Saudi hotel owner dries up Cairo bar
A Saudi businessman who owns the Grand Hyatt hotel in Cairo has taken alcohol off the menu. The hotel bar now serves coffee to its very few customers. The only place in the luxury hotel that still serves alcoholic drink is the separately owned Hard Rock cafe. Ordinarily in Cairo tourist-oriented hotels feature drinks bars for foreigners and some Egyptians, so the decision to close a bar to sales of alcohol and destroy its stock of an estimated million dollars worth of high-end booze has been controversial. For more, see here.
Sixth century Christian wine presses found in Egypt
Archaeologists have found in the Sinai peninsula two 6th century wine presses apparently used to produce communion wine for local Christians and for export to those living elsewhere. For more, see here.
"Tsarbucks" to open in September 2007
After a decade of wrangling over its trademark, Starbucks will open its first Russian store in September 2007. It will be located at Mega Mall north of Moscow. Some observers note that Starbucks will have to cope with the absence of a Russian coffee house culture. Russia will be the 43rd country with a Starbucks as the chain recently opened shops in Brazil and Egypt (and next targets India). The British newspaper that provides the story mentions in passing that London now has over 200 Starbucks, so supposedly nobody in the UK capital has to walk more than five minutes to get to one. For more, see here.
Cigarette advertising in Egypt, 1919-1939 (article)
Relli Shechter, "Reading Advertisements in a Colonial/Development Context: Cigarette Advertising and Identity Politics in Egypt, c1919-1939," Journal of Social History 39/2 (2005): 483-503.
Absence of taverns in medieval Cairo (article)
Paulina B. Lewicka, "Restaurants, Inns and Taverns That Never Were: Some Reflections on Public Consumption in Medieval Cairo," Journal of the Economic & Social History of the Orient 48/1 (March 2005): 40-91.
Smoking in Ottoman-era Egypt (article)
Cheryl Ward and Uzi Baram, "Global Markets, Local Practice: Ottoman-period Clay Pipes and Smoking Paraphernalia from the Red Sea Shipwreck at Sadana Island, Egypt," International Journal of Historical Archaeology 10/2 (June 2006): 135 - 158.
Starbucks sets sights on Russia, India, elsewhere
US coffee shop chain Starbucks said it plans to opens stores in Brazil, Russia, India and Egypt during 2007, creating a presence in 40 countries outside the United States.
The Turkish Press reports.
the Greek Symposium, the Roman Epulum and the Convivium, and other ancient feasts (book)
Alcock, Joan P. Food in the ancient world. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2006. [With focus on beverages, food service professionals, dining establishments, the Egyptian Banquet, the Greek Symposium, the Roman Epulum and the Convivium, Celtic feasting, and other alcoholic topics.]
Egyptian cigarettes, 1850-1914 (article)
Relli Shechter, "Selling Luxury: the Rise of the Egyptian Cigarette and the Transformation of the Egyptian Tobacco Market, 1850-1914," International Journal of Middle East Studies 35/1 (2003): 51-75.
Pakistan, Egypt eye India's tea
Drought in Kenyan is forcing the Pakistan and Egyptian markets to look to India for tea, and a Pakistani delegation is likely to visit India in mid-April to look at options for importing Indian tea.