Bars across the world are struggling with the financial devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Electric Bing Sutt (EBS) in Beirut, Lebanon was already dealing with those pressures on Tuesday when the shockwaves from a massive blast tore through their venue.
Lebanese authorities attributed the explosion to the detonation of an estimated 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse. The explosion destroyed the Beirut port and the shockwave most of the city.
EBS’ Gouraud Street location was not spared. Photos from the scene show several windows blown out, a gutted interior, sagging upper floors, and a pile of debris.
The award-winning bar posted to their Facebook page, “We will stay strong ❤️ and stay strong everyone ❤️.”
Fortunately, EBS co-owner Jad Ballout has good friends. His mates, Nico de Soto and Dinos Constantinides, started a GoFundMe campaign to help help the Asian/Middle Eastern lounge recover.
“Lebanon is facing a uniquely harsh situation, and Jad, although he has proven he has all it takes to succeed, under the circumstances he just can’t, not there, not right now. We are asking for the global bar industry, our extended family, to support our cause and help raise 60k so that our brother can start over,” the duo wrote. “We know that he feels our arms ready to catch him, and help him up again.”
Prior to the pandemic, EBS was on a hot streak. Last fall, they were named The Best Bar in Africa and the Middle East and checked in at 46 on the World’s 50 Best Bar list.