Favilla Lounge

Exquisite Dining in the Heart of Sheikh Zayed

Tucked in the Sheikh Zayed suburb of Cairo is a delightful and comfy restaurant/lounge, Favilla Lounge, which has been a hot spot for the young crowd since it opened its doors in 2017. The popular two-story restaurant has regulars coming back for the delicious food and refreshing beverages, and in the evening the place buzzes with customers enjoying a special night on the town with friends. eniGma’s Ezz Al-Turkey sat down with Amr Badrawi, the man behind the charming Favilla Lounge, to learn more about the story behind his success and what makes his restaurant continue to draw crowds amid the increasingly strong competition around it.

Amr Badrawi describes how he got into the restaurant business as, “sheer coincidence.” Having graduated with a degree in architecture, he was working as an architect/ interior designer, when clients for whom he was designing a restaurant surprised him by asking him to join them as a partner in the business. While it had never crossed his mind to enter the F&B field, Badrawi was intrigued by the offer and agreed. Soon thereafter, the restaurant was launched, and it blossomed; and Badrawi never looked back. He realised that he had a true passion for the field and wanted to pursue it further.

“It was 2006. At the time, the restaurant business was an untapped market. People didn’t know just how big the demand was for restaurants that weren’t chains. I fell in love with this field and I was very good at it. I was in my early 20s at the time, and I really wanted to build something for myself and my future. I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me, and it turns out, it was!” Badrawi recalls.

Badrawi’s success resonated, and he became a household name in the F&B business. His journey was not without challenges, however. While it was an advantage that the market for restaurants like his was wide open when he started, that advantage came at a price; he had to fight tooth and nail to get things rolling. “I’ve been through a lot in my life. Nothing was handed to me on a silver platter. I had to grind to get to where I am. But I was motivated and once I started, I just couldn’t stop,” he exclaims.

More than 10 years after his first venture into F&B with his partners, he decided to make a bold move and start another restaurant, Favilla Lounge. After scouting for prime locations, he decided that Sheikh Zayed was the place to be. “Sheikh Zayed was the ideal location for my clientele and was the perfect place to fulfil what I had in mind. The area is huge and it’s inside a mall. It’s very easily accessible,” he explains. His beautifully designed restaurant and lounge has a breath-taking view of the surrounding greenery and is in an optimal spot in the heart of Sheikh Zayed.

Favilla Lounge quickly became a favourite for early bird customers who like to have business meetings over coffee and a delicious breakfast; and throughout the day, the lounge is always busy with a long waiting list. After sunset, the atmosphere switches up and the music rises a notch, to accommodate big dinner parties and customers coming to enjoy a special dinner. Favilla Lounge caters to all age groups and welcomes both the younger and older crowd.

While the lounge serves exquisite coffee and a wide menu of beverages, Badrawi focuses mostly on the food, which is a major draw of the restaurant. When it started, Favilla Lounge’s menu was mostly Italian cuisine with an eastern twist. With time, Badrawi expanded the menu to include different cuisines so that there was something to please every palate. Guests can choose from a large range of dishes, from authentic Italian pasta to finger-licking Asian dishes. “The two factors that I care about the most at Favilla Lounge, are the delicious food and the great ambiance!” exclaims Badrawi, who can be seen cruising the restaurant and mingling with his guests, making sure they are being well served.

Not surprisingly, Favilla Lounge’s success in Sheikh Zayed encouraged Badrawi to open a second branch. This time his choice location was in Hacienda Red on the North Coast. Favilla Lounge in Hacienda Red immediately took off and during the summer was always packed with vacationers eager to get a taste of Favilla’s delicious dishes, and to enjoy fun nights out with their friends. It has become the best dining place in Sahel. “It was a challenge to make Favilla Lounge take off in Sahel, but I was overwhelmed by the wonderful response to the branch. Obviously, our prime location there made it a whole lot easier. Favilla Lounge at Hacienda Red has become an iconic destination,” says Badrawi.
And that’s not all. A Favilla Lounge in Palm Hills is currently under construction and will launch very soon. Badrawi is not stopping there, however. He has plans to expand next in the Fifth Settlement and across Cairo, to make Favilla Lounge accessible to people in different areas. He exclaims, “Seeing people love what we offer and come back for more is so special to me. It’s really rewarding. After years of working tirelessly, it’s exhilarating to finally see our hard work pay off!”