Bar Saracen is closing

Published on 21 January 2021

Photo: Bar Saracen (credit: @barsaracen)

January 30 marks the last day of trade for Joseph Abboud’s celebrated Punch Lane venue.

Modern Middle Eastern favourite Bar Saracen is closing at the end of January. Owner Joseph Abboud shared the news in a post today on Instagram:

“The difficult decision to close Bar Saracen comes after what has been an incredibly tumultuous year for the industry, and indeed for the community as a whole. The effect that the Covid 19 pandemic has had on trade in our pocket of the Melbourne CBD especially, with the loss of international guests, city workers and passing foot-traffic, leaves us in a precarious financial situation.”

Bar Saracen opened in 2018, born of the same wish Abboud had for his Brunswick East flagship, Rumi, “to offer an exciting, fresh, thoughtful and emotionally rewarding sense of a too-often misunderstood and pigeon-holed cuisine: a pan-Middle Eastern dining experience underscored by the very best service”. Abboud paid tribute to Saracen’s staff, “not least amongst them our chef Tom Sarafian, who has left a piece of himself and his cooking heart on every dish that left his pass”.

Sarafian, who numbers among Victoria’s best regarded up-and-coming kitchen talents, echoed Abboud’s sentiments in a post of his own. He begins a three-month residency at Little Andorra in Carlton North from 3 February. Some of the crowd favourites he developed at Bar Saracen, the signature crab hummus among them, will make the trip north. He’ll also be bringing with him the “Sarafian Sundays” that he staged at Rumi over December: long lunches in Little Andorra’s “beautiful courtyard and outdoor dining space, with awesome music, wine and sunshine”. 

Bar Saracen’s last service is 30 January 2021. 22 Punch La, Melbourne, barsaracen.com.au. Catch Joseph Abboud at Rumi,  116 Lygon St, Brunswick East, rumirestaurant.com.au; Tom Sarafian cooks at Little Andorra from 3 February, 555 Nicholson St, Carlton North, littleandorra.com.au  

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