They promised us a new restaurant – and it will open in a matter of days.
When Café Luca on Goodramgate, York, closed after 12 years, owner James Oldroyd said he had sold it as his life was going in a new direction.
But he said it would “reopen under new owners and a new restaurant business”.
And that business is Bab Tooma, a Syrian restaurant, which will open on Thursday (10 November).
Work has nearly finished turning Café Luca into Bab Tooma. Named after one of the seven gates in the historic city of Damascus, the restaurant opened its first branch in Bradford in 2016.
It is now ranked at number 16 of 460 restaurants in the city on TripAdvisor, with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 from 710 reviews.
Founders Eyad Charbatji and Qusay Amer met as students in Leeds. “Each recipe has been passed down in our family for years,” they say.
“Growing up we’ve been inspired by great cooks, chefs, and the lovely aroma of great tasting food.
“We know food brings people together – and we want people from all walks of life to come in and live the Syrian experience.”
You can find out more and browse the menu on the restaurant website.
Bab Tooma is found next to the former Bonmarché store, which is undergoing its own transformation – into a branch of the Yorkshire Trading Co.