Charles Khabouth pays tribute to Lebanese roots with new restaurant Amal

For the first time in Charles Khabouth’s 30+year career, with over 20 hospitality venues in operation and five more in the works, the award-winning restaurateur and Beirut-born entrepreneur will pay tribute to his Lebanese roots with the opening of Amal, a modern Lebanese cuisine restaurant, this spring in Toronto.

Designed by the award-winning design firm and long-time partner Studio Munge, Amal will completely reinvent the Bloor Street space formerly occupied by the hospitality powerhouse’s La Société. Offering an undeniable modern charm, the look and feel of the venue is inspired by traditional Lebanese architecture and design.

“I have wanted to open a Lebanese restaurant for many years,” says Charles Khabouth, CEO, INK Entertainment. “As a native of Lebanon, ensuring authenticity was paramount. Last year, members of the INK team and I travelled there to curate the best it has to offer and bring to Amal. We have one of the best executive chefs from Beirut, we worked with one of the Middle East’s biggest design firms to create the brand, and we handpicked and imported the restaurant’s décor and dishware. I believe this level of authenticity will elevate our city’s dining scene to new heights.”

Executive Chef Rony Ghaleb joins the INK Entertainment team with more than 25 years of progressive experience as a chef at some of the most renowned hospitality venues in Lebanon. Chef Ghaleb’s menu will feature contemporary versions of traditional shared plates. Amal will be open for lunch and dinner daily, with brunch served on Saturdays and Sundays.

The second location in Coconut Grove, Miami is scheduled to open later this year.

Head to for more information.

Byblos Uptown set to open December 6th 2018

Hanif Harji, hospitality leader and CEO of ICONINK, and Charles Khabouth, Chairman of ICONINK, are pleased to announce Byblos Uptown – the third location of the brand and first uptown venture for ICONINK – will open to the public on Thursday, December 6th 2018. The new Byblos location will be at the helm of ICONINK Executive Chef Ben Heaton (Patria, Estia, Weslodge, La Societe, Sofia and KOST). 

Similar to its downtown Toronto and Miami locations, Byblos Uptown will be rooted in the cultural and regional mosaic of the Eastern Mediterranean with the sharing style menu extending the brand’s culinary philosophy. Guests can expect to see favourites Turkish manti dumplings, house-made labneh and wood-fired pides on the menu, plus new savoury dishes such as m’taabal, ras el hanout black cod and ora king salmon. A wide selection of local wines, beers and signature cocktails will be available to compliment all dishes.

“We wanted to expand our reach in the city and open a location in Toronto’s north end,” said Charles Khabouth, Chairman, ICONINK. “Not only is this a great opportunity for us to further develop our brand and establish roots in this vibrant neighbourhood, it allows our culinary team to explore new menu ideas that expand our culinary offering,” explained Hanif Harji, CEO, ICONINK.

Transforming the space from previous brand North44 is longtime interior design partner and award-winning firm Studio Munge. “Immersive scale and artisanal touches define Byblos Uptown,” says Alessandro Munge, Principal, Studio Munge. “Where traditional technique meets modern form, guests enter through a 19-foot archway and are embraced by graphic handmade tapestries from Marrakech, woven light fixtures, and dozens of authentic Persian rugs.”

Byblos Uptown will be open seven days a week: Sunday to Wednesday 5pm to 11pm and Thursday to Saturday 5pm to 1am. For more information and reservations, head to the Experience Byblos website.