Stephen Bell, Community Editor

A new restaurant will soon grace the streets of uptown Oxford, adding a splice of ethnic flavor to the city’s dining options.

Looking to open in September, Arabian Nights Authentic Lebanese Cuisine will occupy 19 W. High St, the former spot of Mexican eatery Fiesta Charra.

According to Alan Kyger, economic development director for the city of Oxford, Fiesta Charra has moved next door to a bigger location, leaving a vacant spot Arabian Nights is set to fill.

Offering an array of authentic Lebanese cuisine, Arabian Nights will be the first restaurant of its kind according to owner Farrah Akkoub.

“I think our restaurant is going to be a great addition to the city,” Akkoub said.

Originally opening Arabian Nights at the Oxford Uptown Farmers Market, Akkoub said a surge in support influenced she and her husband to establish a sit-in eatery. 

“We wanted to try the market and see how people would take it,” Akkoub said. “The amount of support was overwhelming so we decided to do it sooner.”

Kyger said the Lebanese eatery is currently going through the final process of receiving a revolving loan from the city of Oxford, a supplement fund that aids in the establishment of new businesses.

“The federal government created revolving loan funds and gave them to communities around the United States,” Kyger said. “The purpose of these funds is to assist in job creation and the starting or expanding of new businesses.”

According to Kyger, the city cannot fund over half a given project; however, the funds give businesses leverage when applying for business loans.

“Since 2007, the banks are really resistant to giving money for business start-up,” said Kyger. “When we give a loan, it helps the bank give their loan.”

As Akkoub highlighted, Arabian Nights will be the first Arabian eatery in the area, something Miami senior Megan Garry is very excited about.

“I think it’s great Uptown is adding diversity to their dining options,” said Garry. “In the long run, I think it will make Oxford more appealing to students and residents of other cultures.”

Boasting a variety of Arabian dishes according to Akkoub, Arabian Nights will make use of locally grown, organic indigents as much as possible.

Looking to fuse authentic Lebanese cuisine with traditional Lebanese dance and music, Akkoub is optimistic about the impact Arabian Nights will have on Oxford residents and Miami students.

“We are looking forward to a September opening,” Akkoub said. “Our main idea is to attract everybody from different cultures.”

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