In just a short amount of time, we’ve seen Amor Lounge turn into Knuckleheadz, and Knuckleheadz turn into Bar Maven. The lone building sandwiched between the Foster Market and Mac’s Radiator has had drastic transformations. In Amor, there was a Middle Eastern bent to your typical lottery-machine-Foster-dive; Knuckleheadz added a stage and focused on live music and bikers; Bar Maven has by far been the classiest incarnation, with new tables, lights, a bar top, tap list, and menu. Today we get to meet the man behind it all.
1. Knowing our neighbors makes for a brighter and safer community. Who are you, and what is your connection to the neighborhood (resident, business owner, neighborhood advocate, etc)?
Bashar Farah, “business owner.” (Bar Maven)
2. How long have you lived or worked in the neighborhood, and what do you think makes it unique?
“I have been coming to the Foster area since I was a kid. My parents would bring us every weekend to a Middle Eastern restaurant on 62nd and Foster called Amor al Kayam, currently the building that I occupy. After that, when I turned 21, I started my bar tending carrier at the Amor lounge; starting in 2009, I worked there for 2 years. I think the thing that makes the neighborhood so unique is that it is so diverse. We got a wide spectrum of different ethnicities as well as a wide spectrum of economic and age demographics that live and work together in a thriving community, and there seems to be a real sense of pride among every one in this neighborhood.”
3. What are your favorite neighborhood haunts (for food, shopping, walks, drinking, entertainment, etc)?
“Well this one is a hard for sure because we have so many great places in the neighborhood; you can’t be in the Fopo hood and not love the Slingshot lounge (always a great time there); N.W.I.P.A is an awesome bottle shop; Bar Carlo is the spot for a delicious breakfast. Those are just some of the places I have been to lately. I could go on and on, but we really are lucky to have so many great options to choose from!”
4. It’s a fact, our neighborhood is pretty rad. How do we keep it that way…and then some (i.e. enhance our parks, more n’hood events, more businesses, less tweakers, etc)?
“I think the upcoming streetscape plan the city is implementing is going to be great for our neighborhood. As a business owner, I’m thrilled about it. I think it will give the neighborhood a facelift it has been needing and will make crossing the street a lot safer. For one thing, cars won’t be able to drag race from the stop lights any more as I see on a daily basis at the crossing of Foster & Holgate. It will help make the neighborhood an even more walking-friendly area. I would love to see more community events, more movie in the parks, maybe even a music festival in the summer time…or even some bed races something that brings more people together!”
5. If you had a bajillion dollars (ok, a million) to spend on Foster, what would you do with it?
“If I was president and had a bajillion dollars, first thing I would do is get the Bob white & the Day theaters to start showing movies, performances and musical acts. Make a community gathering area at the park. Put up new street lights that have some character to them, redo the side walks so they are safer to walk, and then give every one living in the 97206 $1000 to spend at local business.“
6. If you could pick a theme song for the neighborhood, or choose a celebrity that best exemplifies the character of it, what/who would it be?
“I’m not so sure about a theme song but for some celebrity’s that would describe the hood I would say Robert Downey Jr. , Denis Rodman, Barack Obama.”
Thanks to Bashar for participating. And please let these be your reminder to support your local business.