The former Plaza Ventana space in northwest Fresno is home to a new Triangle Burger and an upcoming Yemeni coffee shop. Image via Google Street View
Written by Edward Smith
The owner of a new Yemeni coffee shop in Fresno hopes to bring a taste of the drink’s origins to the Central Valley while at the same time bringing awareness to the situation in the war-torn country.
Bab al-Yemen at Shaw and Marks avenues is slated to open in the next two to three weeks, says owner Ahmed Ghazaly, Ghazaly is also co-owner of Triangle Burger. The coffee shop will open next to the burger chain’s newest restaurant.
Bab al-Yemen, which literally means The Gate of Yemen, will serve Yemeni-style coffee. Yemen was the first country to export coffee beans, says Ghazaly, having exported the bean for over 500 years. Yemeni-style coffee is similar to Turkish coffee where water is boiled and poured over coffee and spices. The husk of the coffee bean is also used to flavor other drinks, giving a fruity and nutty flavor. They’ll also serve espresso, lattes and Americanos, in addition to Yemeni-style pastries and fruit smoothies.
All of the coffee is handpicked, organic and sun-dried, Ghazaly said. The cafe will also be open late, opening at 8 a.m. and closing at 10 p.m., though Ghazaly said he may extend those hours on Fridays and Saturdays to midnight.
The site is only 1,000 square feet, but as its Ghazaly’s “first adventure,” he wanted to start small, expanding if necessary. There will be indoor seating for 20 people and possibly a couple tables outdoors.
As the name suggests, Ghazaly hopes the restaurant will also let people know about Yemen. Civil war has plagued the country since 2014.
““I’m excited to introduce a unique product to the community and educate people about Yemen and its culture,” said Ghazaly. “It’s more than the coffee, it’s the culture too.”