Baba, a popular Lebanese street food establishment in Gżira, has closed down, with owner Hany Harb citing the high cost of delivery services as a major factor behind the decision.

The eatery, which opened in early 2021, operated on a strictly takeaway and delivery basis, with no seating available to patrons.

Speaking to, Mr Harb says that “Baba was a good concept in the wrong place – the dependence on third parties eats you up from the inside.”

He also cited low footfall from passing trade in the location, at the intersection of Fleet Street, Victory Street, and Ponsonby Street in Gżira, a few blocks inland from Ali Baba, the acclaimed Lebanese restaurant set up by Mr Harb’s parents in 1987.

However, Mr Harb is not ready to give up on the concept just yet, noting that it was well-received and popular.

“We might open somewhere else,” he says. “This time, with seating.”

Baba may be shuttered for the time being, but the door is still wide open to its re-opening in a better location.

The restaurateur also has other plans in the offing: "We are also working on a new venture to be launched this coming May," he says.

The venture involves a hybrid menu between Ali Baba and Baba which will be served at an established St Julian's eatery, though Mr Harb is keeping the details close to his chest for now.

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Robert Fenech

Robert is curious about the connections that make the world work, and takes a particular interest in the confluence of economy, environment and justice. He can also be found moonlighting as a butler for his big black cat.