It was the York restaurant which was nearly ruined before it opened.
But Yemen Heaven on Walmgate rose up from adversity and has now won a coveted accolade.
The restaurant has revealed it is a TripAdvisor 2022 Travelers’ Choice winner. Its ratings on the review website put it among “the top 10% of restaurants worldwide”, TripAdvisor said.
Run by Muna Al Maflehi and her family, they were naturally delighted by the news.
“The award celebrates businesses that have received great traveller reviews from travellers and diners around the globe on Tripadvisor over the last 12 months,” they posted on Facebook.
“As challenging as the past year was, Yemen Heaven, with your support, has stood out by consistently delivering positive experiences to its customers. Thank you!”
Yemen Heaven made the headlines after vandals trashed the work they had done converting the former Spread Eagle pub into the restaurant last December.
They smashed toilets, tore down wallpaper, broke windows, smeared paint on the walls and threw ornaments on the floor.
“Heartbroken and devastated”, the family thought it might be the end of their dream. But an online fundraising campaign raised more than £21K and other restaurants held events to raise money for the rebuild.
And that meant “peace and love” overcame the negativity and Yemen Heaven opened in February.
Since then, it has garnered an average of 4.5 out of 5 in its TripAdvisor reviews, and has now been granted the site’s award.