “So when the space opened up in July we definitely jumped on that opportunity.”
Named Cedar’s Cafe, the new venue is styled as a lounge, smokey with aromas of shisha. The flavored tobacco is meant to pair with Cedar’s dishes of Lebanese and American food. There’s fresh squeezed carrot, orange and apple juices, smoothies and coffee drinks like the frappucinos and lattes and for breakfast bagels, croissant sandwiches and egg-and-salsa tortilla wraps. The new cafe will serve the same menu as the original location, which includes the Mediterranean tabbouleh platter, gyros and kafta and more American dishes like a turkey club and Reuben.
Zein suggests pairing the shisha with food, like the chicken shawarma in a garlicky sauce ($6.50) with the Mazaya’s Double Apple Shisha ($14).
The cafe is equipped with the NFL Sunday Ticket, WiFi, but no alcohol. Located near the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission, Zein wants this to be another social space. “It should feel like home, where you can hang out for an hour or two, maybe even do homework,” he says. “I want it to be comfortable.”
Cedar’s Cafe opened in late December with a planned grand opening this Saturday with half-off shisha. / Cedar’s Cafe, 8627 Lee Highway Suite B, Fairfax