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DINING WITH DUKE
International Restaurant Entrepreneur Bechara Nammour

 

By: R.H. Duke

International entrepreneur Bechara Nammour set his sights on Las Vegas for his first Neyla, Fine Mediterranean Dining in the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino. His entrepreneurial journey began as a young agriculturist in the village of Sidon, Lebanon. He later became an attorney earning master's degrees in both Lebanese and French Law, and now heads international companies in commercial development, hotel and restaurant management.

Prior to establishing business in the U.S., Nammour served as Vice President of the Albert Abela Corporation, a hotel, catering, and restaurant firm in London. At age 33 he ventured into the agriculture area of growing oranges at several groves in Texas. After several years of successful harvests, the crops were completely lost due to severe frost, ending his career as an agriculturist.

During that time, however, Nammour purchased a newly constructed Sheraton Hotel in Texas, followed by a second hotel in Denver, and a third in Atlanta. Many successful entrepreneurs have met with success only as a result of several failures. Nammour was no exception, as he lost $10,000,000 in a ten-year period in the Atlanta venture. Thanks to the Olympic Games being held in that city, he managed to recover his losses.

During 1984, through his international management company, Nammour purchased J. Paul's, a popular restaurant in the historic Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. The success of the restaurant became one of the catalysts in the rejuvenation of Georgetown. Nammour teamed up with Paul J. Cohn, originator of J. Paul's, and with their Capital Restaurant Concepts group opened a chain of 24 affordable high quality restaurants within a six-year period. Nammour as CEO and President, and Paul J. Cohn as Executive Vice President lead a team of industry professionals with diversified expertise in development and management.


Nammour, recognized as "King of the Restaurant Business" in his native Lebanon, is Chairman of Idarat Investment Corp., that country's leading hotel and restaurant group opening 15 international restaurants in five years. At the same time, the company acquired or built six hotels in Paris and Beirut, with plans to open six more in addition to a chain of fast food outlets in Lebanon.

Capital Restaurant Concepts owns and operates Neyla, Fine Mediterranean Dining in the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino, an international eatery serving upscale Mediterranean fusion cuisine. Neyla, the Arabic term for abundance, prosperity and success, can certainly apply to Nammour as well. Did an aggressive 18-year-old agriculturist from a Mediterranean coastal village realize his destiny 36 years later as entrepreneur, heading international companies with businesses in major cities such as London, Paris, Detroit, Washington and Las Vegas? His long-term vision, professionalism, persistence and business acumen may provide the answer.

Las Vegas, a world-renowned dining mecca, has attracted its share of international entrepreneurs, and Bechara Nammour can claim his position among them.

Bechara Nammour -- Entrepreneur Extraordinaire!